Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Juliet: June 30 — Lua’s attempts not to leave the Master for California

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The Diary of Juliet Thompson
June 30, 1912
New York, NY

[The] … Beloved Lord returned to New York [in the evening of June 29th]. [In the early] …morning [of June 30th] … I flew up to see Him, but He sent me at once to Lua, who was staying with Georgie Ralston in a hotel nearby.

[Yesterday in West Englewood … The Master had … told Lua.. that she must leave very soon for California. So … she deliberately walked in poison ivy, walked back and forth and back and forth till her feet were thoroughly poisoned. “Now, Julie,” she said (when the deed was done) “He can’t send me to California.”]

She was in bed, her feet terribly swollen from the poison ivy.

Look at me, Julie,” she said. “Look at my feet. Oh, please go right back to the Master and tell Him about them and say: ‘How can Lua travel now?’”

I did it, returned to the Master’s house, found Him in His room and put Lua’s question to Him. He laughed, then crossed the room to a table on which stood a bowl of fruit, and, selecting an apple and a pomegranate, gave them to me.

Take these to Lua,” He said. “Tell her to eat them and she will be cured. Spend the day with her, Juliet.”

Oh precious Lua — strange mixture of disobedience and obedience — and all from love! I shall never forget her, seizing first the apple, then the pomegranate and gravely chewing them all the way through till not even a pomegranate seed was left: thoroughly eating her cure, which was certain to send her to California.

In the late afternoon we were happily surprised by a visit from the Master Himself. He drew back the sheet and looked at Lua’s feet, which by that time were beautifully slim. Then He burst out laughing.

See,” He said, “I have cured Lua with an apple and a pomegranate.”

But Lua revolted again. There was one more thing she could try, and she tried it. The Master had asked me to paint her portrait and I had already had one sitting. The following day, at the Master’s house, she drew me aside.

Please, Julie, do something else for me. Go to the Master, now, and say: ‘If Lua is in California, how can I paint her?’”

I went straight to His room with Valiyu’llah Khan to translate. “My Lord,” I said, “You have commanded me to paint Lua. If she is in California and I here, how can I do it? The portrait is begun; how can I finish it?”

Again the Master burst out laughing, for this of course was too transparent.

In a year,” He said, “Lua will join Me in Egypt. She will stay in New York a few days on her way to Me and you can paint her then, Juliet.”

So poor Lua had to go to California. There was no way out for her.