The Act of Giving - Baha'u'llah and the Hermit
The Writings of the Baha'i Faith are filled with references to the act of giving, which is a spiritual responsibility and a service that every believer can render, whether poor or wealthy. We are reminded that the amount given is not important, but it is the degree of the sacrifice of the giver and the love with which he makes his gift that bring spiritual confirmations. Bahá’u’lláh wrote:
“...although these insignificant amounts are not worthy of mention, they are well pleasing, since the donors offer them for the sake of God. If the offering be but a single grain it is regarded as the crowning glory of all the harvests of the world.”
Bahá’u’lláh often rode His horse over the hills outside the city, and one day He came upon a hermit who lived by himself in a cave in the mountains. When the hermit saw Bahá’u’lláh, he knelt at His feet and said, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am a poor man living alone in a cave nearby, but I shall be the happiest man if Thou wilt come for a moment to my cave and bless it by Thy Presence.’ Bahá’u’lláh felt a great love for the poor hermit and followed him to his cave, and spent all day talking with him. When evening came the hermit began to worry because he did not have any fine food to give to Bahá’u’lláh. At last, he told Bahá’u’lláh what was troubling him. Bahá’u’lláh told him not to worry but to bring whatever food he had. The man fetched a little dry meat, some black barley bread and water from a nearby spring. They enjoyed this simple meal together. Bahá’u’lláh loved the hermit so much He stayed three days in that cave in the rocks. At the end of the three days, He said that He had never felt so comfortable and welcomed before, even though there were no chairs or even a bed to sleep on. As for the hermit, he was so happy being with Bahá’u’lláh that he thought the food tasted more delicious than anything he had ever eaten!