Arsenic Rodriguez

We stayed in India for two weeks, and the evening before we were to leave, my mother and I went to Meherabad to attend evening arti. At the top of the hill, twinkling stars smiled their nightly smile at the pilgrims below, indicating the end of evening arti. Quietude pervaded Meherabad hill, pierced only by the far away music of the guitar and our hearts' songs of love.

We descended slowly following the faint circle of light provided by our flashlight. My mother was holding on to me, nervous that scorpions and cobras might spring out of the surrounding darkness. It was then that she said to me, "You know, in my heart I know He is the One, the same as Christ, but my mind fails to understand and to accept. After all, for so many years I was told, and believed, that Jesus was the sole manifestation of God." I told her not to worry. I thought I understood her dilemma but didn't know that the real answer was quietly sounding from her feet!

We returned to Viloo Villa where we had been staying and started packing for an early start the next day. My mother carefully took off her shoes and, in her philosophical style, said that they should go to a museum, for they had traveled so far, across so many holy places. As she placed them in her suitcase with the soles pointing upward, she noticed part of a figure on one of the shoes. Her failing eyesight prevented her from distinguishing it, but she knew that there was a figure on the sole of her right shoe.

She brought this to our attention and one of the group looked and remarked that it was Meher Baba's face! And sure enough, etched in the eroded sole, in tan and brown tones, was a very clear profile of Baba's face. Curiosity made us look at the other shoe, whereupon we found an almost perfect sketch of Christ, similar to El Greco's depiction of Jesus on the cross. Everybody who was present admired the images and was astonished at the "miraculous" way they had appeared. But only my mother understood.

She said, "The miraculous thing is not that the faces appeared on the soles of my shoes, that's incidental. The real miracle is His compassion: His answer came so swiftly. 'Don't worry,' He said, 'I am in both Jesus and Baba, love me as either, for I will always be with you.' These were the words silently spoken and recorded by the soles of my shoes." Words that were etched by the dust that some time ago had kissed His blessed feet.


SHOWERS OF GRACE, pp. 63-64, ed. Bal Natu
1984 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust