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I originally had no interest in organized religion. Such affiliation I found distasteful and, frankly, unthinkable. I was, quite simply, only impassioned to know God’s purpose for humankind.

After all, I reasoned, if there was a God–and only one God–then, assuredly, purpose would be the same for all, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, nationality and the like. Quite unexpectedly, then, and to my complete surprise at the time, I found myself powerless to resist entering “the land of the lovers,” that mystical place where the Creator and the created connect.

I was raised Christian, spent most of my twenties as an atheist, and was exposed to the Baha’i Faith through my late and dearly loved sister, Diana. She had become a Baha’i a couple of years before, gave me Baha’i books to read, and took me to a gathering where Baha’is and their friends would explore and discuss the Baha’i teachings. I made it very clear that I had no interest in being a Baha’i.

Irrespective of my obvious displeasure with all things religious, the Baha’is extended to me great generosity of spirit, kindness and understanding. I suspect they prayed for me, too!

Every life has its challenges, surprises and periods of deep reflection. A couple of years passed. My atheism turned into agnosticism, then gradually into certitude in the existence of a loving God. As a result, I initiated contact with Baha’is and, within a day, found myself in the home of Bob and Mary Moore, two dear and precious souls living, as I did, in central California. We discussed the teachings of Baha’u’llah at length. At last, I had found the truth I was looking for, and was ready to go back to life as usual.  

But dear Bob and Mary could see the longing in my heart, and understood if I walked away from Baha’u’llah it would be tantamount to my denying what I had been intensely searching for. The overwhelming feelings that came upon me that night I cannot adequately describe. Suffice it to say, my soul was a newly lit, blazing torch on fire with the love of God and the Faith of Baha’u’llah.   

The poem “Luminous Blue,” is about the very moment my friend Mary Moore rose from her seat and sat quietly by my side with a Baha’i declaration of faith card in hand. My poem tries to describe, briefly and feebly, that transformative moment when my heart could not resist its Lord, when truly, I felt born anew, when life as I knew it ceased, and worlds, spiritual and luminous, opened up to me. The poem is intensely personal, as any spiritual experience should be, but I include it here so readers might have a sense of what happened in my soul:

A Luminous Blue

In memory of Mary Moore, and that moment when I became a Baha’i at the home of Bob and Mary Moore

I will never forget that face.
I can not forget that moment.
The purity of her heart
That eve long ago
Remains burnished on my being.
Her visage expressed
Enduring serenity.
Her eyes shone
A luminous blue.

This would-be lover’s heart,
Scorched and dry,
Cried out for a draught
From the River of Life
To quench the relentless
Burning thirst
That the Beloved’s cup alone
Can satisfy.

I will never forget that face.
I cannot forget that moment.
That eve long ago
When Truth was sought
And beauty redefined.

When Love mounted its throne
And the heart surrendered,
Bowing low and long,
Thankful before its Lord.
When His Light shone forth
And filled my soul
And her eyes shone
A luminous blue.

Having found Baha’u’llah, I immersed myself in his writings; they stirred my being to its depths. They still do. As Baha’u’llah says, “Kindle the fire of love and burn away all things, Then set thy foot into the land of the lovers.” – The Seven Valleys, p. 11.

My poetry allows me to kindle the fire of love in a very personal, heartfelt way, and hopefully to allow others to catch a glimpse of God’s purpose for us all.

6 Comments

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  • Jun 03, 2018
    Sorry for multiple comments. Weird connection. Browser stopped responding. 😂
  • May 31, 2018
    Just one small point that should be perhaps noted Robert: the last quotation in your article, from the 'The Seven Valleys,' is Baha'u'llah quoting from the 'The Mathnavi' written by the Sufi poet Rumi.
  • Sharon Lund
    May 31, 2018
    Thank you for sharing this deeply felt experience. Thank you for being a “ true seeker”. May your fire burn brightly FOREVER in His Grace. ❤️❤️❤️
  • Shahnaz Ja Yrjö Mikkonen
    May 31, 2018
    Allá'u'Abhá! Is it possible to have a permission to use this poem for a composition? Best wishes, Yrjö Mikkonen, Oulu, Finland. Please, reply to mikkonen.yrjo@gmail.com
  • Deanne LaRue
    May 31, 2018
    I visited your website, https://poetryforthesoul9.wordpress.com and found it such a wonderful addition to this morning's devotions... "Ribbons from His Love" was a magical pairing! Thank you.