September 13, 2020

Baha’u’llah as Protector – by Mabel Hyde Paine

In whatever way we view Baha'u'llah, awe and wonder and an inability to comprehend must loom large in our attitude. An early pilgrim wrote of 'Abdu'l-Baha, "As we gazed on Him I realized that we could in no way comprehend Him; we could only love Him, follow Him, obey Him and thereby draw nearer to His beauty. I understand that we could not fathom the mystery of His being, we could only hope to be engulfed therein." [1] How much more, even, is this true of Baha'u'llah.

Yet, as Baha'is, we are not shut out as by a veil from Him. We recognize in Him the living Word of God, that same Word of which St. John wrote: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men.  ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father."[ 2] As Baha'is we have the enlarged conception of "the Only Begotten of the Father", that it applies to all the great Messengers or Manifestations of God. As Baha'is, adoring Baha'u'llah, we adore Jesus the Christ, Muhammad, all those great Ones who come to this earth, but Who at the same time always abide in the heaven of the creative power of God.

God has willed that these great Ones, Who were with Him from eternity and to eternity will abide with Him, should come to earth and take up the human life and live it perfectly. They are the channels through which the power of God may come to us. They are our help in troubles and in peril, our sanctuary of protection. As Isaiah put it, "A man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." [3]

Among the ways by which we may come to an abiding sense of the reality of this protective power of the Manifestations is study of Their Words, which are deeply creative. Another way is a deep acquaintance with the lives They led while on earth.