Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Juliet: April 13 - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s caring nature, charm and humour

Diary of Juliet Thompson
April 13, 1912
New York, NY

Saturday, 13 April, the Master spoke at Marjorie Morten’s. Again, because of the crowd, He spoke from the stairway, dominating all the beauty of Marjorie’s long drawing room, with its rich colour and carvings and masterly paintings, by His superlative beauty.

His theme that day was the spiritual seasons, and in the midst of His talk a delicious thing happened which, slight though it was, I want to keep. In its very slightness it may draw the people of the future closer to the Master, just as it drew us.

These tender little touches of His humour and simplicity, bridging for the moment the infinite space between us and His pure Perfection, making His Divinity accessible: how precious, how heavenly sweet they are, of what unique value! The disciples of Christ, looking beyond that awful chasm of the crucifixion into the mystery of their days with Him, were, I suppose, awed into silence about the little things—the adorable little things. So the Man of sorrow has been just the Man of sorrow to us. We have never formed any conception of the Man of love and joy, great buoyant joy; a Christ whose Love overflowed into little tendernesses and Whose joy overflowed into fun and wit—a happy, smiling, laughing Christ. And yet I am sure He was that.

But now to tell of this small thing. With His celestial eloquence the Master had described the spiritual springtime.

Va tabistan,” He began and paused for Ahmad to translate.

Dead silence. Poor Ahmad had lost the English word.

But while he stood helpless, the Master supplied it Himself.

Summer!” He laughed. Whereupon a little ripple of delight ran through the audience. His charm had captured them all.

After the meeting He went up to rest in Mr Morten’s room. He had seen a hundred and forty people that morning and was so worn out at the end of His talk that He looked almost ill. His fatigue was apparent to everyone—and yet the people had no pity. When I returned from an errand to the kitchen, literally hundreds were streaming toward His room; a dozen were in the room; in the hall were many peering faces, and climbing up the stairs—a procession!

Oh can’t we shut the door?” I asked Dr Farid. But the Master heard me.

Let them come now,” He said gently.

A mother with a baby stood near the door. The Master took the baby from her and tenderly pressed it to His heart. “Beautiful baby! Little chicken!” He said in His dear English; then explained that “little chicken” was the Turkish pet name for child.

A young single-taxer began to question Him. “What message shall I take to my friends?” he ended.

Tell them,” laughed the Master (that wonderful spicy humour in His face) “to come into the Kingdom of God. There they will find plenty of land and there are no taxes on it.”