Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


Coming home to oneness

Deep in each of our hearts, we already know oneness, because we are created in it. Every atom of existence embodies and reflects this truth.

Sending love and prayerful blessings to all as celebrations unfold worldwide on this 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah.

“The incomparable Friend saith:

“The path to freedom hath been outstretched; hasten ye thereunto.

“The wellspring of wisdom is overflowing; quaff ye therefrom.

“Say: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers.

Courtesy of Lara Kearns

“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.

“Verily I say, whatsoever leadeth to the decline of ignorance and the increase of knowledge hath been, and will ever remain, approved in the sight of the Lord of creation.

“Say: O people! Walk ye neath the shadow of justice and truthfulness and seek ye shelter within the tabernacle of unity.”

~ Baha’u’llah, The Tabernacle of Unity


Courtesy of Diane Kirkup

“Through the power of Baha’u’llah all will be united.

“He upraised this standard of the oneness of humanity in prison.
“When subjected to banishment by two kings, while a refugee from enemies of all nations and during the days of His long imprisonment He wrote to the kings and rulers of the world in words of wonderful eloquence, arraigning them severely and summoning them to the divine standard of unity and justice.
“He exhorted them to peace and international agreement, making it incumbent upon them to establish a board of international arbitration — that from all nations and governments of the world there should be delegates selected for a congress of nations which should constitute a universal arbitral court of justice to settle international disputes.
“He wrote to Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, the Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Germany, Napoleon III of France and others, inviting them to world unity and peace.
Through a heavenly power He was enabled to promulgate these ideals in the Orient. Kings could not withstand Him. They endeavored to extinguish His light but served only to increase its intensity and illumination.”
~ Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace (Wilmette: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1982 Edition) pp. 202-203.


Hope’s eternal address


Image courtesy Lauren Chuslo-Shur.

One day at work years ago, I discovered that my only available exit from a room would take me smack through a conversation a teen-age boy was having with my boss. The boy looked pale and nervous. My boss seemed stiff and guarded, though obviously listening carefully. Their exchange appeared to be one that each would prefer to keep private and I held back, knowing I couldn’t just walk through the middle of that.


Photo courtesy Saffron Moser.

Though I didn’t want to eavesdrop, snippets of their conversation floated my way, things like “really sorry” and “want to make up for it”. The teen-ager was doing most of the talking.

Finally, when I peeked out, I could see that the boy’s face looked relieved. My boss’ posture had also relaxed and they finally moved off together so I never had to interrupt them.

When I saw my boss put his hand gently on the boy’s shoulder, I knew I’d witnessed one of those quietly monumental things that happen in the smallest of moments. This boy had made good on the toughest part of trustworthiness — owning up and taking responsibility for his actions. Then he’d also taken the step many never quite find the courage for: making amends.

Such trustworthiness often blossoms out of truthfulness, the foundation of every human virtue. Just as any physical structure needs a foundation, so a life of any spiritual substance must be founded on truthfulness.


Photo: Nelson Ashberger.

To have capacity for this, however, I think we need (ongoing) training in life that helps us understand and appreciate its value. We also need to see it modeled in action. The very rarity of such trustworthiness in our culture today implies for me a considerable need for the kind of training that can polish gems like these within us from an early age.

As that teen-age boy and my boss walked away together companionably, the boy’s action, and my boss’ reception of it, radiated around them so perceptibly I could feel it. In an instant, as privileged observer, I knew that the spirit of this exchange was going to reach and affect the lives of people neither of them had even met yet. And, even more remarkably, ones they might never meet.

Those gems within us, the real wealth – the only wealth – are where all hope resides.

312q7DGYsbL._PJlook-inside-v2-small,TopRight,1,0_SH20_ Adapted from:

 Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details –