Soon after arriving in Calcutta, Miriam and I just walked over and showed up at Mother Teresa’s door. As we had hoped, the sisters were gracious and happy to have us. They ushered us right in and we got to meet Mother Teresa that very day. And it was just that simple. I’m not sure what I had expected. But I do recall hoping that, if we did get to meet her, we might witness some really cool saint-like quality or manifestation – something. But she didn’t levitate. No glowing halo crowned her head, no great throng of followers hung on her every word. There was nothing like that. And though she must have received thousands of visitors over the years, Mother Teresa was patient and welcoming to Miriam and me when we met her.
What has stayed with me all these years is the kindness in her eyes. But there was something I didn’t expect: her sense of humor. She made me laugh. Not just once, but every time we met her. It seemed to come naturally – an easy kind of joking around. I remember thinking that aside from her being a living saint, I liked her as a person. She didn’t seem self-conscious or shy. She was the kind of person who puts you at ease and makes you want to hang around, even if it was just to shoot the breeze. She was just there – simple, funny, intense. And perfectly ordinary.