‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Tea with the Master

♥Tea with the Master♥

“During his American tour, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stopped in Denver, Colorado. Elizabeth Clark, a Denver Bahá’í, had invited the Master to her home for tea. On the day ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was to call on her, Clark spent the morning busily cleaning and straightening the upstairs and downstairs rooms of her home to prepare for her honored guest. But, as the hours slipped by, Clark realized she would not have enough time to finish the job. In a last-minute compromise, she shoved her dirty laundry into the kitchen and left a pile of unwashed dishes in the sink. And then Clark dashed out the door to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s train as it pulled into the station.


“There was only one problem. Elizabeth Clark had gotten her dates mixed up. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had arrived in Denver the day before. When the Master and his entourage did not get off the train, a despondent and perplexed Clark went home — only to see them waiting on her front porch.


“Despite the rocky start, the Master’s visit went well. During the tea time conversation, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá complimented her on how clean and well ordered she kept her home. Then, just before it was time to leave, the Master asked for a glass of water.


“I’ll get it,” Clark said, jumping up to head for her cluttered kitchen. “It would be an honor for me to serve you.”


“No, no, no,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá interrupted though his interpreter. “My name is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and that means I am a servant. I’ll get the water.”


“And, with that, he walked into her kitchen. A mortified Elizabeth Clark could only wait for what would happen next. After a few moments, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá emerged from her messy kitchen with a glass of water, drank a few sips and handed her the glass. And then, speaking in English, he joked, “And you thought you could hide something from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá?”

(The Master Humorist, by Robert Ballenger pp25-29)

Mike Moum
Author: Mike Moum

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