Exhaustion

Lady Blomfield cited another instance of His delightful humour: ‘One day after a meeting when, as usual, many people had crowded around Him, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived home very tired. We were sick at heart that He should be so fatigued, and bewailed the many steps to be ascended to the flat. Suddenly, to our amazement, the Master ran up the stairs to the top very quickly without stopping.

‘He looked down at us as we walked up after Him, saying with a bright smile, from which all traces of fatigue had vanished: “You are all very old! I am very young!”’ He added, ‘”Through the power of Bahá’u’lláh all things can be done. I have just used that power.”’

Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 174

‘‘Abdu’l-Bahá used to come on foot two miles in the heat carrying flower-pots on His shoulders. He was an old, old man with white hair and white beard and He used to carry these flower-pots to the tomb of Bahá’u’lláh from one of the gardens in order to plant them near the tomb of His Father. There was a pump on the side of the wall of the tomb of Bahá’u’lláh in the old days, one of those hand-pumps that you have to handle. I heard that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá used to stand, as an old man, and pump water until from standing against the wall and working He was so stiff He could not walk away from it. Once they had to come and lift Him away from the wall and rub His legs until the circulation came back. And they said “Why do you tire yourself so, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá?” He said “What can I do for Bahá’u’lláh?”’

Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 167

A second meeting was held that evening at the home of Mr and Mrs Andrew J. Dyer, a mixed race couple. Those present were in such unity and love that the Master remarked: “Before I arrived, I felt too tired to speak at this meeting but at the sight of such genuine love and attraction between the white and the black friends, I was so moved that I spoke with great love and likened this union of different colored races to a string of gleaming pearls and rubies.” After He spoke and showered His love on each one, He left in His carriage for a third meeting. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was so filled with joy and happiness and His voice resonated so loudly that even the people walking along the street could hear Him.

Source unknown

After the meeting He went up to rest in Mr Morten’s room. He had seen a hundred and forty people that morning and was so worn out at the end of His talk that He looked almost ill. His fatigue was apparent to everyone–and yet the people had no pity. When I returned from an errand to the kitchen, literally hundreds were streaming toward His room; a dozen were in the room; in the hall were many peering faces, and climbing up the stairs–a procession!

“Oh can’t we shut the door?” I asked Dr Faríd. But the Master heard me.

“Let them come now,” He said gently.

Diary of Juliet Thompson, 13 April 1912

At a time when Juliet Thompson’s mother was suffering much grief because her son’s fiancée, both brilliant and beautiful, did not want to make friends with his family, she received an invitation to visit ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Though she was opposed to Juliet’s work for the Bahá’í Faith and a thunderstorm was raging, she got her rubbers and went to the Master. He was exhausted, lying on His bed. He had seen hundreds of people that day, literally. But she was warmly welcomed. His words of comfort included, ‘…I heard of your sorrow. And now I want to comfort you. Trust in God. God is kind. God is faithful. God never forgets you. If others are unkind what difference does it make when God is kind? When God is on your side it does not matter what men do to you.’ The next day ‘Mamma’ was able to say, ‘All my bitterness has gone.’ She regarded it as a miracle.

Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

By 12 June ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was extremely exhausted. Juliet Thompson wrote that "He talked for a long while to the people. But this I could see was pure sacrifice. His vitality seemed gone. At times He could scarcely bring forth the words, yet He gave and gave. Nevertheless, He continued to go out and speak at public meetings, and at gatherings at His house.

Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 142