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

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 1912

New York: The Master in rays of sun; Three Hearts . . .

Juliet with painting of Mrs. Coolidge, 1927
Juliet writes, on 13 June 1912:

"The next day, 13 June, as usual I went very early to the Master's house--so early that no one was there--I mean, no visitors. Some of the Persians of course were with Him: Valíy'u'lláh Khán, Ahmad and Mírzá 'Alí-Akbar. I found them in the lower hall, the English basement. The Master was sitting in the big chair by the window. He called me to a seat opposite, then began to speak, smiling.

"Juliet is absolutely truthful. For this I love her very much. She conceals nothing from me."

"It would be useless, my Lord," I said, "to try to conceal anything from You. I could hide nothing."

"That is true," said the Master, raising one hand. "Nothing; nothing."

Soon He rose. "Stay here," He told me, and went out with Ahmad.

By the time He returned a crowd had gathered. He gave a few private interviews upstairs, then came down and, sitting by the window, talked to all the people. I think the strongest image in my mind is and will always be the holy figure of the Master sitting in the rays of the sun at that window.

The meeting over, a few of us went upstairs to say a healing prayer for Mrs Hinkle-Smith, but just before Lua began to chant, the Master looked in at the door and called: "Juliet," and I happily deserted Mrs Hinkle-Smith.

"Bring your things in here and paint," He said, pointing to the library.

Oh, these sittings: so wonderful, yet so humanly difficult! We move from room to room, from one kind of light to another. The Master has given me three half hours, each time in a different room, and each time people come in and watch me. But the miraculous thing is that nothing makes any difference. The minute I begin to work the same rapture takes possession of me. Someone Else looks through my eyes and sees clearly; Someone Else works through my hand with a sort of furious precision.

On this thirteenth of June, after Lua had chanted the prayer for Mrs Hinkle-Smith, she and May came into the library, crossed over to where I was sitting and stood behind me.

The Master looked up and smiled at May. "You have a kind heart, Mrs Maxwell." Then He turned to Lua. "You, Lua, have a tender heart. And what kind of heart have you, Juliet?" He laughed. "What kind of a heart have you?"

"Oh, what kind of heart have I? You know, my Lord. I don't know."

Juliet and May
"An emotional heart." He laughed again and rolled His hands one round the other in a sort of tempestuous gesture. "You will have a boiling heart, Juliet. Now," He continued, "if these three hearts were united into one heart--kind, tender and emotional--what a great heart that would be!"

I LOVE this story! For one, it shows the playful intimacy of the Master with those who drew close. It also suggests that individually we are incomplete, imperfect, subject to one kind of thinking or feeling. How we need each other!  What kind of heart do you have? I am afraid mine is more like Juliet's than May's or Lua's, hence some of my troubles in this world. Yet Juliet was loved by the Master! Perhaps we can remember that the divine love encompasses all . . . and our human failings.

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