True respect

By Paulo Coelho

During the evangelisation of Japan, a missionary was taken prisoner by samurai warriors.

‘If you want to remain alive, tomorrow, in front of everyone, you will trample on the image of Christ,’ said the samurai.

The missionary went to bed with not a doubt in his heart: he would never commit such a sacrilege, and he prepared himself for martyrdom.

He woke in the middle of the night and, when he got out of bed, he tripped over a man asleep on the floor. He almost fell back in astonishment: it was Jesus Christ in person!

‘Now that you have trampled on me, go outside and trample on my image,’ said Jesus. ‘Fighting for an ideal is far more important than making a futile sacrifice.’

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