Simplicity
by AKJ UK

There was once a simple shepherd who lived a really simple life and he had really simple needs. He would look after his sheep everyday, they were his only family and he would really enjoy looking after them...

One night as he sat down to eat under the roof of the starlit sky, an overwhelming feeling of love came over him. He looked up and he saw the night sky lit up with thousands of brilliant stars and he thought, "VAAH, you are wonderful!! You created the heavenly stars and you also created a fool like me!"

He felt so proud to part of the same creation as the beautiful stars. With love filled eyes he said "Tonight, I do not want to eat alone. I want you to eat with me! If you are hungry like me then I would rather feed you. If your clothes are tattered like mine then I would rather mend them than mine. If you smell the way I do then I would rather bathe you - I have no need to keep these things for myself - if I give them to you then it means I also have them!!" The simple man then said "give me a sign that you are here with me and only then shall I begin to eat."

A Faqir was walking past at the same time as this simple man was saying his plea to God. Upon hearing what the simple man was saying the Faqir become infuriated. He went over to the simple man and said "How dare you say these things about God!! God doesn't have tattered clothes, He is never hungry and He does not smell!!" Upon saying these things to the simple man he slapped him as hard as he could and walked off saying "You should be ashamed of yourself!!"

The simple man was still in a state of bliss and said "If you choose to slap me then that is also a divine blessing!! I Love You." The shepherd accepted this as his sign that God was with him and began to eat.

When the Faqir got home he sat down to do his prayers, a voice came and said "Faqir, what have I done to upset you?" The Faqir realised that it was God's voice said "Father, nothing you do could ever upset me!"

"Then why did you slap me?" said the voice. "Slap you? Father I could never slap you!!" said the Faqir.

"I was enjoying the love that the shepherd was giving me, so I sat in his soul, then you came along and slapped him and therefore slapped me," said the voice. "But father, he was saying disrespectful things to you, I had to stop him" said the Faqir. "The insult is in the intention my son, those words that he was saying were like a love song to me because I could feel his heart, while you listened to his words and not his heart!" said the voice.

The Faqir realised what a mistake he had made and asked God for forgiveness...

Who are we to say where God is not... only He knows where He is. We must think before we act...