Thursday, November 09, 2006


"'Abdu'l-Baha's kind heart went out to those who were ill. If He could alleviate a pain or discomfort, he set about to do so. We are told that one old couple who were ill in bed for a month had twenty visits from the Master during that time in Akka. He daily sent a servant to inquire about the welfare of the ill, and as there was no hospital in town, He paid a doctor a regular salary to look after the poor. The doctor was instructed not to tell Who provided this service. When a poor and crippled woman was shunned on contracting measles, the Master, on being informed, 'immediately engaged a woman to care for her; took a room, put comfortable bedding (His own) into it, called the doctor, sent food and everything she needed. He went to see that she had every attention, and when she died in peace and comfort, He it was Who arranged her simple funeral, paying all charges.'" (Honnold, Vignettes from the Life of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 43-4)
Lua Gestinger, one of the early Baha'is of America, tells of an experience she had in Akka. She had made the pilgrimage to the prison-city to see 'Abdu'l-Baha. One day He said to her that He was too busy today to call upon a friend of His who was very poor and sick. He wished Lua to go in His place. He told her to take food to the sick man and care for him as He had been doing.
Lua learned the address and immediately went to do as 'Abdu'l-Baha had asked. She felt proud that 'Abdu'l-Baha had trusted her with some of His own work. But soon she returned to 'Abdu'l-Baha in a state of excitement. "Master," she exclaimed, "You sent me to a very terrible place! I almost fainted from the awful smell, the dirty rooms, the degrading condition of that man and his house. I left quickly before I could catch some terrible disease." Sadly and sternly, 'Abdu'l-Baha gazed at her. If she wanted to serve God, He told her, she would have to serve her fellow man, because in every person she should see the image and likeness of God. Then He told her to go back to the man's house. If the house was dirty, she should clean it. If the man was dirty, she should bathe him. If he was hungry, she should feed him. He asked her not to come back until all of this was done. 'Abdu'l-Baha has done these things many times for this man, and he told Lua Getsinger that she should be able to do them once. This is how 'Abdu'l-Baha taught Lua to serve her fellow man.

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