40 Years in America

Sandra Lowen

A new leader had arrived in our center, and at first, I was happy that he had come, but as time went on, I realized that he was not very impressed by my hard work -- he was very critical. Like most people, I have a terrible inferiority complex and could not understand why such heavy accusation was coming to me. I tried to accept it as some kind of test, but I couldnít shrug these things off when I heard them every day. I prayed and prayed, but no answer came. Finally, I was sent fundraising during a spate of bad weather, and developed a bad cold, which became bronchitis, which became pneumonia. I spent several weeks in and out of bed, and I felt more and more worthless. Finally, I thought that I could not be of any value to God or the other center members. I determined to leave the Church, if only for a few months, to find out just what I was good for.

So one night I came home from work and packed all of my clothes, determined to exit at my earliest convenience. That night I dreamed I was in the middle of a monitoring room, like the type television studios have, with several sets showing different scenes mounted on the walls. Someone sat in the directorís chair. Though he wore a long monkís robe and his face was hidden by a hood, I knew that he was God Himself. He wasnít aware of me, however; He was watching the monitors intently. In looking at one monitor, He suddenly became very agitated. I looked over His shoulder and saw that He was watching a young American soldier who was fighting furiously in the Vietnam War. The young man was throwing hand grenades and dodging bullets, leaping among the trees and undergrowth for better cover. God was shouting directions for him to run in so that he would not get shot. But it was like shouting at a television screen. The action goes on no matter what your feelings are. Of course, the young man could not hear Him. He took off running for a better position, but a bullet caught him, and he went down.

With a great cry, God tore Himself out of His chair and leapt into the screen, appearing on the monitor. He rushed to the young man and turned him over, but he was already dead. God began to cry and took him into his arms, rocking him back and forth like a baby. But all to no avail. He couldnít bring the dead man back to life. God had loved him so much, but he hadnít realized it. He had had no connection with God through the television screen. He hadnít known God at all and could not listen to His directions.

Realizing the futility of staying there with the dead man, God lowered him gently to the ground and began to move away -- when suddenly He saw another man lying not far away. He was a Vietnamese man whom God had also loved. God ran to him, but he was dead, too. God gathered him in His arms as He had the first man and cried over him. But when He put the second man down and turned to go, He became aware that He was surrounded by death. The bodies of so many young men were littering the jungle. God became like a madman, seizing His head and shrieking with grief, finally sinking into the dust of the jungle road. I looked at the other monitors in the room, and saw the other things that God had been watching before He had turned His attention to the jungle. A child starving to death. Another battle and other dead young men. A missile being assembled. Everything was suffering and struggle. As I looked back to where God knelt, grieving in the dust, I heard a voice say, "Donít make Him grieve over you, too."

Then I discovered that this control room actually had no controls. This was the place where God watched those He loved, but who had no direction from the Principle to guide their lives. They lived a hit-and-miss type of existence. God wanted to save them from their suffering and direct them away from danger, but there was no way for Him to communicate with them. God could reach me because I had the Principle, but if I left, no matter how badly persecuted I was, I would become just another suffering face on a monitor in Godís control room. As my life passed out of His dominion and He witnessed what Satan would do to me until he finally found a way to destroy my very life, the person who was persecuting me would repent, continue his Principle life, be blessed and perfect himself. Needless to say, I shed many tears of repentance, and then many tears of indignation that my well being had been so threatened, not by this member, but by Satan attempting to use this member to destroy me. I determined that Satan was not going to destroy me so easily, and that I would stay on and suffer, even if it meant my life. Without my saying any thing, or even relating the incident to him, within one week, my central figure apologized for his harsh treatment of me. The next day, I was called to attend the 100-day training at Belvedere.

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