Human Beings and Faith

By Paulo Coelho
For The Bali Times

Is that all?

Sri Ramakrishna tells of a man who was just about to cross a river when the teacher Bibhishana approached him, wrote a name on a piece of paper, fixed it to the man’s back and said:
“Fear not. Your faith will help you to walk upon the waters. But the moment you lose your faith, you will drown.”
The man trusted Bibhishana and began to walk effortlessly across the waters. At one point, however, he had an immense desire to know what his teacher had written on the piece of paper fixed to his back.
He got hold of it and read what was written on it: “Oh God Rama, help this man to cross the river.”
“Is that all?” thought the man. “Who is this God Rama anyway?”
As soon as doubt entered his mind, he went under and was drowned.

The girl and the storm

The worried mother phoned the school and was told that the girl had already left the school despite the storm. Seeing that she had not arrived home yet, she put on a raincoat and went out – imagining that her daughter must be taking shelter in a neighbor’s house crying and waiting for the storm to pass.
As soon as she turned the corner, she saw the girl walking slowly towards the house; but she stopped every time lightning fell, looked up at the sky, and smiled.
“Can’t you see the flashes of lightning, mummy? God is taking pictures of me!”

True respect

During the Christianizing of Japan, a missionary was arrested by the samurais.
“If you want to go on living, tomorrow you will have to trample on Christ’s statue, in front of everyone,” said the warriors.
The missionary went to bed, without the least doubt in his heart: he would never commit such a sacrilege, and was prepared to be a martyr.
He woke in the middle of the night, and on rising from his bed he stumbled over a man sleeping on the floor. He almost fell over backwards: it was Jesus Christ himself, in person!
“Now that you’ve stood on me, go outside and trample on my statue,” said Jesus. “Because fighting for an idea is far more important than the vanity of a sacrifice.”

Praying for everybody

A farmer whose wife was ill called a Buddhist priest to his house. The priest began to pray to God to heal all the sick.
“Just a minute,” interrupted the farmer. “I asked you to pray for my wife, and you are praying for all the sick; you could end up helping my neighbor, who is also unwell. And I don’t like him.”
“By praying for everyone, I am joining together in my prayers the thousands of people who at this very moment are imploring for their sick ones. In unison, these voices reach God and benefit everyone. Divided, they lose their force, and get nowhere.”

© Translated by James Mulholland

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