Sunday, December 18, 2011

A New Friend

Sorry for not writing for a few days, but we've been busy. Actually, I've been trying to write this one particular article, but it just hasn't been coming together. Hopefully I'll pull it together by the end of this year.

And then we've had some guests from out of town.

In Vancouver, a friend of ours began something called the English Corner. She helps people from Asia learn English, and they often use spiritual and inspirational quotes to do this. Not all Baha'i, but all good.

Anyways, 5 of them came over yesterday and we spent a wonderful weekend with them. (Two of them are still here.)

One of them, Kate, I met last month in Vancouver, at a Baha'i conference, and she's now laughing as I write this. Kate, by the way, is from Taiwan. (Sunny is also here, but I only met here yesterday.) (Oh, and it seems that Shoghi, my 6 year old, now has two new girlfriends.)

Kate is a Baha'i, and her favorite quote is "Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues."

"Why", I ask her in real time.

"Because honest is very important to be a human being." I just love the way she says that.

Anyways, I just took most of the group to the ferry back to Vancouver, but these other two are joining us tomorrow on Salt Spring Island. Kate said that it was a dream of hers to go there before she returned to Taiwan, and so we're helping fulfill that dream. It's the least we can do. (And we love going there also.)

So anyways, I'm sitting here asking Kate about why she became Baha'i a few months ago. She's telling me this beautiful story about hearing about the Faith for the first time, and how she had this intuitive understanding that she was already a Baha'i. "It was very naturally. I learning English and making new friends. It was very easy making new friends and understand."

She said, "You don't need to take a long time" to become a Baha'i. She said that she just knew.

This reminds me of the Guardian, who said that we should not put barriers in front of people, but just let them embrace the Faith, become part of the community.

Now Kate is very interested in going back to Taiwan and telling her friends about the beauty of the Faith, how it uses new words to share the same beauty of God and Faith.

She knows that we need food and rest for our body to be healthy. She also knows that we need food and rest for our spirit to be healthy. Where can we get spiritual food? Where can we get spiritual rest? Those were her questions. She knew that even if she got a good night's sleep, if she didn't get that spiritual rest, she would never be rested.

This was what was weighing on her.

She knew that it was so important to find that place where she could get those, and she found it within the Baha'i Faith.

There is another thing that she has shared (or is sharing) with me. She said that she used to go to this one Baha'i's home in the city, and would then walk home late at night alone. This Baha'i would ask her, "Aren't you scared? Walking alone late at night like that?" "No," was her reply, "God is looking after me."

Ok. This is pretty much all over the place, but let me tell you what really stands out here: her enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm comes from the root "en theos", or "to fill with God". Her enthusiasm is so wonderful right now, and it comes out in a gushing rush. There is so much that she wants to share, and the language is very difficult for her, as English is not her strong suit. But she is so aware of the gifts of God, both those that are endowed, and those that are bestowed. These gifts of friends, gifts, circumstances are so precious to her, and it is so important to her that everyone else recognizes their own gifts, and not waste them.

There is a joy in her zeal which comes out so... joyously, but so confusingly at times. It is like a refreshing cool breeze on a hot summer day. She is so filled with excitement, and the wonder of the new. And this comes across so beautifully.

Although some may find it difficult to follow her now, I truly believe that as she begins to harness her new-found powers, she will be a force for much good in the world. This is probably the greatest test for the new believer: to learn to harness the great powers that they have uncovered within themselves, and within the world. It is also probably the greatest test that we veteran believers have to face: to allow them the time to make sense of what they are experiencing.

In one of the Anglican hymns, it asks God to shield the enthusiastic ones. I think it is because this enthusiasm is so precious, and yet so fragile. We need to do whatever we can to help the friends maintain this new zeal and joy.

Thank you, Kate, for reminding me of this, and giving me the opportunity to write about this here.

"Thank you, too", she says with a quiet and thoughtful air about her.

"Hey, my pleasure."

(She also seemed to like that I actually wrote this while we talked. Kind of cool, that.)


  1. The honeymoon's always so sweet. Wait till She reads the fine print..."What, I can't serve on the Universal House of Justice...what about equality?" :)

    Anyway, she seems happy so best of luck to her. Peace.

  2. Love it!
    And love you two, dear Kate and Marielle!
    Thanks for making our world a beautiful place to live in!


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