A Gift to my Mentor

I had no intentions of making an entry today. Honestly, I’m worn out. I gave two talks today at two colleges about Project Conversion and my Zoroastrian month begins in a little under three hours.

But something amazing happened this evening at the last talk–in my Intro to World Religions class–that made this whole month worth the effort.

My Baha’i Mentor is the only Baha’i that we know of within many, many miles. She is a diaspora all to herself. In fact, I have been her sole Baha’i companion for the whole month. She lit up when I arrived every week at her home for Study Circle, ready to share the wisdom of her faith. We laughed over tea and delved into the teachings of Baha’u'llah. I could tell there was something missing every time we visited the Baha’i community in “Triangle” one and half hours north of us; the way she interacted with her Baha’i family, it was like a family reunion with gatherings too rare for comfort.

I wanted to do something for her to repay her for the kindness and dedication she showed for me and Project Conversion. I wanted to give her a Baha’i community of her own.

But this is near to impossible. How can a non-Baha’i (though my Baha’i friends call me otherwise) help someone come–or at least become interested–in the faith? Turns out, all I have to do is teach. The message does the rest.

So tonight, as I finished giving my last talk about the Baha’i Faith in the last hours of the last days of the month, I showed the class the Baha’i Declaration Card and a registration card asking for more information about the faith. One woman approached me and asked to fill out the card, and if possible, to speak to my Mentor. I was floored. This was the spark I was looking for. The spark that could become a new Baha’i. She filled out the card and I will personally hand it to my Mentor tomorrow afternoon. I called my Mentor about what had happened and I could feel the joy flowing off her voice. Not because she might get the chance to “convert” someone, but because she gets the chance to share her faith.

So, looks like I have been the best Baha’i I can be to the end. It’s been a wonderful month, an insightful month, and folks…we are only two months in. Who knows what’s around the corner. When I wake up, I’ll be a Zoroastrian. Until then,

Allah-u-Abha!

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  • Superunknown1492

    I just found your site yesterday after reading about you on Huffington Post, and can I say that I think this is AMAZING! I wish I could do something like this, I really identify with what you said about being spiritually promiscuous. I am totally susceptible to the winking of different faiths as well, so thank you for letting me vicariously participate in your project!

  • Amy

    Oh Andrew!!!
    Thank you so much for everything! Brought tears to my eyes reading this. One heart at a time. <3

  • Mary Wilson

    Oh my gosh! That is a precious gift not just for your beloved mentor but more so for whom you shared the teachings of Baha’u'llah. For the woman and others, the teachings will illumine their paths in search for truth. You have become an instrument – a pure channel through which God’s love flows into others (paraphrasing a prayer). Thanks again for your sincerity and open-hearted and lovingkindnesses. I am humbled and will remember you.

    • rene knight-weiler

      Hi Mary. I am looking for a Baha’i named Mary Wilson who wrote an article for Spiritual Mothering Journal a couple decades ago! Is this you? What a wonderful place to find you, if so. I so enjoyed this blog post and am really inspired by it. Could you contact me (Rene Knight-Weiler, then editor of SMJ) at theland@gorge.net     Thank you! And thank you Andrew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2104102 Valeria Wicker

    That is amazing. I’m so glad the Baha’is can now call you our friend!

  • Baha’i from Canada

    Andrew your journey is so inspiring in its open heartedness. Even if you come to rest somewhere do not let that go.

  • http://twitter.com/mjsolender Michael Solender

    wonderful connection andrew..

  • Leila

    That really was wonderful to read! I hope your journey into Zoroastrianism is wonderful and full of joy. I’m a Baha’i and am looking forward to reading your posts in the coming weeks/months. Best wishes.

  • Lisarm

    Andrew – this is so marvelous. I just so deeply appreciate how open and loving you are, and how much you have striven to embody the teachings of Baha’u'llah. Surely great blessings are (and have been) coming your way. God Bless you – You are a True Seeker, just as Baha’u'llah talked about in the Tablet of the True Seeker. http://www.northill.demon.co.uk/bahai/seeker.htm

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! The fullest blessing came from the Baha’i friends themselves.

  • TheTrueCelt

    Andrew,

    Ya Baha’u'l-Abha! Congratulations on the completion of your Baha’i month, and being confirmed as a teacher of the Faith by the fact that someone was brought to the Faith through you. A great blessing for you, your mentor, and the potentially new Baha’i.

    Along these lines, I want to share one other thing with you. In the first area meeting I attended as a new Baha’i in 2009, one of the Persian women in attendance spoke of the Baha’is imprisoned in Iran for the Faith. She said that “If they were with us and we asked them what we could do for them, they would tell us ‘Teach the Faith!’” I will never forget that. Still gives me goose bumps thinking of it. That is the best way to honor the Baha’is in Iran. I know they are near and dear to you. And so your act of sharing the Faith, of teaching it and having someone come to the Faith through you, is one of the greatest things you could do for those dear souls devoted to Baha’u'llah. Imagine them standing before you saying, “Thank you!”. Imagine Baha’u'llah and Abdu’l-Baha saying, “Well done!”.

    Finally, as you say in your concluding video, it’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later. Indeed. I have a feeling you’ll be back one way or another. :-) I’ll be continuing to follow your journey through the other faiths. I may yet get around to submitting my “conversion story” to you for the Conversion Corner. We’ll see. :-)

    May God continue to bless you now and always.

    Peace,
    – Stewart

    • Anonymous

      I look forward to hearing from you Stewart!

    • Jewellybug

      hi ((( stewart ))) i finally just saw this — and it’s just totally awesome! Ya-Baha-u’l-Abha! i must subscribe to this feed if i can figure out how to do it. yours, julie

  • Pingback: Back Online! Assessing the Damage « Project Conversion

  • Jewellybug

    wow, what a wonderful undertaking. hope to follow from now on — much love to you, julie

  • Pingback: All I have to do is teach, the message does the rest « Inspiration for Bahá’í Teaching

  • Moragadonald

    You have such a beautiful soul :) which makes it lovely to read your travels and watch your video :)

  • Beth Irwin

    What a wonderful gift! I’m a Baha’i who only recently learned of your site. I’ve just shared this site with another gentleman who is on a similar quest. You have learned a great truth. The message speaks for itself.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for dropping by Beth. I’m glad you enjoy the site!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment s mclean

    fascinating!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    That is so neat that someone would become interested in the Baha’i religion. I feel like it was meant to happen to keep you going in your journey. You said that you were worn out and didn’t think you were even going to make a post, then something amazing happened, a student deeply considering the religion. Your journey should inspire many people to take risks and get out of their comfort zone.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sean M

    I looked in that religion, I think the POV of the lady that asked for a memebership card was the same as what I see God/Jesus as….Not seeing God/Jesus as many being that stands alone, but as one being that goes into three or many part (father, son, and holy ghost). My understanding of the Baha’i understand of what you said in Mrs. Ulrich class was “one that make many part”. My understand is God was the father of Jesus that sent a human being on earht to show them the way and the light as well as understanding of the world. So, he “God” all seeing being that he is became three.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Claudius

    As familiar as I am with the path you’re treading, I’m still fascinated to no end to know how every step affects the rest of your life. I went through a similar experience between 1971 and 1975. I signed my Baha’i declaration card in October of 1975. Becoming a Baha’i still remains the most significant life-changing and most rewarding action of my life. I wish you joy.

    • abowen

      Claudius,

      I am glad you found yourself joyful coming to the Baha’i Faith! Blessings!