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“O ye servants of the Sacred Threshold! The triumphant hosts of the Celestial Concourse, arrayed and marshalled in the realms above, stand ready and expectant to assist and assure victory to that valiant horseman who with confidence spurs on his charger into the arena of service.” (Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, no 208, p. 264)
One day in the guesthouse in `Akká, `Abdu’l-Bahá told the following story:
In his memoirs, Youness Afroukhteh (Nine Years in Akka), describes how they celebrated the Ridván festivities in Bahji during the ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He recounts the following.
We have, as a world wide community, soon completed the construction of Continental Houses of Worships and have initiated National and Local Houses of Worship. We see that the Universal House of Justice, in their Messages and Letters, informs about the progress of the constructions of the Houses of Worships. Letters from the Universal House of Justice dated 1st of August 2014 and the letter to the friends in Iran dated 18 December 2014 are two examples.
Hand of the Cause Faizi once told the story of when, one night, “the Master asked someone to write the names of those who had contributed something for the fund of the Temple in Ishqábád. One of the friends, who was serving the Pilgrim House in `Akká, did not have any money. He said to the Master, “Beloved Master, could I borrow ten cents from you? I want to contribute, but I don’t have any money.”
He said, “Of course,” and gave him ten cents, and please write, “He borrowed these ten cents from `Abdu’l-Bahá.” When it was finished, `Abdu’l-Bahá said, “How I wish I could go to the Temple and work myself. I would go there and work with the laborers until the erection of this Temple, but I am in prison. I cannot get out of this country.” He was walking and repeating these words, “How I wish that somebody could go in my stead, in my behalf to do this.” And the same man got up, and said, “I will go.” And he said, “When I stood up and said that I would go, I said to myself, `You didn’t want to go.'” And he said, “When I volunteered, I thought that `Abdu’l-Bahá would say, `All right, after one month or so,” but He said, “All right, early in the morning.”
In a Tablet, `Abdu’l-Bahá wrote that “This man is coming to work on the Temple on my behalf. He will carry stones, he will carry mud, he will carry cement, all these things will be done in my name.” And he did this.
It might be time to read more deeply about the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. If so, I highly recommend a wonderful online compilation called Mashriqu’l-Adhkár – ‘…the crowning institution of every Bahá’í community.’
One of the wisdoms and reasons for the Bahai Fast is to experience the state in which ones beloved is in. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says;
“For every sincere soul who has a beloved longs to experience that state in which his beloved is. If his beloved is in a state of sorrow, he desires sorrow; if in a state of joy, he desires joy; if in a state of rest, he desires rest; if in a state of trouble, he desires trouble.”
Maybe this story about the Master, while in Akka, will serve to give us a small reminder.
I came across a webpage that has collected many Bahai stories and categorized them under different headings such as courage, trust, generosity etc. It is an impressing collection of stories (www.bahaistories.com). Here is a story about trust in God.
One day a woman came to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with her sorrows. As she told her story, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tried to calm her and said, “Don’t be sad now, don’t be sad.” The Woman said, “My brother has been in prison for three years. He should not have been imprisoned because it was not his fault. He was weak and followed others. He will be in prison for four more years. My mother and father are full of sorrow all the time. My brother in law used to take care of us, but he has just died.” The Master could see the whole human story.
Here was a family which was experiencing every form of misery-they were poor, they were weak, they were sad, disgraced, and without any hope whatsoever. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “You must trust in God.”
“But,” the woman cried, “the more I trust, the worse things become!”
“You have never trusted,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
“But my mother is reading the Bible all of the time,” she said. “She does not deserve that God should leave her so helpless! I read the Bible myself; I say the 91st Psalm and the 23rd Psalm every night before I go to bed. I pray too.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá looked at her lovingly and said, “To pray is not to read the Bible. To pray is to trust in God and accept His Will. You must be patient and accept the Will of God, then things will change for you. Put your family in God’s hands. Trust in God and love His Will. Strong ships are not conquered by the sea; they ride the waves! Now be a strong ship, not a battered one.”
(Gloria Faizi, Stories About ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)