Unless and until the believers really come to realize they are one spiritual family, knit together by a bond more lasting than mere physical ties can ever be, they will not be able to create that warm community atmosphere which alone can attract the hearts of humanity, frozen for lack of real love and feeling. (Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 439)
A friend of mine passed away this week. We knew it was coming, but because of COVID, my biggest fear was that she would die alone, with people unable to be with her. I had to give this one over to God, and He came through, big time. She went into palliative care in her local hospital on Friday, after being able to live alone up till then, and died on Sunday. Because she lives in a small town, and all the COVID cases were sent to a large centre, she was allowed to have visitors. We were all notified when her breathing changed early in the morning and 5 of her closest Bahá’í friends were at her bedside for several hours before she passed. I live 6 hours away and am her executor, so I too was notified as were her friends around the world, all of us praying for her steadfastness till the end of her life and for the advancement of her soul in the next world. In case you haven’t seen it, here is a newly translated prayer many of us were saying (in addition to a whole lot of others):
He is God! O Lord! Grant me such grace and bounty, such protection and support, such kindness and security that the last of my days may excel their beginning, and the end of my life commence the bestowal of manifold favours. May some gift or blessing of Thine reach me at every moment, and one of Thy pardons and mercies be granted me with every breath, that beneath the vast shade cast by the hoisted standard, I may return to that Kingdom which is worthy of praise. Thou art the Beneficent, the Kind, and Thou art the Lord of grace and bounty. (Provisional Translation. A prayer for a favorable end to one’s life (extracted from a Tablet of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá written for Áqá Mírzá Áqáy-i-Afnán)
Her non-Bahá’í cousins and neighbors were all watching this unfold and saw first hand that we were able to “create that warm community atmosphere”. Please God, let this attract the hearts of everyone watching and let them be impressed by this outpouring evidence of “real love and feeling”. What better legacy could she leave than that?
Knowing that there are times we get this right, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Learning How to Forgive