Mrs Parsons was at the luncheon. Before she became a Bahá’í she had been a Christian Scientist, and now she brought up the question of mental suggestion as a cure for physical disease. The Master replied that some illnesses, such as consumption and insanity, developed from spiritual causes—grief, for example—and that these could be healed by the spirit. But Mrs Parsons persisted. Could not extreme physical cases, like broken bones, also be healed by the spirit?
A large bowl of salad had been placed before the Master, Who sat at the head of the table, Florence Khanum on His right.
"If all the spirits in the air,” He laughed, “were to congregate together, they could not create a salad! Nevertheless, the spirit of man is powerful. For the spirit of man can soar in the firmament of knowledge, can discover realities, can confer life, can receive the Divine Glad-Tidings. Is not this greater,” and He laughed again, “than making a salad?”
(The Diary of Juliet Thompson, p. 105-106)
‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to a group of physicians on the use of diet to cure diseases. He then expanded the subject to include the need for a Divine Physician to cure intellectual diseases. He told them that: “… one of the chief reasons for irreligion among people is that the leaders of religion, such as the Catholic priests, take a little bread and wine, breathe over it and then say that the bread is the flesh of Christ and the wine is the body of Christ. Of course, the man of understanding will not accept these dogmas and would say that if this bread and wine turned into the flesh and blood of Christ by the breath of the priest, then the priest must be superior to Christ.” Thus, Bahá’u’lláh has said, ‘Every matter that is contrary to sound reason and science as opposed to the fundamental principles of divine religion is an obstacle to the progress of the cause of people avoiding and rejecting the laws of God.’
(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 224-225)
Harry Randall, the brother of Loulie Mathews, was a man of wealth and affairs. He had been a classmate of Harlan Ober at Harvard and so, when Harlan learned of the Faith and became a Bahá’í, he very soon gave the Message to Harry, only to discover that, busy and occupied as he was with his manifold affairs, Harry Randall’s interest went no farther than a polite and courteous response, which was far from satisfactory to
Harlan. He persisted in trying to interest Harry further and when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was to come to Boston, Harlan grew more and more pressing: Harry must go to hear ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speak; Harry must meet Him; Harry really owed it to himself not to miss this wonderful opportunity. Finally, Harry still uninterested, but courteously anxious to please this eager friend of his, agreed to go with Harlan to hear ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Ruth - Harry’s wife would not be able to go with him since she was a semi invalid, in and out of
sanitariums for tuberculosis a great part of the time. Just then she had come home from one of these hospitals but she was far too frail to do anything but rest quietly at home.
Harlan and Harry Randall went to the meeting together and after it was over, Harlan insisted upon taking Harry to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Harry, still uninterested but always courteous, did as Harlan wished, and what was his astonishment when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá warmly accepted an invitation to have tea the following afternoon at Harry’s home! An invitation Harry had in no way extended. Appalled, Harry asked Harlan what on earth he should do about it? Harlan said. “Give a tea for Him what else can you do?” “But how can I? Ruth is ill. I‘m busy. How on earth - ?” Harlan laughed, “You don’t know ‘Abdu’l-Bahá or you’d know there’s some sort of reason for this, and it‘ll get done. You have a houseful of servants - let them brew a cup of tea for the Master and invite a few
friends in to share it.” So this is what Harry did and the next afternoon when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived at the lovely suburban home he found quite a group of people assembled on a wide verandah to receive Him. Ruth Randall, delicate and lovely, was also there, seated in a far corner where she might be safe from any draft. And it was to her, ignoring all the others, that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá strode, His white aba billowing with the swiftness of His tread; His beautiful eyes filled with light and love. Reaching her He bent above her, murmuring “My daughter My dear daughter” and lovingly He rested His hands on her shoulders Then He turned and, smilingly, met all the other guests. The following day, Ruth had an appointment with her doctor, who had examined her the previous week and had said that it might be necessary for her to return to the sanitarium for further treatment. He would be sure after he had seen her again. Ruth went to this appointment fearfully she was so longing to remain at home, so very reluctant to be sent again to the hospital. The doctor examined her - and was amazed. What had she been doing? What could have happened to her? She was healed. There was not the least trace left of the tuberculosis. Of course, this was an experience that neither Harry nor Ruth could ignore, so it was the beginning of their long and glorious life-time of teaching and serving the Cause they came to love so well.
(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 23)
There are many stories of Lua Getsinger. This one was told me by Grace Ober, who heard it from Lua herself. It happened on one of Lua’s several visits to Acca and Haifa when she and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were walking together on the beach. Lua dropped behind slightly and began fitting her small feet, into His much larger foot prints. After a few moments the Master turned to ask what she was doing. “I am following in your footsteps,” said Lua. He, turned away and they walked on. A few moments later, He turned again, “Do you wish to follow in my foot steps?” He asked. “Oh, yes,” said Lua. They walked on - and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá turned again, “Lua! Do you wish to follow in my foot steps?” His tone was louder and stern. “Oh, yes,” said Lua again. Then, the third time he stopped and faced her. “Lua!” it was almost a shout, “Do you wish to follow in My foot steps?” “Oh, yes!” said Lua for the third time - and with that, a great tarantula jumped out from a hillock of sand and bit her ankle. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá saw this and paid no attention, turning away and again walking. Lua followed, still fitting her footsteps into His. Her ankle swelled, the pain became excruciating, till, finally, she sank down with the
agony of it. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá picked her up and carried her to the ladies quarters, where the Greatest Holy Leaf put her to bed. The agony increased. Lua’s temperature flamed; delirium set in. Finally, the Greatest Holy Leaf could stand it no longer and she implored ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to heal her. He examined her carefully then laid His hands gently on her forehead. The temperature drained away, her head cleared she was healed. And it was only later that it was explained to her that she had been suffering from a strange and virulent condition of her blood which the bite of the tarantula had cured.
(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 41-42)