After Feast, the spiritual dessert of teaching

Welcome to the Feast of RahmatOn Monday, my beautiful daughters helped us host the Feast of Rahmat (Mercy). In preparation, they had colored these 9-pointed stars in “rainbow” colors with signs for different virtues on each welcome card — I had told them that we will have many Baha’i guests and even the spirit of Abdu’l Baha will be with us. As the guests started arriving, the girls would enthusiastically greet each of them and would hand them one of the cards. Their mom had had the wonderful idea, following suggestions from JB Eckl and Eric Dozier, to spread rose petals on the stairs leading to the room where the Feast was hosted and that helped create a truly magnificent atmosphere! There were vases full of cream-colored roses and, at the end, the girls gave each guest a rose to take home! It was beautiful a beautiful Feast indeed!

The most beautiful was, of course, seeing the inspired faces of our girls — the older one almost 5 years old and the younger one almost 3 years old — as they listened to the gorgeous song “Let All Associate” by New Creation / TaliaSafa, proud as they were to have welcomed all the guests to Baha’i Feast.

Then the time to say prayers came. My older daughter decided she was too shy. We probably should have been more patient and give her a chance but we had to move on with the Feast program and covered for her. My younger one was less shy, or more oblivious, and sang her soft version of “Say God Sufficeth”. In the end all went fine, of course, and everyone liked the Feast.

What I personally liked the most was the sense of pride you could see on my daugthers’ faces, and the questions my big girl asked when I was putting her to bed. When I praised her for doing wonderful job in preparing for the Feast and welcoming all the guests, she said, “But daddy, God did not come!” And I said, “Yes, He did come, He is always in our hearts; we just need to notice He is there. And how we notice is by keeping our hearts pure.” Then I had to explain that yes, she is pure, and how she can stay this way is by keeping her thoughts and deeds pure. You can only imagine the sweetness of the hugs this girl and her younger sister give.

This same night, Baha’u’llah, provided another lesson in patience. As I was waiting for the next bus, an African-American gentleman who was on his way to work as a night guard at the Ballston Commons Mall came by and we started talking: about the weather, about the climate changes and the economy, and the world we live in, and that we should be grateful for what we have. I kept on thinking that I should talk to him about the Baha’i Faith, but I was hesitant, just as my daughter had been only a couple of hours earlier. I did asked him if he was religious and he replied, “Yes, Revelations and all”. Then we got on the bus and he commented on the rose I was carrying. I told him I was coming from a Baha’i Feast and asked him if he was familiar with the Baha’i Faith. He said no, so I recited for him the brief introduction from the “Visual Presentation” (Anna’s Presentation). He slightly moved back probably to show he was not very interested, and then I mentioned the name of Baha’u’llah. I wish you could have seen the sparkle in his eyes — he sighed with what it seemed a relief, “Ah, Baha? Is he from India?“, I said, no, He was from Persia what is now Iran, and He is the fulfillment of the all religions including the promise of Christ to come back. Then, as the bus was approaching his stop, the man said “But what about Jesus, the Savior? Didn’t he come and die for all of us?” I had only time to say, “Yes, we do believe in that and that the spirit of Christ has come back in Baha’u’llah”, and to hand him one of those “Baha’is believe in…” cards… That truly was a spiritual dessert after all the wonderful food at Feast.

The next day, I had another little surprise:

I had stopped by to check what my rent increase will be next year and started talking with the building manager, who is from Yemen but grew up in Germany. I told her about the class I am taking on Islam and what I am learning in it and how illuminating it is. The deeper we went into the topic of the importance of knowing the life of Muhammad and the traditions (hadith), in importance to reading the Qu’ran, the more surprised she was that a non-Muslim would take interest in her religion. Then she asked me, “Why are you taking this class?” I said, because I am a Baha’i and Baha’u’llah came from Shi’i Islam, just as Jesus came from among the Jews. She did not know anything about the Baha’i Faith and was perplexed why not, and why are Baha’i persecuted if they believe in the same One God. She asked many questions about how we worship and I decided to suggest she attend a devotional gathering I plan on hosting with a friend, and she said she would be very interested in attending.

Ya’Baha’ul’Abha! It would be great if I am given a chance to share the Message of Baha’u’llah with one new soul each day! But whether that happens or not, I will keep teaching myself!

3 Responses to “After Feast, the spiritual dessert of teaching

  • Dear Mitko,

    What a heartwarming post — three wonderful stories all in one! I will pray for your continued success in making Feasts more inspiring and in finding ways to share the love of Baha’u’llah with your friends.

    God bless you!

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