Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Fast

Today, March 20th, marks the final day of the Fast.  For 19 days Baha’is worldwide have abstained from food or drink, from sunrise to sunset, “as a symbol of self-restraint” and to take on “characteristics of the spirit.”  In this story a Baha’i from Maine shares how the Fast presented the opportunity to connect with a receptive heart.
I was visiting a friend whom I have known only for a few months, at her house today. When she offered me a cup of tea I had to say "No, thank you".  She then asked if I would prefer a glass of water.  This time I couldn't just say “No,” without giving a reason, so I told her that I was fasting.
Based on my past experiences, I was waiting for her to connect fasting to Islam and Ramadan, but instead she looked at me, and as she still was thinking asked if I was a Baha'i.   Being so surprised, and so happy, I asked her how she came to connect and know about Baha'i fasting?
She explained that one of her best friends during college was a Baha'i, and that her friend's parents were pioneering in Macao. Later, her friend invited her to stay with her parents during her trip to China which happened to be during the Fast. Then she continued with such joy as if this was one of her best experiences saying that she also fasted, prayed and read the Writings with them at sunrise and sunset!  All I could think and say was “Ya-Baha'u'l Abha!”  What a small world! 
She expressed her experience with such joy and sincerity that it was very touching, heartwarming and inspiring. Then, she continued and said it just makes sense to have the Fast and New Year at this time of the year, during the spring when everything is new.  
She also was very happy to be invited (which I was not planning to invite in the beginning!) to our community Naw-Ruz celebration with her husband, who is the principal at a local school and to bring her entire family. 
Her experience goes back to a long time ago when she was a student. Indeed, once again this story reassured and reminded me of God's will and that as Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha have said, our job is to sow seeds with detachment and trust!

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