Sister Lucy Kurien, lovingly nicknamed the 'Mother Teresa of Pune,' is a resolute, nurturing spirit for all people everywhere. Walking down the street, if she sees an abandoned child or elder or person in need, she quite literally picks them up, brings them home. "When God shows me a need, I serve," she says. Though she runs a massive organization today, her motto is the same as it was decades ago: "there's always room for one more."
In 1997, Sister Lucy began Maher in a small home in a village outside of Pune, India. This humble beginning has since blossomed into over 46 homes around India, now touching tens of thousands of women, men and children in hundreds of communities. Maher means 'mother's home' in her local language of Marathi, and Sister Lucy has created the warmth and love of a mother's home for destitute children and adults. Her work has attracted countless awards, her events often include the likes of President of India, and wisdom keepers from across the world consider her a kin. When she met Pope Francis and asked for his blessings, he replied, "No, Sister, I seek your blessings."
Through her journey, Sister Lucy's most fundamental prayer is simply that the fire of love ignite in people's hearts and inspires them to serve. While her daily life now interfaces with thousands of people, if you ask about her strategy, she'll be the first to humbly remark, "I don't know. I just pray." Here's a classic story she shared a few years ago:
"Everyone asks their higher-ups for greater wisdom, but I have no one over me. Who do I go to? Especially, earlier in the village, with no communication channels, sitting in a village, faced with a very complicated situation, what do I do? I have no choice but to fall on my knees, pray and surrender. Every morning, I wake up and pray, "May Divine Energy enter me, and may it flow through each of my actions. May you walk with me every moment." That surrender is the source of my strength.
Divine always responds. I can feel it. We can all feel it, but it's just that we're too busy with other plans. As we come to trust it, skillfulness works through our hands, head and heart.
At one of our homes, the government officials were asking for a bribe. I never give a single rupee for a bribe. For three years, we had no electricity. Then one fine day, the officials came for a visit. After seeing everything, they ask for bribe again. I spontaneously took him in front of a random row of half a dozen kids, and told him their stories. And then I asked, "For the amount of bribe I would give to you, I would have to put two of these kids on the streets. Can you tell me which two kids you would choose?" We soon had electricity."