Many sources have relayed this story of Gandhi’s extraordinary wisdom in peacemaking.
On one of Gandhi’s prayer and fasting to the death attempts to bring Muslim and Hindu radicals to lay down their arms and reconcile, a group of Hindu radicals enter the Muslim home where Gandhi has chosen to fast to lay down their weapons. One of the wildest of the group tells Gandhi to stop his fast and eat: “Here! Eat! I am going to hell; but I do not wish to have your death on my soul!”
In a whisper, Gandhi responds, “Only God decides who goes to hell. Tell me, why do you say you are going to hell?”
The man answers, “I killed a small [Muslim] child! I dashed his head against the wall because they killed my little one.”
“I will tell you a way out of hell,” Gandhi shares. “You find a Muslim child whose parents have been killed. Then you and your wife bring him up as your own.”
The Hindu radical is too stunned to speak, but bows touching his forehead to Gandhi’s feet.
Hell is all about separation—separation from God, and from meaningful relationships with men. The cycle of vengeance starts the process of a living hell on earth.
In heaven, on the other hand, we’ll experience holy intimacy with God and men. Earthly differences will have been completely overcome by perfect love. When we choose here on earth to love those who are different than us—as Jesus taught us, to even “love our enemies”—we join with God’s heart to bring heaven to earth.
Jesus instructed us to pray it: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” There is a way out of the living hell mankind has created here on earth—by our prayers and our deeds of love, believe it, we will see heaven begin to invade earth!