Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Little Courier

"Papa", Shoghi said to me yesterday morning, "I'd like to give a gift cadeau to Madame Suzanne."

Shoghi, in case you don't know, is my little boy. He just turned 8, and is in a French school. Last week his teacher, Madame Suzanne, invited Marielle and I in to talk a bit about the Baha'i Faith to his class, which we were very happy to do. The questions she asked were really quite wonderful.

So just yesterday, Shoghi asked me if he could give her a gift.

"Of course you can, Shoghi," I replied. "What were you thinking of giving her?" I expected he wanted to give her an apple, or a piece of chocolate. But not my Shoghi. Not him. His thoughts were much higher than mine.

"Les Paroles Cachees", he said. The Hidden Words, in French.

Naturally, I got up and gave him a copy for her.

He was so happy, and that seemed to be the end of it.

That was when I asked him how he was going to give it to her.

He looked at me with a bit of a puzzled look. "I don't know. I guess I'll just hand it to her."

"Shoghi", I began, "do you know what a courier is?"


"A courier is someone who carries a very important message from a King."

Shoghi looked a bit more interested than he had a moment earlier.

"Can you imagine him? He is a very important person. He is the one who has to carry the messages from the King to all the people. Can the King visit everyone in his kingdom?"


"That's right. He has to get people who are very trustworthy, steadfast and loyal. They are the ones who will represent the King and faithfully give his message to the people. They must be noble and regal in their bearing."

"Papa? What's 'bearing' mean?"

"It kind of means they have to stand tall and proud, for they are representing the King. They have to dress in a manner worthy of their job, like Maman, when she puts on her uniform for work. Can you imagine a royal courier wearing torn jeans and slumping over as they say, 'Oh yeah, y'know, the King wants me to tell you this'? Or would they wear their best clothes, and say something like, 'On behalf of His royal majesty, the King, I have this great message to deliver to you'? Which seems more likely?"

"The second one."

"And you, Shoghi, today, will be a courier for Baha'u'llah."

His eyes grew really wide at this point.

"You see, Baha'u'llah and all the Messengers of God are like God's couriers. They bring a very important message from God for all of humanity. God can't come down and walk on the earth. It's just too small a place. So He sends His Messengers. And these great Messengers can't go talk to every person on the planet. It's just too big a place. They have to give Their message to whomever They can, and write letters and books and stuff. Now it's up to people like you and me to act as Baha'u'llah's couriers. That's called teaching."

I don't think he even blinked this whole time.

"One last thing. Do you think a royal courier would give his message the same way to another king as he would to a regular citizen on the street?"

He thought about this, and finally said, "No, I don't think so."

"I agree. And Baha'u'llah said that we are all created noble. So when you give this priceless gift to your teacher, Madame Suzanne, be sure that you give it to her in a manner worthy of giving a precious treasure to a queen."

And you know what? He did.

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