“You must be immersed in a sea of light.”
That night we walked with Him in “His garden” — Georgie Ralston, Mirza ‘Ali Akbar, Valiyu’llah Khan, Ahmad, and I. Dear Lua, who has not yet left for California, was ill and unable to be with us.
He led us down a path sloping to the river, flanked by tall poplars. Sweeping on ahead in His gleaming white robes, He was like a spirit. The night was very dark, the river and the Jersey Palisades starred and glittering with lights and there were chains of lights close to the water.
With a wave of the hand towards them He said: “If only the souls of men could be thus illumined.”
“It is You, my Lord,” I said, as I followed close with Valiyu’llah Khan and Ahmad, “Who put a torch to our souls and light them.”
Suddenly out from behind the bushes rushed a crowd of children, bursting upon us like little demons, capering around us and hooting. Some of them even picked up stones and threw them. Then they all began to sing: “Follow the Lord! The Lord leads on!”
Back to us floated the voice of the Master: “The people of the world are blind. You must have vision. The people of the world are heedless: see how heedless they are!” and He swept His hand toward the children, who immediately melted back into the shadows as if they had never really existed. “You must be aware. The people of the world are steeped in darkness. You must be immersed in a sea of light.”
We went deep down in the park, close to the river; then turned, climbed a path, and came out upon the street. Here there was a stone wall, dividing the park from the sidewalk. The Master leaned wearily on the wall and gazed far below to the river. He seemed to be lost in meditation, His face profoundly sorrowful. I thought of a picture, a poster, which, in the early days of His visit, had been displayed on all the church doors: the Christ mourning over the city.
Soon He continued His walk. I turned to Valiyu’llah Khan.
“Oh,” I said, “if only I could realize throughout the whole fibre of my being, feel with every nerve, every atom in me, His Divine Reality, if only while in His bodily Presence I could be fully aware of Who He is …”
He turned and spoke and His face was ineffably gentle and holy and something in His voice pierced me to the heart. He couldn’t have heard me with the outer ear — I had fallen too far behind and was whispering, and in English — but how He answered me!
“They laugh at Me, yet My dress is the dress of Jesus, just the same that He wore.”
The people of the world: children! Had the Master Himself evoked those little demons and made a sort of moving picture of them, to show us what is to come as we “follow the Lord” in the dark night?