The Words of the Werner Family
Painting of Father by Shigeyoshi Abe
Some of my deepest experiences in the Unification Church have had to do with repentance. I don't mean just the momentary feeling of being ashamed of something or being sorry for doing something. I'm talking about the experience of being shaken by sobbing, perhaps for hours, and feeling as if a knife would cut through my heart over and over, while at the same time feeling the presence of God -- so warm, so personal, and so loving.
In all my 17 years in the Unification Church I have come to such a breakthrough of heart only three or four times, but those moments, even though they were extremely painful, were also incredibly purifying. They were such wonderful experiences of being totally free from the bands around my heart and being close to God that I am longing for more.
One of those experiences I had in 1980, when I was doing 40-day pioneering in a small German town. One hundred twenty of us went out, for the first time in our church life -- each one alone, with no money and only a few clothes. Most of us were a little nervous. I couldn't imagine that German people, who are usually conservative and not so openhearted, would offer me -- a total stranger -- a place to sleep, for example. But, with strong guidance from the spirit world, the miracle happened. Right away I found an old lady who offered me a room in her house, gave me lots of food every day, and even went to a weekend workshop very soon. Also I started to develop relationships with many other good people.
But right after that, my old lady received very negative attacks from some of her relatives and neighbors because of me. They said I was from "that horrible Moon cult." At first she resisted, but she was from a traditional Catholic background, and she started to waver internally. Then the moment came when she asked me to move out of her house. She said it wasn't because she was against what I was doing, but because she couldn't bear the attacks any More.
I told her that I would pack my luggage. In my room I knelt down and cried and cried. The feeling of being utterly sorry in front of God, that I hadn't given this kindly woman enough, penetrated me completely. After a long time I got up. I took my bag and went to her to say good-bye. To my surprise, her eyes were shining, and with a bold voice she said, "I have been praying just now. Please stay in my house, and let's be strong together!"
Tears truly can move the spirit world. If only I could cry this way more often! As Father has said, "It is in tears that most of the restoration process takes place. In that atmosphere alone can reawakening occur -- the awakening of a new man, a new society, a new nation, a new world, and a new universe."
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