‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s care and compassion
Tuesday, 16 July, the day proposed for the yacht trip up the Hudson, was a day of crushing disappointment. In the morning I awoke thinking: Today great things may happen for Percy; miracles may happen! Still, an instinct made me uneasy.
As soon as I reached the Master’s house I asked if Dr. Grant had been heard from. No word had come, Dr. Farid told me, and really the Master ought to know in order to arrange His day’s appointments. “You had better telephone, Juliet.”
I went to the corner drugstore and called the Rectory,
only to learn that Percy was still in Greenwich. I called him in Greenwich.
“Oh, Juliet.” He sounded bored. “I have been meaning to telephone you all morning, but one thing after another has prevented. No, I am sorry, tell ‘Abdu’l-Bahá how very sorry I am, but I cannot arrange the trip for today. Mrs. Flagler was in town yesterday and it didn’t agree with her and she isn’t well enough to go today.”
“I am very sorry,” I murmured, so shocked I could scarcely speak.
“When does the Master leave New York?”
“On the twenty–second.”
“On the twenty–second? I hope it can be arranged before then.”
“I hope so.”
“How did the supper go off the other night?”
“The supper you had for the Master?”
“There was no supper.”
“Why, I heard you talking about ‘provisions’ over the telephone with Mrs. Morten.”
“That was only fruit and a cool drink. The Master just paid us a visit. I asked you to come in.”
“Well, I didn’t feel that I could. I thought you were going to sit around a table and that all those Persians you had asked would fill it up, and that woman you invited at the Master’s house. It makes me shudder, Juliet, to think of all the money you spent that day.”
“That was nothing.”
“Oh, money is nothing, I suppose!”
“Certainly nothing compared with a visit from the Master.” And I said goodbye.
I went back to the house so ashamed I could hardly
hold up my head: miserably ashamed of Percy Grant, burning up with indignation at his deliberate insult to the Master, to Him Whose “dress was the same as the dress of Jesus”, an insult levelled at the Master, the real intention of which was to hurt me. Just a petty revenge on me.
I gave Percy’s wretched message to Dr Farid without any comment; then stole off alone and wept.
Soon my Lord sent for me. I longed to unburden my heart to Him, but Grace Krug and Louise were with Him and Grace was telling her own troubles, speaking of some unhappiness of the day before, so of course I could say nothing. I sat forcing back my tears, feeling that at any moment I might burst out crying and that I mustn’t do that in His Presence for any other reason than love.
“And now,” said the Master, still talking with Grace, “the sun is out again! The sun is shining. I am glad of that. I do not like clouds!”
Oh, what if I cry now, I thought.
“Winds from all directions: from the north, south, east, and west — great hurricanes — have beaten against My Ark, yet My Ark still floats.” Smiling, He made an adorable gesture with His hands, swinging them like a rocking boat. “One single wave has submerged many a great ship, yet My Ark still floats!”
“Juliet,” He said, turning suddenly to me, “is there anything you want to ask Me privately? Biya! (Come).”
He led me by the hand into the back room.
“Now speak. Your eyes are all speech!”
“I only want to say that I am deeply ashamed for Dr. Grant. Deeply sorry. The friend to whose husband the yacht belongs is sick and he could not get it for today.”
“It is better so,” said the Master. “I was wondering how I could do it, for I am not very well today and must be in Brooklyn this evening at eight o’clock. But I would have done it for his sake. It is better; better,” He ended, with a strange sweet intonation, as He returned to the other room.