The Man And His Shadow

The Man And His Shadow

By Paulo Coelho

Many years ago, there lived a man who was capable of loving and forgiving everyone he came across. Because of this, God sent an angel to talk to him.

‘God asked me to come and visit you and tell you that he wishes to reward you for your goodness,’ said the angel. ‘You may have any gift you wish for. Would you like the gift of healing?’

‘Certainly not,’ said the man. ‘I would prefer God to choose those who should be healed.’

‘And what about leading sinners back to the path of Truth?’

‘That’s a job for angels like you. I don’t want to be venerated by anyone or to serve as a permanent example.’

‘Look, I can’t go back to Heaven without having given you a miracle. If you don’t choose, I’ll have to choose one for you.’

The man thought for a moment and then said:

‘All right, I would like good to be done through me, but without anyone noticing, not even me, in case I should commit the sin of vanity.’

So the angel arranged for the man’s shadow to have the power of healing, but only when the sun was shining on the man’s face. In this way, wherever he went, the sick were healed, the earth grew fertile again, and sad people rediscovered happiness.

The man traveled the Earth for many years, oblivious of the miracles he was working because when he was facing the sun, his shadow was always behind him. In this way, he was able to live and die unaware of his own holiness.


2 thoughts on “The Man And His Shadow”

  1. I’ve been given the gift of healing, and I believe God is deciding who will be helped. This ability probably makes me a little vain, but I’m sure God will bear over with me. I will not trade this ability for anything. To me the physical experience when healing takes place is the best thing in my life – besides my children. It is also the physical proof of God’s presence in and around us. When I tell other people in very difficult situations about this, it gives them hope and strength to get through very difficult periods of their life. It also strengthens other people in their belief in God or a spiritual power.

    I think the sin of vanity might become a bigger problem if I try to be a perfect role model. My criminal record – as far as I know – has been taking a few apples from a garden once in my childhood, and taking a tiny bottle of musk oil from a store when I was about 13. My mother made me go back to apologize for the theft of apples, and when I took the musk oil – which was an “in-thing” to do among some of the kids at school for a few days – I went back to the store the next day to put it back on the shelf. In my twenties I inhaled mariuhana twice – the second time I drank a little beer, wine and whiskey – and almost died afterwords. Since I have been extremely careful with alcohol. Both drugs and alcohol mess up the chemistry of the brain, and once you know the spiritual power your body becomes your temple.
    My last sins are speeding, which has given me 3 (I believe) tickets. But as I say – you cannot sit and stare at the speedometer all the time. (And I have been driving since 1983.) So if you don’t have cruise control and are a little out of luck, that might happend. These are me only crimes, as far as I know. I try to give more than I take in other aspects of life, and I’m not worried about God’s judgement. Not at all. (Even if I’ve made love with the wrong person, at the wrong time, at the wrong place. I think it is a greater sin to not have made love to a man in a year or two.)

    So whenever I can help someone who has come astray back on track (health, drugs, alcohol, diet, political/fascist, violent behaviour, (spirituality I don’t know)), I will do that. But I will never pretend to be better than other people, because I’m not. I have been lucky with my parents, and I have been lucky with the country in which I was born and raised. This has given me a fundament for wanting to help others. Even though I’m not perfect, and don’t strive to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s