Friday, February 22, 2013

Assisting Seekers of Truth – An “Amazing Experience,” Part 1

Last year, a self-described “outgoing” woman volunteered to follow-up in her Baha'i community with a seeker that was referred to her in her community. She describes the invitation to respond to a seeker who asked to learn more about the Faith as “ amazing experience.”

In its 2010 Ridvan message, having enumerated the main developments in the global Baha'i community, the Universal House of Justice describes “yet another advance at the level of culture,” a change with “far-reaching” implications: the importance of accompanying souls on their journey. The Supreme Institution writes about the merits of “accompaniment”:

It signals the significant strengthening of a culture in which learning is the mode of operation, a mode that fosters the informed participation of more and more people in a united effort to apply Bahá’u’lláh's teachings to the construction of a divine civilization, which the Guardian states is the primary mission of the Faith

The Baha'i reached out to the seeker, also a woman, and invited her to her home. Along with her husband, together they began a conversation like Anna (in Ruhi Book 6), sharing fundamental verities of the Baha'i Faith. After one session of looking together at the content in the “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” (Ruhi Book 1), this Baha'i writes: “she declared.”

They met again, and this time the newly-declared Baha'i confided with her and her husband that she had a tragic, personal loss several years prior, and how the Bahai Writings provided her with comfort during a difficult time.

Later, after she had declared, she shared with us that after seven years of feeling no comfort, she felt so assisted by the Baha'i Writings and felt she was reading the Word of God. She said that in that moment she had made her decision to become a Baha'i,  it seemed as if the Concourse on High was guiding us to put what she needed into her hands.

The Baha'i writes that, “we presented her with two Writings from Abdu'l-Baha” regarding consolation.

Through accompaniment together, the journey continued for this new believer, as she later attended her first unity Feast with the Bahia community, and her own husband joined her. The Baha'i teacher shared the joy she observed about these new friends...

They were both radiant at the end and she commented that she would have a sore face tomorrow from all the smiling. They were overwhelmed with the love and the diversity of the friends.

The Universal House of Justice assures the Bahais of the transformative effect that the quality of relationships have among friends, and our communities:

In relationships among the friends, then, this development in culture finds expression in the quality of their interactions. Learning as a mode of operation requires that all assume a posture of humility, a condition in which one becomes forgetful of self, placing complete trust in God...
Through this Bahai, we can begin to see the quality of this interaction on her service to another...

I am an outgoing person and I cannot imagine a more exciting and rewarding service than assisting those who are seeking the Truth.

To be continued: Part 2 of Assisting Seekers of Truth

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