Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Juliet: April 19 – An example of the Master’s generosity to the poor

Diary of Juliet Thompson
April 19, 1912
New York, NY

In the upper hall, on our way to the Master’s suite, we had met the little chambermaid who had told me the day before that she thought Him a great Saint. In my bag were about eighty quarters left over from the Mission. The Master asked the girl to hold up her apron, took the bag from me, and emptied the whole of its contents into the apron. Then He walked quickly toward His suite, we following, all but Mr. Grundy whom the maid stopped.

Oh see what He has given me!” she said. And when Mr. Grundy told her about the Mission and the Master’s kindness to the men there, “I will do the same with this money. I will give away every cent of it.”

Later, when the table was cleared and we were sitting with the Master in another room, talking of the scene at the Mission, someone asked Him if “charity were advisable.”

He laughed and, still laughing, said: “Assuredly, give to the poor. If you give them only words, when they put their hands into their pockets after you have gone, they will find themselves none the richer for you!”

And just at that moment we heard a light tap at the door. It opened and there stood the little maid. She came straight towards the Master, seeming not to see anyone else, and her eyes were full of tears.

I wanted to say goodbye, Sir,” she said (for the Master was leaving for Washington early the next morning), “and to thank You for all Your goodness to me—I never expected such goodness—and to ask You … to pray for me.” Her voice broke. She sobbed, hid her face in her apron and rushed from the room.

What an illustration to the Master’s words, “assuredly give to the poor,” and how wonderfully timed!