“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.” ~Mother Teresa
The simplest thing would be to take Mother Teresa’s words at face value. That she was speaking of food – meat, vegetables and fruit.
I believe she was speaking of justice. Not of giving people charity, which offers people what we want them to have and what we think they need, in a sense our leftovers; but to give everyone a place at the table. An opportunity to feed themselves.
That is the difference between charity and justice. The difference between “doing for people” and “empowering people”.
Providing food for them to use on their journey – smiling; listening; hugging; encouraging.
Speaking for those who have no voice, even when afraid.
Giving when there is no more to give.
Doing nothing is easy; ensuring failure and denying the right to flourish. The right to justice.
When people are suffering that is their moment. The only moment they have. It is not for the rest of us to stand by and not help make their moment better.
Not by doing for them, or to them. But empowering them to do for themselves.