We are never alone in this world. Throughout our life, we are surrounded by parents, family, friends, classmates, teachers, neighbours, and more. God is with us, too, throughout our entire life; he loves us and cares for us, provides for us by sending His laws and teachings, forgives us when we make mistakes. We listen to His teachings and follow them because we know he is our Creator and our true Friend.
“Incline your hearts, O people of God, unto the counsels of your true, your incomparable Friend.” (Bahá’u’lláh)
- Tell the story of how Bahá’u’lláh was arrested and unjustly imprisoned in the Siyáh-Chál, along with many others who followed the Cause he proclaimed. This dark, cold dungeon was a horrible, filthy place with foul air; the prisoners were held in heavy chains. Despite this, Bahá’u’lláh taught the prisoners to chant verses that reaffirmed their trust in God: “God is sufficient unto me; He verily is the All-Sufficing!” chanted one row of prisoners. “In Him let the trusting trust,” the other row would respond. Their repeated chanting grew so loud that even the cruel king in his palace heard their voices. When he was told that the chanting came from the prisoners in the Siyáh-Chál, he grew silent, knowing that no matter what horrors he could inflict on them, there was nothing he could do to turn from from their Cause.
- Explorer, based on Hot and Cold. Choose one child to be the “explorer”, who then leaves the room. The remaining children must choose a secret spot in the room for the explorer to find, and a simple posture for the explorer to take once the spot is found (i.e. standing on one foot, with a hand on the right hip, etc). Once the spot and the posture are chosen, the explorer returns to the room and begins exploring. As the explorer gets closer to the spot, the children should communicate this by clapping louder and louder; as he or she gets farther, they should clap softer and softer. Once the correct spot is found, the children should clap in the same way to indicate how “far” the explorer is from the correct posture.
- Have the children practice their storytelling skills by memorizing the story of the prisoners in the Siyáh-Chál. They should cover at least the main points of the story, summarized in Lesson 13 of Ruhi Book 3, Grade 2, Set 5. To help them remember each of the points, cue cards can be used—with either words or images on them representing each point. Use these cards to review the main points with them at least once before they begin retelling the story. If at any time they get stuck, the appropriate cue card can be shown to help them along.
O children of negligence and passion! Ye have suffered My enemy to enter My house and have cast out My friend, for ye have enshrined the love of another than Me in your hearts. Give ear to the sayings of the Friend and turn towards His paradise. Worldly friends, seeking their own good, appear to love one the other, whereas the true Friend has loved and doth love you for your own sakes; indeed He hath suffered for your guidance countless afflictions. Be not disloyal to such a Friend, nay rather hasten unto Him. Such is the day-star of the word of truth and faithfulness, that hath dawned above the horizon of the pen of the Lord of all names. Open your ears that ye may hearken unto the word of God, the Help in peril, the Self-existent. (Bahá’u’lláh, Persian Hidden Words, No. 52)
O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)