The Comforter

“The Bulgarian peaches” she said with her face glowing, adding “I miss them so much, I had never eaten anything so delicious. I still remember their flavor, the firmness of their flesh, the colors, their juicy sweetness”. She was a nurse from Sierra Leone whom I met today while I was volunteering at my older daughter’s school during the administering of H1V1 vaccine to the little ones. My role was to be a Comforter, a parent who would comfort the children if they were scared. As we were waiting for the children to come, we started talking about where we were from and when she heard that I was from Bulgaria, her face lightened up. She told me about her visit there in 1988, when as a 12 year old girl she  represented Sierra Leone to the Banner of Peace Children Assembly in Bulgaria. What truly pleased me was to hear not only about the Bulgarian peaches but about how welcoming the Bulgarian people had been to her! Such a comforting feeling to know that your nation has left a positive feeling to a stranger…

Just as I invited my new friend from Sierra Leone to the Prayer Station, the kids started showing up, making me appreciate the opportunity to be next to them and admire their strength — little as they were — brave in their own way. And I prayed for them tonight, out of gratitude for the health of my little ones, and for healing for those who are not as lucky, and with gratitude for the real Comforter:

Glorified, immeasurably glorified art Thou, O my God, and my Beloved, and my Master, and my Desire! Shatter not the hopes of this lowly one to attain the shores of Thy glory, and deprive not this wretched creature of the immensities of Thy riches, and cast not away this suppliant from the doors of Thy grace, and Thy bounty, and Thy gifts. Have mercy, then, upon this poor and desolate soul who hath sought no friend but Thee, and no companion except Thee, and no comforter save Thee, and no beloved apart from Thee, nor cherished any desire but Thyself.
(Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 335)

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