A saint in the wrong place

heaven - Ken Crane

heaven - Ken Crane

‘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.’

I posted this story by Paulo Coelho last summer, but as it is such a lovely story, I have followed the example of Paulo Coelho and posted again, this time with an illustration by my good friend Ken Crane.

Another lovely story


The world would be a better place if we all carried out random acts of kindness every day.

Even Hell can be transformed!

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3 Responses to “A saint in the wrong place”

  1. Breda Moore Says:

    The world would be a better place if we all carried out random acts of kindness every day.
    So True.
    I am smiling having read the story again,thanks for reminder of Paulos story of and of course Kens illustration! haha that last guy with cool hat and sunglasses and stick ..looks like he has just walked the Camino!! Makes me smile.
    I was in my local health food store on my way to work recently, I was planning to buy 2 fruit bars,gluten free fro my breakfast , I was using my debit card .The amount the bars came to were under 5 euros and has to be over that amount to use the card the assiatant said.
    A woman next to me insisited on buying my treats for me ..she said’ it will come back to me ..’
    : )

  2. Ken Crane Says:

    Thank you very much for the post Keith {<:

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