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A Sufi Story

According to an old Sufi story, one day some of the children of Israel went up to Moses and said, “You talk to God. Please tell him that we want to invite him to dinner.” Moses became extremely angry. He said that God does not eat or come to dinner. But the next time Moses went up to Mt. Sinai, God said to him, “Why didn’t you inform me of my dinner invitation from my servants?” Moses said, “But my Lord, You don’t eat. You don’t answer foolish invitations like this.” God replied. “Keep what you know between you and Me. Tell them that i will come in answer to their invitation.”

So Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and announced that God was coming to dinner after all. Of course they all, including Moses, prepared an incredible feast. While they were busy cooking the finest dishes and preparing everything, an old man unexpectedly showed up. he was poor and hungry, and he asked for something to eat. The busy cooks said, “No, no, we are waiting for God. When God comes, we will all eat. Why don’t you make yourself useful and help fetch water from the well?” They gave nothing to this poor man. Time passed, but God did not appear. Moses became terribly embarrassed and did not know what to tell everyone.

The next day Moses went up to Mt. Sinai and said, “God, what are you doing to me? I’m trying to convince everybody that you exist. You said you would come to our feast, and then you never showed up. Nobody is going to believe me anymore!” God replied, “But i did come. If you had fed my poor servant, you would have fed me.”

God said, “I, who cannot be fit into all the universes, fit into the heart of my believing servant.” When you serve one of God’s servants, you serve God. Not the prophets, but also the saints can be called God’s servants The general principle is that when you serve the created, you serve the creator.

Essential Sufism, James Fadiman & Robert Frager

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