The Jewel Merchant
Spiritual Story by Anthony de Mello
“How gracious of you to say so,” said the other. As a matter of fact, that is one of the smaller gems in my collection.”
A bedouin who was sitting by the fire and had observed this drama, rose and invited the two of them to eat with him. When they began their meal, this is the story he told them:
“I, too, my friends, was once upon a time, a jeweler like you. One day I was overtaken by a great storm in the desert. It buffeted me and my caravan this way and that till I was separated from my entourage and lost my way completely.
Days passed and I was panic-stricken to realize that I was really wandering bout in circles with no sense of where I was or which direction to walk in. Then, almost dead with starvation, I unloaded every bag on my camel’s back, anxiously searching through them for the hundredth time.
Imagine my excitement when I came upon a pouch that had escaped my notice before. With trembling fingers I ripped it open hoping to find something to eat. Imagine my disillusionment when I found that all it contained was pearls!”