I will unabashedly admit that I think about food a lot in the days before the Fast. Recently I have been thinking about food and the Master. One of my favorite stories is of Lua Getsinger purposely trampling through poison ivy so that, with terribly swollen feet, she would be unable to depart from the Master’s presence and fulfill His wish that she go to California.
“Look at me, Julie” she told Juliet Thompson, “Look at my feet. Oh, please go right back to the Master and tell Him about them and say: ‘How can Lua travel now?'”
Juliet Thompson recounts:
I did it, returned to the Master’s house, found Him in His room and put Lua’s question to Him. He laughed, then crossed the room to a table on which stood a bowl of fruit, and, selecting an apple and a pomegranate, gave them to me.
“Take these to Lua,” He said. “Tell her to eat them and she will be cured. Spend the day with her, Juliet.”
Oh precious Lua — strange mixture of disobedience and obedience — and all from love! I shall never forget her, seizing first the apple, then the pomegranate and gravely chewing them all the way through till not even a pomegranate seed was left: thoroughly eating her cure, which was certain to send her to California.
Much to Lua’s joy, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá later traveled to California and she was able to see Him again — despite it seeming highly unlikely at the time of her mischievous act.
Here is another delicious vignette:
Howard Colby Ives recalled one meal at which “Abdu’l-Bahá served me with His own hands most bountifully, urging me to eat, eat, be happy. He Himself did not eat but paced regally around the table, talking, smiling, serving.” Later he wrote that “He has been known to go into the kitchen and prepare a meal for His guests. He never failed in such small attentions as seeing that the room where His visitors were entertained contained every possible comfort.”
Sometimes there is a story to be found in a simple detail:
After ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and all the visitors had departed, Mary Revell discovered that all the sandwiches and refreshments she had prepared remained, completely forgotten.
The Diary of Juliet Thompson, p. 325-6
Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 104
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 142
Photo by Mauricio Dumet, www.nineteendays.blogspot.com