A Saint in the Wrong Place

This is a beautiful story that I found on Paulo Coelho’s blog.  It is simple but makes a powerful point, which leaves a lasting impression.  I hope you all enjoy it too.

A Saint in the Wrong Place

By Paulo Coelho

‘Why is it that some people can resolve the most complicated problems really easily, whilst others agonize over every tiny crisis and end up drowning in a glass of water?’ I asked.

Ramesh replied by telling the following story:‘Once upon a time, there was a man who had been the soul of kindness all his life. When he died, everyone assumed that he would go straight to Heaven, for the only possible place for a good man like him was Paradise. The man wasn’t particularly bothered about going to Heaven, but that was where he went.

Now in those days, service in heaven was not all that it might be. The reception desk was extremely inefficient, and the girl who received him gave only a cursory glance through the index cards before her and when she couldn’t find the man’s name, she sent him straight to Hell. And in Hell no one asks to check your badge or your invitation, for anyone who turns up is invited in. The man entered and stayed.

Some days later, Lucifer stormed up to the gates of Heaven to demand an explanation from St Peter. “What you’re doing is pure terrorism!” he said.  St Peter asked why Lucifer was so angry, and an enraged Lucifer replied: “You sent that man down into Hell, and he’s completely undermining me! Right from the start, there he was listening to people, looking them in the eye, talking to them. And now everyone’s sharing their feelings and hugging and kissing. That’s not the sort of thing I want in Hell! Please, let him into Heaven!’

When Ramesh had finished telling the story, he looked at me fondly and said: ‘Live your life with so much love in your heart that if, by mistake, you were sent to Hell, the Devil himself would deliver you up to Paradise.’

15 Responses to “A Saint in the Wrong Place”
  1. kealan says:

    I love this story, never read it before 🙂

  2. Harmeet says:

    Wow! So lovely, gave me goosebumps!

  3. Josephine says:

    I’ve read it before but it was some time ago, I really like it a lot!

    Another one I love even more is the story about the two jars, one of them cracked
    dripping out half of the water on the way back to the house from the well.
    The cracked jar feels guilty and ashamed for not delivering as much as the whole one
    and one day ask the owner why he hasn’t thrown him away for a good jar.
    The owner then told him to look at the side of the road were they walk every day.
    On that side of the road the jar saw a lot of beautiful flowers. The owner told him
    that if it had not ben cracked there would not be any flowers because the water the jar
    let out gave them life.

  4. Pandora says:

    Heaven and Hell, paradise or the abyss, at any time the wheel of fortune can turn around on this earth:
    ‘The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, “I shall today be uppermost” ‘
    ~ Confucius

    Many thanks Priya.

  5. Annie says:

    that question has been in my mind lately… why some people walk on water, and others get underwater, drowning in a cup of water…. Drowning is Hell..but that man of the story could breath underwater, because he lived with Love..
    thank you for sharing that story dear Priya!

    Love and Gratitude

  6. Rima says:

    WOW…..ur stories n messages r jus fabulous…n i love Paulo Cohelo…he is jus magnificiant…he can make anyone smile n tk away the stress wid his beautiful words…n am lucky to have read almost all his books…God Bless u guys..coz its people like u n paulo who mke earth …..The Paradise…thanxxxx

  7. Rikunjkumar says:

    Really great story.

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