Letter to Mrs A.M. Bryant re interment of the remains of The Bab on Mt. Carmel
by May Woodcock and A.M. Bryant1909
"Our Lord and the beloved ones in Acca bade us give to all the friends their greetings and love. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's stupendous burden had not been realized by us until this second visit. We can only lighten it, He said, by being in perfect Unity amongst ourselves.
The Holy Mother, upon one occasion, said to us that our responsibilities were very great, because we were living at the time of the beginning of the Cause of God, when our example would either advance or retard souls from the Truth. That naturally the soldiers in the front ranks must bear the brunt of battle and make it easier for those coming after. That it was a great privilege to serve when difficulties surrounded us.
We remained a month in the Holy Land principally between Haifa and Acca, for we were exiled only four days which we spent in Nazareth, so that there would not be more than four American believers at one time in Haifa.
One of the greatest privileges we had during our visit was to be present when the Ashes of the Bab were moved to their final resting place on Mt. Carmel. It is beyond me to depict the beauty and solemnity of that scene. Our Lord was indescribably grand. We saw Him for the first time without His fez. (head-dress), His beautiful white hair falling in picturesque disorder upon His shoulders. He had thrown off His dark outer garment and was robed in a flowing garment of neutral blue. When the huge sarcophagus was finally placed in position our Lord with the men believers grouped about Him, made a picture never to be forgotten. One of the believers held aloft a lamp, the light of which fell like a radiance upon the beloved Master's form as He stood in the sarcophagus, and with tears streaming down His blessed Face, changed with His own Hands the Sacred Ashes from the casket which had held them many, many years, to the magnificent white marble sarcophagus which is a loving gift of the believers of India. When the marble cover was placed, our Lord threw Himself on the sarcophagus and wept aloud.
The believers who were with Him, as well as the ladies who were standing or kneeling about the entrance to the Tomb, wept with Him, and for Him too who made such a pathetic figure beside the Tomb of the One Who had proclaimed His Glorious Advent. Such a tumult of thoughts and emotions surged through our minds for it seemed as if all the miraculous happenings of the Cause from its earliest Dawn passed before our vision, flooding our souls with awe and wonder at the mighty works of God. When at last our dear Lord walked out of the Tomb He had an expression on His Face which is indescribable. The Power of the Spirit was so intense that we stood as if petrified until He had passed into another part of the building where a room was prepared for Him to rest in. In the meantime the believers who had been working with the Master came out and stood in groups speaking together in hushed tones while they waited to accompany 'Abdu'l- Baha back to Haifa. Such a wonderful picture they made, especially the white haired, saintly looking believers in their Oriental costumes. One believer had given up business and came and camped with his family near the Tomb for some weeks, during which time he had worked with pick and shovel to dig a hole in the foundation of the Tomb through which the sarcophagus had been passed. They could not employ skilled laborers for fear of drawing the attention of the Nakazeen.
Before we left that afternoon, mother and I had the privilege of drinking a cup of tea with our Lord, but as He was still very fatigued we soon excused ourselves and descended the mountain side with full hearts."
Received in 1909.