Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Path

That the path of service upon which we are currently embarked “can be experienced and known, not only by one or two but by scores and scores” and that “ it belongs to the community” becomes increasingly apparent through stories shared by a Baha'i Seeker Response Coordinator in one region.
One by One -  Sharin was a Muslim woman who had married a Muslim man through an arranged marriage. The marriage did not work out, and she later married another Muslim man, who was less active in his faith.  When Lea, a Bahai, called Sharin to learn of her story, she shared that she had been frustrated and “tired of being stern and angry.”  She shared that she was stern with her children because that’s what she understood was her role as a Muslim mother but that she grew angry and frustrated with how it made her feel.    
She went onto the Web and searched the words “unity,” “love,” and “peace,” and for each one, the Bahá’í Faith came up. As she read more, she learned about the Faith and decided she wanted to be part of it. She started attending devotionals at the home of a St. Louis couple, and eventually declared. She shared with Lea that she removed her veil and “I felt such freedom.  For the first time, I felt like I could think for myself.”  
At a devotional gathering, she gave her 17 year old son a prayer book and encouraged him to read from it, which he did. Vern shared that “right away, the children saw in her a change and they too began to change.  They started to experience love in the household.”  How profound the impact of the Faith on this family!  
Sharin shared how she also began to picking up papers and trash and began sweeping the sidewalk outside her home. Her neighbors asked her what she was doing and she exclaimed that she was “making the neighborhood more beautiful.”  They too joined in and began to clean up the streets together.
Scores and Scores - While visiting via Skype with a Persian couple whom he met during a recent Pilgrimage, Vern learned that the couple was in the midst of celebrating Naw Ruz; they live in Australia. Vern and his Persian friend were taking an upgraded iPhone for a test drive.  
Vern began sharing some exciting news about recent seekers who had come in through the seeker response system.  Enamored by the stories, the Persian friend put him on visual Skype for the entire group of guests at this couple’s huge Naw Ruz celebration to hear. Vern shared about how the program works and some of the stories of the seekers.  
“You could see their eyes light up and the excitement build in each one of them!  How blessed I feel to share it with friends half way around the world—it’s a 13 hour difference between here and Australia!”

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