San Francisco -- Sacramento: Power, Influence, Ardor overwhelming . . . the Master speechless
Mahmud writes: "Today we were to depart from San Francisco. The Master's residence was full to capacity with a multitude of friends. The power of the Cause, the influence of the Covenant of God and the ardor of the friends were overwhelming. What warmth and affection this gathering of true lovers generated in the early hours of the morning! When they heard the Master coming downstairs, everyone rose reverently. When they saw His feet on the stairs they raised the cry of Alláh-u-Abhá, their eyes fixed intently on His face, like sun-loving iguanas. Seeing the ardor and attraction of the friends, the Master was deeply moved, His face transformed. He anointed all with attar of rose and said to them:
Here I want to bid you farewell. This meeting and assemblage are very moving. This is the last draught in the goblet! How thankful we must be to the Blessed Perfection that He has brought the hearts so near to each other. This attar that I give you is but a token of the fragrance of the Abhá Paradise -- the best of all fragrances. I am very sad to be separated from you and I do not know how to express it. It is not possible to give tongue to the feelings of the heart. I am greatly moved because I saw the love of Bahá'u'lláh in you, I witnessed the light of Bahá'u'lláh in your beings. I am so moved that I cannot speak. I leave it to your hearts to feel what I feel. Although I am going away from you, you have your place in my heart. I will never forget you. When I reach the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, I shall lay my head on the Sacred Threshold and beseech confirmation for every one of the friends. These days of our meeting were blissful days. They cannot be bettered. I met you every day and I always found the hearts attracted, the eyes turned unto the Abhá Kingdom. There cannot be better days. Do you not forget them and I shall not. I beg of God that the results of this amity shall become evident, that it shall lead to spirituality in the world, to impart guidance to all who dwell on this earth. I hope for such results from this gathering that it will not be like other gatherings of people who forget each other as soon as they disperse. It is certain that because this gathering has been a divine assemblage, it will never be forgotten and whenever recollected it will produce fresh delight. This is my wish.
He was sad as He left the house. Some of the friends begged His permission to accompany Him to Sacramento, the capital of California. Among them were Mrs Goodall, Mrs Cooper and other wonderful handmaidens of God such as Mrs Ralston, who are serving the Cause with heart and soul.
As the train passed two or three stations beyond San Francisco, it reached a bay where there are ferries on whose decks are two railroad tracks that can be joined to the tracks on the banks. `Abdu'l-Bahá spent His time visiting with the friends and completing an article about the history of Bahá'u'lláh's time and His teachings. The train arrived in Sacramento at noon.
An elegant woman, who had previously received a promise from the Master, was at the station. [Christine Fraser, who operated a "Home of Truth" (based on New Thought movement) in Sacramento. With her was Carrie Yoerk, also associated with the Home of Truth. See note 334 in Mahmud for more to the story.] She begged Him to grace her home with His presence. He accepted and we rode in her automobile to her home. Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper enthusiastically assisted the other friends accompanying the Master. En route the Master remarked to us, `Let us consult together about staying at this lady's house.' When we arrived at her home, the Master requested that Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper be telephoned and asked to come. When they arrived we could see that they too did not wish Him to stay at the house. The Master then said, `We must act according to the consultation with the friends.'
After the Master bestowed His kindness on the hostess, He said:
You desired greatly that we should come to your house. We have come. We shall also take luncheon here. But at night we will stay in the hotel, for in each city we have stayed at hotels. Notwithstanding the supplications of the friends to stay in their homes, we have not accepted these invitations. But today we have come to your house.
The Master spoke in this vein until the woman finally agreed. He then went to the Hotel Sacramento. On the way He spoke and said, `I desire to act always according to the counsel and wishes of the friends unless it is a very important matter which is not good for the Cause of God, then I do hold tenaciously to whatever is advantageous to the Cause.' Continuing, He said: `The value of my conduct and fellowship is not known yet, but it shall be known later.'
A meeting was held in the evening in the salon of the hotel. A large number of friends and seekers were attracted to the teachings and discourses of the Master. Since it was evident that there were much interest among the audience, the friends announced there would be a public meeting the following morning in the same hall. [More in Lua's description in Metelmann, Lua Getsinger, 177–78]
A year ago (1911) when the Master was in Paris, He said this:
"Let us spread the Cause of God, for which I suffered persecution.
What a privilege it is for us to meet here in freedom. How happy for us that God has so decided that we may work together for the coming of the Kingdom!
Are you pleased to receive such a guest, freed from his prison to bring the glorious Message to you? He who never could have thought such a meeting possible! Now by the Grace of God, by His wonderful Power, I, who was condemned to perpetual imprisonment in a far off town of the East, am here in Paris talking with you!
Henceforward we shall always be together, heart and soul and spirit, pressing forward in the work till all men are gathered together under the tent of the Kingdom, singing the songs of peace."
A marvelous thought, that we shall always be together!