The matter of religion

The monsoon had arrived. Rains were coming down off and on.
On one such morning, Mother and Sister Agnes saw a heap of rags lying on the wet foot path on the opposite side. On closer examination they discovered that the heap infact was a sick woman.
Mother and Sister hired a rickshaw and took the woman to the Campbell Hospital that was the nearest.
The hospital staff informed Mother that no bed was available there. Some patients could be seen lying on the floor on durries or mattresses for want of beds. Mother requested the doctors to allow that woman also to lie on the floor.
The request was turned down.
Mother suggested, “Alright. Then I will sit down with her in my lap.”
“Sister, there is no space to sit either. No treatment will work on her. Don’t waste your time. She is already dying,” a doctor remarked.
Mother Teresa pleaded, “Doctor, tell me where can I take this unfortunate woman?”
The doctor retorted in irritated voice, “Leave her from where you picked her up. When she is dead municipal people would remove her dead body.”
“But she is alive right now,” Mother argued.
The doctor and the staff walked away without providing an answer. Mother sat down on the floor defiantly with the sick woman in her lap. Agnes sat along and they both prayed.
Hours passed. The hospital staff contemptuously ignored them. Mother and Agnes stayed put.
More time went by.
The two sat without losing patience braving hunger, thirst and tiredness. The attitude of the hospital staff made them more resolved. Sick woman in Mother’s lap tossed and groaned.
The evening came. The doctor’s shift had ended. He came out of the cabin to depart. Mother and Agnes were still sitting there. Mother looked at the doctor pleading to his conscience.
The doctor’s conscience rebuked him. He stood frozen in guilt. Then, he acted. He got a mattress laid on the floor and examined the woman. The treatment commenced. The injecting needle failed to press in the fluid as the sick woman’s body had little flesh. The woman’s condition worsened.
She died a few hours later in Mother’s lap while Agnes and Mother prayed. At least, the woman was given a dignified death.
The uncared for sick people anguished Mother. Whenever she found such people she carried them to her Moti Jheel room which was very small where five people felt crowded.
One day a person died at night who was suffering from a terminal illness in that room. It gave a scare to other patients. Spending night with a dead person was no pleasant experience. When Mother learnt about it in the morning she realised that she should not keep dying persons in that small space with others.
She wanted some space where she could keep such terminally ill patients. But where could she find such space? But she kept on her search.
One evening, Mother found a sick woman lying under a tree who was unconscious. And rats had gnawed away a part of her face making her a horrifying spectre. Somehow the woman was alive.
Mother took her to Campbell Hospital as it was the nearest again. The doctor on duty was the same she had encountered before.
As soon as the doctor saw Mother Teresa he smiled and attended to her patient. Her life was saved after a long treatment. It was kind of a miracle. The grateful woman stayed on and helped in charity works for many years.
It was again and again proved that the real religion of Mother was incredible compassion.

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