Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve.

For many, Mother Theresa is the epitomy of what it means to truly serve as a Christian in the world today.  She was humble, compassionate, and truly remarkable in her desire to serve her fellow man.  Her inspiration to the world was one reason I was so excited to review this book.  Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations.  It is rare for me to give a negative review, and I must be upfront in saying that much of my disappointment stemmed from an expectation that this would read and feel much like a devotional.  It doesn’t.

This book is a lovely keepsake, but certainly not one to sit and devour as a single read.  Her insights are profound and challenge many ideas of modern “success,” calling on individuals to help those in need without question.  She is not always warm and inviting, nor are her words intended to chastize or “cut to the bone.”  Truthfully and honestly, Mother Theresa provides her wisdom on showing mercy and grace while helping those around us who often need it most (including ourselves).

She addresses topics that are often overlooked, such as visiting and caring for those imprisoned, bearing burdens patiently (rather than looking for the easiest and quickest way to feel better), the need to pray for all (not just those we truly know and care for), and so on.  I suppose when I requested this book for review, I expected a more topical division for the book, where I could look up a particular topic, such as poverty, and see quotes or writings from Mother Theresa on this specific topic. I supposed I was picturing a type of devotional or daily readings format, and the actual set-up wasn’t conducive to this type of reading at all.

Also, while much of the book is written using her own words, there is a great deal written from the perspective of others sharing their testimonies from encounters with Mother Theresa.  I can’t say I cared too much for these, but again this may be due to my unfounded expectations of what the book would look like and how it would formatted.   The words of Mother Theresa challenged me and inspired me more than the testimonies, and I think if the book had been set up the way I envisioned, it would have had a much more powerful impact on readers.

Each chapter does close with a brief prayer used by Mother Theresa in her devotionals, which was perhaps the most impactful part of the reading for me.  Personally, while this might make a great gift for certain individuals in your life, I wouldn’t purchase this for use as a devotional or way to extend growth of faith.

**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.