Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Wedding Reception

"What do you mean", my wife recently asked me, "you haven't written about our time in the Holy Land?"

Marielle and I recently applied for Pilgrimage, and that got us talking about the last time we were in Israel, which was for a dear friend's wedding.

But before I tell you that story, I have to share this other one with you. Well, it's not actually a story, but more just a bit of a note. Marielle was talking with her mother a little while ago and Lise, her mom, asked her about the idea of no women on the House of Justice. Marielle truthfully said that she had no idea why this would be the case, but that 'Abdu'l-Baha had said that the reason would, in the future, be more manifest than the sun.


This, as you can imagine, did not satisfy Marielle, nor her mother, until our family went to the Holy Land.

As I mentioned, we were there for a wedding. Well, as with all good weddings there was a reception afterward. Marielle, Shoghi and I all went downstairs to it, and the room was fairly crowded.

Now, crowded means that adults couldn't just easily walk through the room. There were enough people there that we were not exactly packed, but all standing fairly close together.

This would stop an adult from running through the room

But not a child.

Say, a child of just over a year in age who was just beginning to learn to walk.

Like Shoghi at that particular time.

When we went down there, Shoghi decided that he really wanted to be on the floor. And while the room was crowded, it wasn't that crowded. When Shoghi began to squiggle like that, I usually let him down so that he could begin to explore the world around him.

That day was no different.

Except that it was.

It was different.

We were in the Holy Land.

And at this party, there were some very special people. Shoghi, at just over a year of age, was placed on the ground, and he practically sprinted across the room. I went to go after him, but there was just no way that I could keep up. He was small, able to run between people's legs. I, however, was not.

He ran straight across the room and just about dive bombed Kaiser Barnes, grabbing his leg and giving him a big hug. Mr Barnes, who was a member of the Universal House of Justice at the time, let out a surprised full-bellied laugh at this.

But Shoghi wasn't done. No sooner had Mr Barnes noticed him than he was off again, rushing across the room to give Peter Khan, another member of the Universal House of Justice, a hug, too.

Dr Khan looked surprised, but smiled down at his little "attacker", who proceeded to run off again.

This time he went to give Farzam Arbab a hug. Mr Arbab was yet another member of this illustrious institution, and by now many people had stopped to watch this little child dive-bombing certain people with his adorable little hugs to their legs.

After Mr Arbab, Shoghi went to Hooper Dunbar and then Paul Lample, the fourth and fifth members of the Universal House of Justice who were there.

Five members were present at this wedding reception, and Shoghi got them all.

When Marielle told this story to her mother, she finished with, "I don't know why Baha'u'llah would decide to limit membership to men, but if Shoghi could pick them out of a crowd at that age, I'm going to trust this decision. There must be something special about them."

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