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

Friday, September 23, 2011

September 23, 1912

Denver; Hotel Shirley; Roberts home; Church of Divine Science; miracles of this promised century 
Mahmud writes: "The Master reached Denver around two o'clock in the afternoon. Mr and Mrs Ashton and some friends came to the station to meet Him. The moment they saw Him they became excited and full of joy. They took Him to the Hotel Shirley where we had made reservations on the third floor of this lovely building. He said to some newspaper reporters who had come for an interview: `I had no rest last night and am very tired. Give me a little time.' They returned at 5:00 p.m. and were permitted to take His photograph and to ask questions. At eight in the evening He went to the home of Mrs [Sidney] Roberts where friends both old and new had gathered. There were so many people that they were seen standing as far the front entrance. He spoke to them about the power of the Abhá Kingdom which had enabled Him to travel far in spite of His weak constitution and which had gathered the friends in the assemblies of the love of God. After His talk He bestowed His special blessing on each person. As the Master was leaving the meeting, the pastor of the Church of Divine Science approached Him with the utmost humility and invited Him to speak at his church. `Abdu'l-Bahá accepted. Since so many people wished to have an interview with Him, He announced that during the few days He would be in Denver, He would see anyone who would call upon Him at the hotel between nine and twelve in the morning.
Regarding His health, He said:
In the early stages of our long journey to California my health was affected. But as the journey was made for God and to diffuse the divine fragrances, my longstanding indisposition has been cured without any medicine. The confirmations of Abhá are descending from all sides.
He added:
It is written in the Hadíth [Islamic traditions] that cities shall draw nearer to each other. Besides spiritual nearness and communications between the cities of the hearts and friendships between diverse people in the promised Day, how physically close have the cities and countries also become. Truly, if not for railroads and the power of steam, how could these long distances be traversed with such ease? This is one of the miracles of this promised century of our current age."
I have an affinity with this part of the journey, partly because we've been to Denver, shooting video of the train station and of the other hotel where He stayed, the Oxford.  (The Shirley is no longer there.)

We are leaving for Green Acre, Dublin, and Boston tomorrow--so as the Master heads west (in 1912), we are pursuing His journey on the east coast. What irony!

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