Sunday, January 06, 2008

On Personal Teaching: It was a good day

Photo: Rahmat'u'llah

I am blogging at the end of a good day. I didn't sleep good last night -- I ate too soon before bed and the heat was accidently set too high in the house -- but the "good" I missed in my sleep, I made up for with the "good" I experienced today.

Today was going to be for personal teaching. It just was. Yesterday I didn't get out like I had hoped. I did go for a run with Bonita in Old Town; or I should say, I tried to keep up with Bonita on the run, she has gotten so fleet of feet recently. I did watch the majority of a football game, the first game of the playoffs. But there was sunshine outside yesterday when it was supposed to be raining, and I kept thinking, I should be down on the waterfront doing some park teaching.

So getting ready to go out was first on my agenda this morning. Being sure the sign made it into the car. Being sure I had the ipod powered-up and ready to go and the dock. Being sure I would be warmly enough dressed to be outdoors for a few hours.

I did go on the computer briefly to get two addresses, one of a new seeker that called the Baha'i number and the other of a Baha'i couple transferring into our community. If it was raining, I'd do some home-visits instead. Or I'd do both park teaching AND home-visits today.

And, of course, there was our seeker Rashid. I couldn't forget him. I hadn't talked to him since before Christmas. Yikes! I couldn't let the weekend get away without making contact.

When I arrived at the park there was quite a bit of foot traffic along the waterfront. It wasn't raining, although the skies were gray, with no prospect of immediate sun breaks. I set up shop in the same place as last time, by the old fireboat. Here is a pic
I took on Ramat's camera. No people in it, but you get the idea.

It happened again this time. Some guy came along and took a picture of the sign. Wished I'd a gotten a picture of him taking a picture of it. He said he agreed with the content, noting that he has a great love for Sufism. I told him how Baha'u'llah used the Sufi traditions of the day to convey the eternal verities.

I wasn't there very long before the rain started coming down. I moved the music-maker over by the boat, which provided some protection, but the foot traffic was dwindling to nothing. So it was time to go to plan B. Off I went to find the new seeker's place.

I hadn't called ahead. I didn't have her number. I don't like to call ahead anyway the first time I visit. I'd rather take my chances.

I had a teaching card in my pocket and a book to give her in my teaching bag. I rang the bell. This dear soul answered. I intoduced myself. I said I was just stopping by to say hello

She is a naturopath and an acupuncurist, I learned. She had heard of the Faith from a patient of hers who lives in another community in the cluster. She had already received a call-back from Deb. Yeah, Deb! She already knew about the devotional meeting at our house on Thursdays. She said that might be a good night for her, although not this Thursday.

I told her about the core activities of Baha'i community life, study circles, devotional meetings, and ... children's classes. I had noted the stroller. Yes, she has a two year-old. She had been thinking about the spiritual education of this child already, of course.

We talked about other Baha'is in the healing professions. She had had Baha'is in her classes where she had gone to school. We connected. There was such warmth.

I spoke of the purpose of the Faith to unite mankind. She nodded her head. This wasn't the time to do Anna's Presentation with her, but I know she will be receptive. She already is.

She gave me her card and I gave her a teaching card with my name and number on it. And then I was on to the new Baha'is transferred in

Long story short, I found their place with no difficulty, but puppy was in the front yard, between me and the front door, and my cell phone was dead, so I couldn't call, which would have been helpful this time. I'll give them a call later when I get home, I said to myself. And then I was on to Rashid's.

No sooner had I pulled up there and was out of the car than he had his front door open welcoming me. He told me he had been looking forward to my stopping by again. He told me that his friend in Atlanta who had been attending a study circle down there was now enrolled in the Faith. He told me he told his friend that since he had called the Baha'i number here at his friend's urging, the Baha'is were "all over [him] like white on rice." He told his friend about the home visits, the fact that he felt appreciated for what he has to offer, and that he had a prayer book of his own now. (It was Rahmat's, but now it is his.)

I told him how eager the other Baha'is here are to meet him. We went over the options again: study circle, devotions, fireside on Saturday, and King Day is coming up with dinner at Tim and Deb's afterwards as always. Rashid will love that.

We talked about soul brothers, and how there are many soul brothers in the community here, including white, black, Indian, Polynesian; everybody is a soul brother among the Baha'is.

He said he was done with that "race stuff," like Malcom X had become done with it. We are like flowers in a garden, he said. There was no going back for him.

Rashid (name)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rashid is an Arabic
given name that means "rightly guided".

98. ar:الرشيد

The 99 Names of God, also known as The 99 Attributes of God (Arabic: أسماء الله الحسنى transliteration: Asma’ Allah al-Ḥusná), are the names of God, Muslims believe are revealed in the Qur'an and Sunnah;[1] even though the names (as adjectives, word constructs, or otherwise) exceed ninety-nine in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Muslims believe that there are an elite group of names, or the Best names, which number 99.

1 comment:

child_of_africa said...

how i LOVE the last story!! how we need these SOULful brothers! welcome welcome rashid.