One day a woman came to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with her sorrows. As she told her story, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tried to calm her and said, “Don’t be sad now, don’t be sad.” The Woman said, “My brother has been in prison for three years. He should not have been imprisoned because it was not his fault. He was weak and followed others. He will be in prison for four more years. My mother and father are full of sorrow all the time. My brother in law used to take care of us, but he has just died.” The Master could see the whole human story. Here was a family which was experiencing every form of misery-they were poor, they were weak, they were sad, disgraced, and without any hope whatsoever. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “You must trust in God.” “But,” the woman cried, “the more I trust, the worse things become!” “You have never trusted,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “But my mother is reading the Bible all of the time,” she said. “She does not deserve that God should leave her so helpless! I read the Bible myself; I say the 91st Psalm and the 23rd Psalm every night before I go to bed. I pray too.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá looked at her lovingly and said, “To pray is not to read the Bible. To pray is to trust in God and accept His Will. You must be patient and accept the Will of God, then things will change for you. Put your family in God’s hands. Trust in God and love His Will. Strong ships are not conquered by the sea; they ride the waves! Now be a strong ship, not a battered one.”
(Gloria Faizi, Stories About ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
Sutherland Maxwell went to the customs house to collect the Master’s luggage. He said that when the inspector opened the first suitcase and saw a picture of the Master, he asked, “Is this the picture of the Prophet from Persia? When he received an affirmative reply, the inspector said, “There is no need to inspect these goods", and released all the luggage. The same thing happened when they left Montréal and reentered the United States.
(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 182)