November 15, 2011

releasing spiritual forces

i have been reflecting on the spiritual forces at work in our lives.  they are channeled through our good deeds, pure-hearted thoughts and a life sanctified from worldliness.  they operate through humility, selflessness, unity, generosity, kindliness, forbearance, truthfulness and all of the many, many spiritual qualities of our soul.  while these forces are being released, they are always, always confronted with tests, difficulties, tribulations and challenges in order to enable us to perfect them..

Playing Cat & Mouse during Sunday morning Baha'i class
in this spirit i arise each day, striving to overcome my lower nature which is prone to irritability and criticism, selfishness and lethargy.  i wake up with the utterance of Allah'u'Abha (God is Most Glorious) and continue constantly, all throughout the day, to call upon God for divine assistance, knowing that i am bound to be tested as i'm striving to serve Him.  when i'm tutoring the neighborhood kids in English and Math, having a Baha'i children's class or animating a jr. youth group, i feel like God is using my capacity to serve humanity.  our home has become a lending library, study center and spiritual refuge.  it continues to evolve as the relationships develop and the experiences are shared..

in the past 2 weeks i've seen the kids cry, dance, recite from memory, drum and demonstrate manners..all of which they now feel comfortable to do around us.  tonight eclipsed all other occasions.  it was one of the girl's birthdays.  i made a cookie cake to share after the tutoring session.  the tutoring session went perfectly, with 3 students who need a lot of assistance working with me while 2 older boys read on their own, and then 2 kids who have a long walk home from school arrived just in time for storytime.

i announced it was time to celebrate elizabeth's birthday.  3 jr. youth instantly volunteered to help me prepare everything which prompted the rest to desire to also be of some kind of service.  it was so natural for all of them to cooperate.  it reminded me of when the friends from Delft used to come and stay over our home.  it was like having a big family or a beautiful Baha'i school in our home.. the kids enjoyed singing 'happy birthday', eating a home-baked sweet and telling riddles to each other.  without me asking, they started to wash dishes, sweep and wipe the floor, and clean the table.  while they were doing those things i was trying to prepare dinner.  by the time i was finished it had entered my heart to invite them to stay for dinner.  all of them of course wanted to stay. :)  some helped set up the table for dinner while others played some game with the soft ball..

i wasn't sure they would like what i made for dinner because last night's guest didn't like what i made even though i had catered it to a ghanaian person (rice with peas, oven-baked potatoes and carrots, gari & the tomato sauce).  tonight's dinner was ziti with my tomato sauce, spinach, garlic, olive oil and cheese broiled and eaten with a chick pea salad.  these kids happily surprised me by asking for seconds (waiting patiently for me to come downstairs after talking with dashiel on the phone)!  some of them mentioned being happily full, which led me to think that perhaps they aren't often full after eating a meal..

the dinner quickly turned into a musical festival with rhythmic sounds of ghanaian artists being played on cell phones.  the kids were so happy, so comfortable, so content.  i broke up the party to end the evening with Devotions.  for the first time with this group i attempted to properly explain a few aspects of what Devotions are like in our home and for us as Baha'is.  it was great how they participated and then how they became engaged in the singing, drumming and marching around to the uplifting Baha'i songs.  ah.  they left happy but with sadness on their faces, as it's never easy for them to leave..

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a perfect day! So happy to read about how your relationship with your community is growing and developing! It sounds like a day filled and overflowing with joy!