Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

This reminds of another story about a saint who was very ugly. This saint's body was covered with nodules, with fleshy growths, and so grotesque was his appearance that people couldn't bear the sight of him. And yet this saint, unlike the saint in the previous story, was loved by the people around him. This was because the saint was very compassionate, and he used to use his powers to heal those around him. Although people could not bear to look at him, they loved him, because he had cured so many of them of their afflictions.

The years passed and, despite his ugliness, crowds began to gather round the saint wherever he was, begging to be healed or cured. Patiently, the saint would go from person to person, healing them as he went. This went on for years and years and one day, someone called out to him, "You've healed so many of us, why don't you use your talent and cure yourself of your disease?"

"Shut up!" the saint demanded, and the people were shocked because they had never seen the saint angry before. "Don't you realize," the saint continued, "that these growths are the rungs of the ladder by which I reach the height?"


THAT'S HOW IT WAS, pp. 329-330
1995 © Eruch Jessawala


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