Monday, September 15, 2008

"I interacted with her as a fellow Baha'i"

Here is a beautiful piece from the Philadelphia, PA (A) cluster relating the story of an individual who contacted the 1-800-22UNITE number and was connected with the local Bahá’í community. What is so inspiring is how a believer welcomed this seeker and her investigation of the Faith in one of the truest ways possible—by involving her in service in the core activities. When the act of teaching is enkindled with such a spirit of openness, is it any wonder that new believers “hit the ground running”, so to speak?


Here is the story of __’s journey to the Bahá’í Faith. She and I had developed a special connection from the moment we met. After a month or two of being friends, I invited her to participate in a Book 1 study circle. Though outwardly she seemed to be reluctant and relatively uncomfortable, she persisted and attended every class. After completing the Book 1, she developed the confidence to demonstrate her interest in the Faith more. Soon after, she participated in a Book 4 study circle where she developed a connection with the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. At the same time, she and I began weekly devotional gatherings at her home on campus. Over time, she took ownership of these gatherings, which began to strengthen her faith and confirm her belief in Baha'u'llah. . . .


For the first time, I asked my friend if she would like to join the Bahá’í community. She very kindly expressed that she could not. She continued to host the devotional gathering. On another occasion, I asked her again, and again she kindly refused. Despite her outward declines, my heart was telling me that she had already accepted Bahá’u’lláh. I interacted with her as a fellow Bahá’í. My sister and I invited her to help us host the next Holy Day celebration (Ridvan), and she happily accepted. When the celebration finally arrived, she and I were both very excited yet nervous. She was the host for the celebration, and she did beautifully. To my surprise, on that day, she declared her faith in Bahá’u’lláh. It was the very last thought I had in my mind that day, but it was her first. That evening she expressed to me how special Ridvan was to her. Learning about the Garden of Ridvan in Book 4 ignited the flame in her heart. She said that a little while prior, she decided that she wished to declare on that very special day.


This dear soul continues to serve the Cause of God. She is participating in a Book 2 study circle and is working on becoming trained as a Junior Youth Animator for our community. The progress she has made in such a short period of time is astounding to me. It is truly a testimony to the transformative power of the core activities, in particular the institute process. Because she had been such an active participant in the community from the very beginning, it has only been natural for her to assume a sense of responsibility for the progress of the Faith and to arise to even greater heights of service. She is the epitome of service.


Loving regards,


N

2 comments:

Mike said...

This is a wonderful story. Please share more of these, they are very inspiring.

Bahai News & Articles said...

thanks for sharing such great story :)