The Words of the Bickford Family

I was invited to Dinner

R. Kenny Bickford
January 11, 2012

I copied this and substituted True Parent's in place of Jesus' name-author unknown

This just couldn't be the right place. Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No jacket required," and found the location.

Yes, I was at the right place. I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant.

Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty, in fact, filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn't shake the grime that clung to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me... "Come as you are. No jacket required."

I decided to give it a shot. Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium. "Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile. "Robert K. Bickford Jr.," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains. He didn't seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, "Very good, sir. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?"

I couldn't believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes, of course!" He led me to a table and, sure enough, there was a placard with my name written on it in Gold.

As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, "peace," "joy," "blessings," "confidence," "assurance," "hope," "faith," "mercy," "purity," and "Love." I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant!

I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was at.... "God's Kingdom," was the name of the place! The man returned and said, "I recommend the 'Special of the Day.' With it, you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu."

You've got to be kidding! I thought to myself. You mean, I can have ALL of this! "What is the 'Special of the Day' I asked with excitement ringing in my voice.

"Perfection," was his reply. " I'll take it," I practically cried out. Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body. A sick painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes. Between my sobs I said..."Mister, look at me. I'm dirty and nasty.

I'm unclean and unworthy of such things. I'd love to have all of this, but, but, I just can't afford it." Undaunted, the man smiled again. "Sir, your check has already been taken care of by the couple over there," he said pointing to the front of the room. "They are, "The True Parents of all Mankind."

Turning, I saw a man and a woman, whose very presence seemed to light the room. They were almost too much to look at.

I found myself walking towards them and in a shaking voice, I whispered, "Father, Mother, I'll wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash. I'll do anything I can do to repay you for all of this."

They opened their arms and said with a smile, "My Sons and Daughters, all of this is yours if you just come and live a Principled life. Ask me to clean you up, ask me to take away the stains, ask me to allow you to feast at my table? You alone are responsible for your own heart and your relationship you'll have with Us."

Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is live a Principled life and follow the Eight Books I have left behind for mankind. They are The Heavenly Way that teach God's suffering children He has granted for their salvation." 1. Sermons of Sun Myung Moon-{1200 volumes} 2. Exposition of the Divine Principle-{HSA-UWC-1996} 3. Cheon Seong Gyeong-{Selections of speeches of True Parents. FFWR and U 2006} 4. Pyeonghwa Shingyeong - {The Peace Messages} 5. Family Pledge-{Nation of Cosmic Peace and Unity Pledge} 6. True Families-{The Gateway to Heaven, the booklet} 7. "Owner of Peace, Owner of Lineage."-{True Father July 7, 2009} 8. A Comparative Anthology of the World's Religions-{World Scriptures}

Humbled I fell at Their feet and said, " Hananim Cham umonim Kamsahamnida Hananim Abujin OK-Mansei! Chanji Aham Bumonim OK-Mansei! Cham Bumonim OK-Mansei!"

I looked down and white robes adorned my squeaky clean body. Something strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, like a weight had been lifted and I found myself seated at Their table.

"The 'Special of the Day' has been served," the True Parents said to me. "The Blessing is yours." We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Them. They told me, me of all people, that They would like for me to come back as often as I liked for another helping from God's Love and special blessing.

They made it clear that They wanted me to spend as much time with Them as possible. As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the "Real World, " They whispered to me softly, " We are always with you." And then, They said something to me that I will never forget.

They said..."My children, do you see these empty tables throughout this room?" "Yes, Father I see them. What do they mean?" I replied. "These are reserved tables... but the individuals whose names are on each placard have not accepted their invitations to dine.

Your mission is to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us yet." Father giving direction. "Of course, " I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations. "Go therefore into all nations."

He said as I turned to leave. You walked into God's Grace dirty and hungry. Stained in sin, wearing filthy rags. And True Parents cleaned you up. You walked out a brand new son of God...robed in white, in His righteousness, shedding tears for man, sweat for the earth, and blood for heaven. As a servant with a Father's heart, in order to restore His children and the Universe lost to Satan.


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