Punctuality

Kindness lies at the heart of loving discipline. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá dearly loved His little grandson, Shoghi, but he needed to learn to be on time. This he learned very early in his life ‘after receiving one good chastisement from no other hand than that of his grandfather!’ He then became the first to get up for the family prayers and breakfast.
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 47)


While I was with Him at Ruha’s house, the Master had invited me to lunch, and as soon as He left us, I hurried to ‘Inayatu’llah’s to
change my dress. But people were in my bedroom, which is also the living room—a believer was calling on Khanum Diya—and I couldn’t suggest to them to go! When at last they did, Khanum Diya assured me I had time to dress. But then, the devil got into me: I wanted to make myself as beautiful as I could! And everything went wrong; it was like a nightmare! I chose an elaborate white lace dress, fastened in the back with hooks-and-eyes and my fingers couldn’t find the right hooks. I tried to put on my veil, a rose-coloured one with a border, in the most becoming way, and couldn’t arrange it becomingly enough! And before I was through adorning myself, Khusraw ran in with an appalling message: the Master and the Holy Household were already at the table! By the time I reached the House and the dining room, the Master had risen from His seat and was washing His hands in a basin near the window. He asked me to please excuse Him for leaving so soon, He had only taken a little soup. I sat stricken with an awful shame: speechless with shame, as I realized overwhelmingly the disrespect I had shown to our Lord in keeping Him waiting—and all because of my vanity! He came back to the table and repeated: “Ask Juliet to excuse Me for leaving her so soon. I only took soup today.” And while He spoke He looked at me, such grief in His eyes as I could hardly bear, such grief because He had to punish me. Then He turned and went out of the room, having had nothing to eat. To inflict that so necessary punishment He had sacrificed His midday meal.
(Diary of Juliet Thompson)