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How does spirituality affect our friendships with others? A new Baha’i video, “Refresh and Gladden My Spirit” tells an inspirational story about two friends who turned their life around—together.

The second installment of the documentary video series “A Rich Tapestry,” prepared by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, reveals how two women built an unbreakable bond of friendship through prayer and service, and how that friendship created a new way of life for them and their families.

This title of this video, “Refresh and Gladden My Spirit,” is inspired by a Baha’i prayer:

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.  Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.  I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord. – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 151.

Through interviews and footage that offers a glimpse into the lives of real people, “Refresh and Gladden My Spirit” tells the story of two women who met initially as mothers in their kids’ karate class and formed a close friendship. As one of them became involved in Baha’i community-building activities, such as classes for children and study circles, she invited her friend to join, and a wonderful process began.

As the two women taught children’s classes and studied together, they saw the change that spiritual education brought to their kids. Through praying together, they began to find solutions to pressing problems, and in supporting each other, they took steps to improve their own lives and those of the people around them.

They also inspired their children to follow suit and help those younger than themselves, creating a wonderful, supportive community of love and service—a cycle destined to continue with the generations after them:

There are many ways of expressing the love principle; there is love for the family, for the country, for the race, there is political enthusiasm, there is also the love of community of interest in service. These are all ways and means of showing the power of love. Without any such means, love would be unseen, unheard, unfelt—altogether unexpressed, unmanifested! … So, it is necessary to have an instrument, a motive for love’s manifestation, an object, a mode of expression.

We must find a way of spreading love among the sons of humanity. – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 35-36.

This video shows the effects of having the courage to bring up profound spiritual topics with friends, even when unsure about their reactions. As a snapshot of two lives that became deeply connected through service and prayer, “Refresh and Gladden My Spirit” shows us how a friendship rooted in spirituality can have a unimaginably powerful effect—not only on the individuals involved, but on a much wider extended community of people.

You can access all the videos by visiting the official website of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States at If the beautiful friendship in the film inspires you, share it with some of your friends—perhaps you can spark something wonderful in your community, too.


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