Getting up before dawn, eating some fruit, seeds and grain that I put to soak the night before, brushing my teeth and getting back in bed with nutrition in my tummy. This is year 25. I have been doing that for 19 days every March since becoming a devotee of Baha’u’llah.
25 Years, I have belonged to Him for 25 years almost. My inner being overflows with love when I consider 25 years of Baha’i fellowship, 25 years of insight and revelation from the Baha’i Writings, and especially, 25 years of personal love and guidance from Baha’u’llah Himself.
On April 21, 1992, I had a mystical experience while reading an introductory pamphlet on the Baha’i Faith which I had picked up 2 days earlier from the Baha’i booth at a street fair. April 21 is one of the Baha’i Holy days, as I would learn later. 129 years prior to my vision of Baha’u’llah, in 1863, He had begun to declare His ministry to His followers in a garden across the Tigris River from Baghdad. Banished the second time for His radical views, He and His family were preparing for a journey to Constantinople (Edirne).
In my first vision of Baha’u’llah, nearly 25 years ago, I saw Him in the Siyah-Chal. It was as if the pamphlet I was reading came equipped with a hologram that opened when you read of how Bahaullah, barefooted and bare headed in the heat of August of 1852 Tehran, being conducted to the dungeon, had paused and offered His face to an elderly woman who believed she was serving a meritorious cause by pelting Him with a stone. Then He was led down a long, dark flight of stairs to the dungeon, seated on a bench with robbers and murderers, tied up in chains, an exceedingly heavy chain around His neck, His feet, wounded from the long barefoot trek, soaking in garbage and excrement, and yet He had a mystical experience during the four months He was there.
He experienced the call of God. He saw the Maid of Heaven and heard Her voice. She comforted Him with Her nurturing presence. She praised Him, imparting to Him the knowledge of His exalted Station, Manifestation of God for the current age.
I saw His Face, the Light around Him, in a dark, somber place, nothing like the photos of Him you find on the internet, posted by non-Baha’is. I saw Beauty, I saw Love, I saw Majesty. And in that moment I knew that I belonged to Him forever.