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Marriage...

It was not long after this that Lua came to Grace and told her that it was the wish of Abdu'l-Baha that she marry Harlan Ober. Grace was shocked. 'Why I don't really know that man! I've only met him a few times and that very casually. Besides - I'm almost engaged to someone else. He's asked me and I'm I'm making up my mind. How could I think of marrying Harlan Ober? Lua smiled, "I'm only repeating Abdu'l-Baha's request," she said gently. So Grace quickly put the idea out of her mind. The next morning Lua came the second time to deliver the same message. Again Grace dismissed it all as being utterly fantastic. The third morning when Lua came she added her own remarks to the message. "You'd better really consider this, Grace Abdu'l-Baha does not make suggestions lightly." Grace, this time, realized how serious this was. 'But what does He want me to do? Write to Harlan Ober, whom I scarcely know - and propose to him? How could I? Oh, Lua I do want to be obedient but how on earth can I? Lua hugged her and patted her consolingly. "Ill do it," she said. "I know Harlan very well - it was through me he came into the Faith. I can do this easily." So Lua wrote to Harlan - and Harlan, radiant at the thought that he was obeying a suggestion of his beloved Master, took the next train to New York from Boston where he lived. He came at once to see Grace and together they went walking through Central Park where he proposed and Grace, still. dazed.and uncertain, accepted - because it was the will of Abdu'l-Baha.

The next morning they were called into Abdu'l-Baha's bedroom. And. Abdu'l-Baha was there, with one or two others, waiting to perform the marriage ceremony. Grace remembered, afterward, entering the room. She remembered the look of warm love on Abdu'l-Baha's face; she remembered the bands of sunlight on the floor and the bowls of roses on the tables and the next thing she was aware of was lying on a couch with Harlan bending above her asking if she felt better. She then discovered that the marriage had been performed - a marriage that, with no faltering, she had gone through with Harlan at her side then, when it was over, she had swayed a little and they had suggested she lie down. Abdu'l-Baha, smiling and serene, was watching her with great love knowing perfectly well how overcome with the spiritual force of these great moments she had been and knowing that the whole experience only proved her great spiritual susceptibility and capacity.

So were Grace Robarts and Harlan Ober married by Abdu'l-Baha. Later that same day they were married again by the laws of New York when Howard Colby Ives performed the legal ceremony.
This was told to me by Grace Ober
at Green Acre c. 1933

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