I wrote an article about this magnificent structure many years ago. As I revisited it today, the same feelings came rushing back. I came around the curve, looked to my left and there sat the Baha’i House of Worship. It’s a breathtaking sight because it’s like seeing the Taj Mahal in a residential area. The majestic structure stood with all of is elegance waiting to be noticed. It was just as I remembered it!
Initially, I parked in a lot that said Baha’i House of Worship, but I thought, this must be an overflow lot. So I went to where I remembered the lot used to be located near Linden Avenue; but the spiritual hand knew what was right. I was in the right spot at the first turn.
The old parking lot was under repair, so I went back the first parking lot. The minute after I got out of the car, I took a picture of the temple from across the street. It demands that type of attention and I could not wait before capturing my first shot.
I crossed the street. The weather was dry and sunny. I walked to the temple as the crisp morning refreshed my spirits. I climbed the steps knowing that I was in for a pleasant experience. Once I reached the entrance, two greeters opened the door with welcoming smiles. I was guided to pick up a few brochures. I then headed into the sanctuary and found a place to sit in the plush chairs.
There were a handful of people sitting in quiet meditation. I sat down in the serene atmosphere. The only sounds were those of the lawn mowers from outside. I felt the same sense of awe that I had felt years ago as I looked around at the sacred beauty of the décor. The lace-like walls, the golden lamp posts, the fresh flowers on both sides of the podium were some of the first items that I noted.
I decided to jot down a few things and commit them to memory. The sun came through the oblong windows and as I looked up, the windows on the second level had sheer white curtains which gave a nice calming effect. I sat for a moment, closed my eyes and simply took it all in as I let go of some of my own personal concerns.
I opened my eyes and looked up at the unique design in the ceiling. I wanted to get the description right so I looked back on the words I had previously written. They read, “The dome-like top of the building symbolizes the nine fingertips ‘touching to praise God.’ The lace-like pattern typifies the inter-woven religions of all men.” . One of the newly acquired brochures reminded me that, “The Baha’i faith is open to all people and focuses on the oneness of humanity and dignity of every human being.”
I continually sat and enjoyed the silence. I felt safe and secure by merely being in this presence and further cleared my mind. I considered staying for the 12:30 afternoon devotion, but my time there had been sufficient. I was ready to go back out and face the world, but more fortified.
There were several sayings and scriptures displayed around the walls. As I looked at the other people in deep contemplation, I knew we were on a common mission. I felt connected to the others and reconnected within myself. I chose this saying from the wall. “Ye are the fruits of one tree!” I left the Baha’i House of Worship feeling a sense of renewal and went on to enjoy the rest of the day.
Lynn November 23, 2014