Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Juliet: May 11 – Returning to New York; Horrified at Race Prejudice

Diary of Juliet Thompson
May 11, 1912
New York, NY

On Saturday, 11 May, just one month from the day of His landing, the Master returned to New York from Washington, Cleveland, and Chicago.

A few of us gathered in His rooms to prepare them for Him and fill them with flowers; then to wait for His arrival: May Maxwell, Lua Getsinger, Carrie Kinney, Kate Ives, Grace Robarts, and I. Mr. Mills and Mr. Woodcock were waiting too.

The Master has a new home, in the Hudson Apartment House, overlooking the river. His flat is on one of the top stories, so that its windows frame the sky. Now the windows were all open and a fresh breeze blew in.

About five o’clock He came. Oh the coming of that Presence! If only I could convey to the future the mighty commotion of it! The hearts almost suffocate with joy, the eyes burn with tears at the stir of that step! It is futile to try to express it. Sometimes when the sun breaks through clouds and spreads a great fiery glow, I get something of that feeling.

After greeting us all the Master took a seat by the window and began to talk to us, with supreme love and gladness, wittily, tenderly, eloquently, carrying us up as if on wings to the apex of sublime feeling, so that we wept; then turning our tears to sudden little ripples of laughter as an unexpected gleam of wit flashed out; then melting our hearts with His yearning affection.

He had been horrified in Washington by the prejudice against the Negroes. “What does it matter,” He asked, “if the skin of a man is black, white, yellow, pink, or green? In this respect the animals show more intelligence than man. Black sheep and white sheep, white doves and blue do not quarrel because of difference of colour.”

Lua, May, and I, for the first time together in the Glory of His Presence, sat on the floor in a corner, gazing through tears at Him and whenever we could wrench our eyes from the sorrowful beauty of His face, silhouetted against the sky, gazing at one another, still through tears.

Day after day I was with Him there. Lua and I had permission to be always with Him. I would go to His apartment in the early morning and stay through the whole day and again and again He would call me to His Presence.

My Lord,” I said once, “I really shouldn’t take Your time. I don’t want to take Your time. I am only too thankful to be here, serving at a distance, somewhere in Your atmosphere.”

I know you are content with whatever I do, therefore I send for you, Juliet,” He replied.