Mrs. Gibbons, a Bahá’í, had written the Master before His coming to the United States, requesting that her own daughter be allowed to paint His portrait. In His reply He consented to this request and added, according to Mrs. Gibbons, that Juliet Thompson would paint a portrait of Him. Juliet Thompson had long dreamed that she would paint the face of Christ.
During the month of June, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá allowed Juliet Thompson to paint His portrait telling her to paint His “Servitude to God”. She completed it over the course of six sittings which took place over multiple days in different rooms. Juliet remembered that fourth sitting on June 19th because of an extraordinary experience she and Lua Getsinger had on that day.
As the Master prepared to sit for the portrait, He turned to Lua Getsinger who was also in the room and told her in Persian that these sittings made Him sleepy. He sat down and closed His eyes. Juliet studied Him but found that she could not begin painting because ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s countenance reflected the dignity and peace of the Divine Realm.
Then, as though awakened by the Holy Spirit, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá opened His eyes and with great power said:
"I appoint you, Lua, the Herald of the Covenant. And I AM THE COVENANT, appointed by Bahá’u’lláh. And no one can refute His Word. This is the Testament of Bahá’u’lláh. You will find it in the Holy Book of Aqdas. Go forth and proclaim, 'This is THE COVENANT OF GOD in your midst.'"
A great joy seemed to fill Lua while Juliet wept at witnessing this extraordinary moment of spiritual force flowing through the Master. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá became quiet again. The Holy Spirit receded, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the man re-emerged. He smiled at Juliet and told her that she must stop crying since she would not be able to paint through tears.
In the afternoon of that same day He sent Lua Getsinger downstairs to speak about the Covenant to the visitors waiting there. When He went down later, He read from Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet of the Branch and spoke with great power on the Covenant. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá designated New York City, the “City of the Covenant”.