Where is God? And why isn 't He doing something about the mess we are all in, and why does He allow so much war, misery, poverty, injustice?
So I rushed into words, his luminous eyes on my face, and suddenly he broke up the gravity of my solemn feelings by slapping his knee and spelling swiftly: "Good, you're honest, and that is all that counts." In the middle of his reply his eyes lifted from the board and smilingly swept over my daughter who was sitting across from us on a narrow wooden bench. He looked up at the doctor and a few men who were crowding in the open doorway, and pointed out on the board, "Innocent!"
As he spoke the word, the doctor smiled and my daughter, all her sophistication and critical appraisal disarmed, dissolved into a big gulp and sobs. From then on she was his slave. And suddenly I realized what the indefinable lustre in those eyes was—it was bliss! I had read about such but I had never seen it, and little expected to, in our time. Most of the paintings of saints I had seen portrayed them as a mournful and emaciated lot. I couldn't see how communion with God, who is posited as Love, could produce such painful piety.
But here was the real thing... a being who exuded wit, joy; whose face radiated love and happiness, with a brilliant capacity for handling problems and questions of people from every faith all over the world, and who had around him a group of strong, keen, selfless men, all beaming the same joy.
We stayed five days in the " Happy Valley" where Rama and Sita once roamed in the [sic]long ago. During that time we were put through the gamut of every emotion—and gave our lives into his keeping. He sent us back into the world, warning us to faithfully discharge all our earthly duties, to always to be honest in everything, to not tell even little white social lies because God cannot live in a heart where there is hypocrisy. And not to expect anything to be easy, as life would be full of problems and the world even more so; that in fact the world would reach, in years to come, a zenith of anti-God thinking, immorality, lust and greed, because the ending of a vast cycle of cycles is taking place. He cheered us though by saying that after the climax a new era of real brotherly love would be ushered in by God, who knows all that is going on.
That was in January of 1948, when Hindustanis and Pakistanis were at each other's throats in the streets of India. Arrived back in New York, after two days of shopping, my daughter, who was always full of life and fun, refused to go out. I laid it to fatigue until she admitted that most of the people she saw on the streets looked like dead fish or sleep-walkers, after being with the vital people of the ashram.