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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 13, 1912

Corinne True
Chicago: tea prepared with love; confirmations and favors; broadening and elevating thoughts and minds
Mahmud writes: "Mrs True prepared tea for us. When some of the Persian friends remarked to `Abdu'l-Bahá that `there was better tea' than this, the Master replied, `This tea is very good because it has been prepared with love.' Referring to His expenses, He said:
Sometimes I give away as much as $1,000, if I have it, but at another time I do not spend even a single dollar. This is so that affairs are regulated. Thus it is that I say that I want the friends to become divine and godly under the shadow of the favor of the Abhá Beauty. Through the teachings and bestowals of the Blessed Perfection happiness and prosperity can be gained. I swear by God, besides Whom there is no other God, that although we might have traversed America from the east to the west, had not His confirmations and favors been with us, no one would have paid any heed to us. It is all through His aid and assistance that these doors have been opened. It is with the power of faith that we ascend to the highest apex and attain honor in the all-glorious Kingdom. So it is that these honorable souls serve us with such love and sincerity.
Visitors began to arrive. The friends from surrounding communities pleaded with Him to come to their cities. But because of the limited time and His plan to journey to the West, He did not accept their invitations. Reporters also came. He spoke on various subjects relating to the Cause and they took notes for publication in their newspapers.
At the meeting `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the establishment of the divine civilization through the power of Bahá'u'lláh and about the world's need for the divine teachings:
Without divine civilization the mysteries of the Kingdom are not revealed and the bounties of heaven are not ascertained; supernatural wisdom and power do not manifest themselves; the intelligence of humanity does not reach maturity; the world of humanity does not become the mirror of the world above; spiritual powers fail to overcome animal influences of nature. These perfections are attained through divine civilization of which the world of man is in need.
After the meeting one of the friends who came to see Him was Mr Jackson of Kenosha, Wisconsin.275 He told `Abdu'l-Bahá that the believers and seekers were anxiously awaiting His visit and that a minister had asked Him to promise to speak in his church.
Since the friends were allowed to visit en masse, each morning there was such a crowd that there was no way up or down the stairs. When the Master got tired, He would take a walk outside and then return to the house.
Today another group, including some of the black believers, visited `Abdu'l-Bahá. Here are some of His words to them:
If a man has spiritual characteristics, be he white or black, he is near to God. Some have protested to me, asking why I seek to cultivate love between the whites and the blacks. Yet what a great error they make. You see people who love their dogs because of their faithfulness and the protection they provide. If but one good trait endears a dog to a human, why shouldn't praiseworthy qualities cause a man to be loved and respected? Why should fellowship with an upright person be avoided? When people are prepared to fondle an animal day and night, why should they shun association with an intelligent human being?
My hope is that you will rid and purify yourselves of imitations so that your thoughts and minds will be broadened and elevated, that you will be seekers of the truth, the lovers of the servants of God and the cause of the oneness of humanity.
Today an important philosopher together with the president of the Worker's Union, a socialist, visited the Master. They were so moved by the Master's explanations and proofs of the existence of God and His divine laws that the friends' hearts were overjoyed to see their sincerity and humility before Him.
This evening the three large rooms on the ground floor of Mrs True's home were filled with so many visitors that people were standing in the hallways. The Master walked among the crowd and spoke about the assistance of the Blessed Beauty, the spread of the Cause of God and the impact of the Word of God on the churches and meetings. The gist of His talk was this: Look at the history of the world and try to find a parallel instance in which a native of the East has come to the countries of the West, particularly America, and called out to them in the churches and meetings there, raised the divine call in many of the large cities and invited everyone to the Abhá Kingdom, with no one taking exception. Nay, on the contrary, those present at the gatherings have heard him with patience and unbounded joy. These things have been achieved solely through the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom."

Wouldn't you love to make a cup of tea for `Abdu'l-Bahá? Or to experience directly some of the confirmations of the trip? 

Every day I am experiencing confirmations just following the journey. Drawn to others who are engaged in research or documentation--or simply drawn to the approaching anniversary or the film we are making--I am astonished by the connections.  I need to make time to tell some of the stories. . . . 

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