Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The friends are ready when a receptive soul walks through the door

This story comes from an A-stage cluster in the Northwest region. The author states it is a story less about teaching and more about the receptivity to the Faith that is now everywhere. Well, yes, it’s a wonderful reminder of that, but there’s also more. When this receptive soul reached out to the Bahá’ís, they were able to quickly organize themselves, connect him to the local friends, AND the various cluster entities worked together to provide a study circle for him as well. And it is that capacity, that dedicated response to receptive individuals, that results in growth.

Truth be told, this is more of a “receptivity” story than a “teaching” story, as you will see:

A man recently walked into a local Bahá’í center, brimming with questions. Though he'd never met a Bahá’í, he'd done a little research, learned about study circles, and upon finding a Bahá’í at the center, asked which study circles were starting up. His name and contact information were passed to the cluster's institute coordinator, who put out a call for tutors. Very soon he was put in contact with a tutor ready to meet this dear soul, share Bahá’u’lláh’s Message, and start a study circle. . . .

During the initial phone conversation, the Bahá’í asked the seeker to share a little about his interest in the Faith, and to explain, if willing, some of his spiritual journey. The seeker responded that he'd found an online religion quiz that suggested he was overwhelmingly Bahá’í in his outlook! As he'd never even heard of the Faith before, he was quite curious—enough to not only write the Bahá’ís asking for some materials, but also to find a local Bahá’í center and drive the 40 minutes to get there on his day off work. Everything he had read about the Faith, he told the tutor, was something he'd already believed, and he just had to know more.

Several days later the tutor and his wife met with the seeker at a local coffee shop. Two hours of uplifting conversation passed in the blink of an eye, and as the Bahá’í couple were about to hand the seeker a declaration card and explain how one joins the Faith, the seeker offered: "So I was also sent a card along with those materials I received the other day. It said that in order to become a Bahá’í I needed to recognize that Bahá’u’lláh is who He says He is. I really do believe that, so I signed it and sent it in! When I look into my heart, I consider myself a Bahá’í. I believe in Bahá’u’lláh and have always believed what the Faith teaches." The couple warmly welcomed him into the Faith, made an appointment to share an overview of the fundamental verities of the Faith, and contacted his cluster's area teaching committee to help start a local study circle. The amazed couple spent their drive home praising Bahá’u’lláh and wondering at the receptivity all around us.

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