At a meditation meeting a few nights ago, our Rhode Island meditation centre leader reminded me that I needed to bring toothbrushes and toothpaste to our next meeting in a couple of days. These items are part of our contribution to an annual collection by the American Sri Chinmoy Centres to give to the MIssionaries of Charity – Mother of Teresa mission. Each October we purchase items such as chocolates, coloring books and crayons, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and clothing which are then put together in New York City to be given as Christmas gifts by the MIssionaries of Charity. This contribution embodies the support and friendship that blossomed between Mother of Teresa and Sri Chinmoy some years ago.
I didn’t realize that I was even signed up for this item and I immediately went shopping the next day after I got out of work. I was slightly stressed out about the short window of time to do the errands and whether I would find them for an inexpensive price given my own financial predicament of the moment. There was no wiggle room in my budget this month, however worthy the cause.
I originally parked my car in front of a store that specializes in discount and remainder items that I pass on my way home from work. After I got out of the car, I noticed the Dollar Store in the same shopping plaza and decided to go in there first.
To my wide surprise, as soon as I walked into the store I saw two Mother of Teresa nuns in their white saris with the dark blue border at the checkout counter paying the cashier for a purchase. I approached them and said “You are Mother of Teresa” and they said yes that they have a mission located on County St. in New Bedford, MA. (the next town over from where this Dartmouth, MA. Dollar Store is located).
Of course, I gushed that I just happened to be here to buy items for the Missionaries of Charity and that I was affiliated with the Sri Chinmoy Centre and that Sri Chinmoy and Mother of Teresa had offered each other mutual support and friendship when they were both still on Earth. They just smiled and didn’t really say much more.
After they left, every trace of reluctance and stress within me for my task vanished. These two nuns emanated such simplicity, divinity and goodness in our fleeting interaction that I wished I could only emulate them and be inspired by their radiance.
I found my inexpensive toothpaste and toothbrushes and felt that it was absolutely meant to be that I purchase at least some of the items in that very store. What are the chances of this divine coincidence? And it is compounded by another divine coincidence! The day it happened – October 1st – is the day that Sri Chinmoy gave Mother Teresa the U Thant Peace Award in Italy in 1994. Here is some brief video footage of that special occasion from SriChinmoyVideo: