Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 30, 1912 Treasuries of the heart

New York: clinging to His robe . . . gifts . . . excitement and joy beyond description
Mahmud writes: "Some of the believers agreed among themselves to go to `Abdu'l-Bahá and cling to His robe until He accepted their gifts. They came and begged He accept their offerings. The Master called them, saying:
I am most grateful for your services; in truth you have served me. You have extended hospitality. Night and day you have been ready to serve and to diffuse the divine fragrances. I shall never forget your services, for you have no purpose but the will of God and you desire no station but entry into the Kingdom of God. Now you have brought presents for the members of my family. They are most acceptable and excellent but better than all these are the gifts of the love of God which remain preserved in the treasuries of the heart. These gifts are evanescent but those are eternal; these jewels must be kept in boxes and vaults and they will eventually perish but those jewels remain in the treasuries of the heart and will remain throughout the world of God for eternity. Thus I will take to them your love, which is the greatest of all gifts. In our house they do not wear diamond rings nor do they keep rubies. That house is sanctified above such adornments.
I, however, have accepted your gifts; but I entrust them to you for you sell and send the proceeds to the fund for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Chicago.
When the friends continued to plead with Him, He said: `I want to take from you a present which will endure in the eternal world and a jewel which belongs to the treasuries of the heart. This is better.'
No matter how much the friends supplicated and pleaded, He would not accept their gifts and instead asked them all to contribute towards the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár fund. He did this everywhere He traveled.
Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper asked the Master, as He had not accepted their gifts -- which would have drawn blessings and confirmations upon them -- to give them permission to render Him some service on His travels. They even wrote letters to some of His companions, asking them to intercede on their behalf that they might render a service and share the Master's travel expenses. However, He would not accept their offer and refused all entreaties.
There was a public meeting at the home of Mrs Kinney. `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about love, loyalty, unity, the amity of the believers, spreading the Word of God, the promotion of universal peace and the brotherhood of humanity. The excitement and joy of the believers were beyond description."

What a lesson here! When I look at the piles of clothes I own or the jewelry I make/buy/own, and compare them to the poor, pitiful jewels of my heart, I sigh. I'm afraid we humans often favor the evanescent over the eternal. 
This image of clinging to His robe, begging Him to take things, and then being excited and joyful beyond description--well, the days are laden with a kind of passion that is rare.  Five more days--oh, my. 

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