On a trip through the Sahara, I heard the story of a pilgrim who spent years wandering through the desert, looking for the skeleton of a man he had long ago abandoned to his fate.
Apparently, the pilgrim wandered in the desert until he found an old monastery.
In the monastery, a strange monk approached him and said:
“Your eyes tell me the story that your smile wants to hide from me. I can tell that you had to fight twice as hard to get half as much. You smile so as not to be pitiful. But your soul is tired, and you need some peace.
What was that terrible thing that brought you to this place? Tell me so that I can heal you.”
And that pilgrim confessed to the monk that he had abandoned a man in the desert years ago. And that the memory of it haunted him.
The old monk knew the story,
“They say that ten years ago, a powerful man hired the services of a Bedouin to cross the desert.
They say that, along the way, the nomad accompanied the great lord, guiding him on foot through the dunes.
They say that the millionaire, mounted on the back of a dromedary, looked at the guide with superiority and contempt.
They say he asked the poor servant if he knew how to add and subtract. And as the Bedouin did not, the great lord laughed endlessly.
They say he had such a fit of laughter that he fell off the camel.
They say that the Bedouin took advantage of the opportunity, got on the animal, and said to the great lord, “As you are so wise and I am so foolish, you don’t need me anymore, stay in the middle of this desert. And at night, the stars will guide you back to the city”.
They say this man never came out of the desert; isn’t it true?”
The pilgrim could not believe that the old monk knew his story, but it was impossible; in that desert, there was no one but him and THE MILLIONAIRE.
No one but the two of them could know the story.
At that moment, he realized who the monk was. It was the man he had abandoned in the desert. And in tears, he asked for forgiveness. But the monk quickly consoled him:
“Don’t worry, my son. You were right to leave me here. It was my destiny to be a prisoner of my words. Thanks to them, I ended up in this desert, alone and abandoned, until a group of pilgrims passed by and brought me to safety.
I learned that I was the fool and not the wise one. And that humility is what makes us great and charity humans.
After that, I sold all my possessions and set up this little monastery in the desert so that any lost pilgrim could come and regain their strength before returning to the road.
This is also your home if you want to stay.”
Apparently, the Bedouin stayed. And now, the two look after pilgrims who need a rest or help. Because in the end, we are all the same under the desert sun. We all need a little water (love).
We are not more because we have more. Nor are we less for knowing less. We are souls wandering in this desert that is life, and we can only survive together.
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