"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
The Good Samaritan wasn't a Christian. In fact, he wasn't even a Jew. His theology was likely either questionable or non-existent. However, that didn't seem to bother Jesus, who used him as a prime example of love in action. This fact drove the religious leaders insane 2,000 years ago, and it does the same to today's religious elite.
Mother Teresa has won a Nobel Peace Prize and a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in India. She left the comforts of her home to build orphanages in the poorest communities in India. Thousands upon thousands of lives were literally saved by her compassion and generosity. Yet, she has ironically received the most criticism, not from unbelievers, but from Christians who felt like she didn't spend enough time trying to convert her patients.
"When I asked Mother Teresa whether she converted [people], she answered, ‘Yes, I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu, or a better Muslim, or a better Protestant, or a better Catholic, or a better Parsee, or a better Sikh, or a better Buddhist. And after you have found God, it is for you to do what God wants you to do.’" (Link)
Rich Mullins took a vow of poverty and lived on a Native American reservation for much of his life.
Henri Nouwen spent most of his adult life caring for and living with people with extreme disabilities.
I love this photo of a father and son walking in Shenzhen, China, where I used to live. The father is drenched so his son can be dry and comfortable. What a nice photo by my former colleague Jesse Desousa, depicting sacrifice over comfort.