The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
How is everybody this Sunday morning? I’m delighted to see all your beautiful faces here again. I hope you all had a wonderful week as well since the last time I saw you.
First of all, I want to thank you for the many e-mails that I received after last Sunday’s sermon, when I stood here and said, “You know, I had a really tough week.” I talked about the lovely e-mail that I received from a friend that left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Then all throughout this week I received many, many e-mails from many brothers and sisters, encouraging me and leaving me with a warm and fuzzy feeling all week long. I felt so loved and so comforted.
One sister actually dropped off homemade chicken soup at my office. She said, “Yes, your friend was not Jewish nor your mother, and I’m certainly not your mother, but I thought you could make good use of this chicken soup made from my heart.” She is the wife of someone who was imprisoned in the Middle East for believing in the words of my parents. He was tortured for years.
A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of meeting this couple here in the States. It was such a heart-warming time for me to see this brother come back and reunite with his loving wife. So for that sister to take the time to make this wonderful chicken noodle soup was not only soothing to the soul, but it reminded me once again what an incredible community we have in each other.
I think maybe God, our Heavenly Parent, was watching me this week and maybe even laughing to him or herself: “Maybe this child is having too much of the warm and fuzzies and friendlies.” He knew the topic I wanted to expound upon this morning, to really share and discuss with you, is Matthew 12:25, that a house divided cannot stand.
God has a wonderful way of showing me that he is watching me, taking care of me. Because he knew I was preparing for this sermon in particular, he was having a great deal of fun with me last night. My husband and I have been married for over 25 years; it’s amazing to me that we’ve lasted this long. When we first got married, one of the most difficult things for me to overcome was his snoring problem. Not only did we not get along -- we’re almost like from two opposite extremes of human character -- but when I went to bed hoping to get some rest, it was extremely difficult to get a good night’s sleep. It still is.
I’ve had to be very creative in coming up with different ways to Band-Aid my situation. Last night was no exception. In fact, last night was quite severe. I was watching the time, and for me it’s a lucky evening when I can get to bed before 1:00 or 2:00 am. That’s what I call a lucky day. But it was getting to be around 1:00 in the morning, and I was looking at the clock thinking, okay, the thing about my husband, the minute his head touches the pillow, the snoring starts.
I’m thinking, I have to somehow fall asleep before that. So it’s always a race for me to see if I can fall asleep before he starts snoring. Last night I was not successful. He hit the ground running with the first snort.
Over the years we’ve developed different ways to remedy the situation. I tried to tune out the sound and focus on sleep, but it just was not working. The usual thing I do is tap him on the side and say, “Honey, can you sleep on your side?” I found out -- for those ladies who are having the same problem -- that if you ask your husband to sleep on his side, somehow changing the way his head rests on the pillow can sometimes lessen the snoring. So I thought, “Okay, let’s try that method.”
So I turned him onto his side. The first several seconds seemed promising, but then it started up again, with great ferocity. I thought, okay, I’ll give him 30 more minutes and then try to have him turn the other way. But it just wasn’t working. So I remembered that in our bed stand we have a thing that you put on the nose like a Band-Aid. It’s supposed to expand the nostrils so you don’t snore as much. I thought I’d try that. I quietly tried to get his face in position so I can put this on his nose.
Of course, now when I think about it, it’s quite comical. It looks like something out of “Comedy Store,” but, when you are really desperate for sleep, it’s really serious. Here I was, quietly taking the little strip out of its wrapper and trying to put it on his nose. But it wouldn’t stick! Usually he puts it on his nose before he goes to bed, but now that he had had something like an hour’s worth of sleep, it wasn’t sticking.
So I had to get a towel to try to wipe his nose before I tried to put on another strip, and then my husband was moving around but still sleeping through the whole thing. He was trying to slap me off, but I persevered. With the second strip I was successful, and it stuck. So I thought, let’s try again. But again it did not work. We were approaching almost 4:00 o’clock, then 5:00 o’clock, and I was really getting desperate because Sundays tend to be my long day: I want to be alert and ready and able to greet the congregation in the best way I possibly can.
I was feeling so desperate that I felt my anger rising. I watched this man sleeping. He seemed so peaceful; his hands were outstretched like this, and his legs like that, and he was enjoying this glorious sleep. Here I was, getting more and more angry. There he was, not only enjoying his sleep but sucking in all the air in the bedroom. Would he leave any air for me to breathe, let alone for me to sleep in and revel in? I was really struggling.
But then I remembered something in the back of my mind and heard a little voice, my mother’s voice, saying to me, “In Jin, let this one pass.” In the past, when I heard the voice, I let things pass. But last night I responded, “But Mom, I can’t let this one pass because I have to give a sermon tomorrow morning.” But I heard her voice again, “In Jin, let this one pass.” Usually when she said these things to me when I was growing up and she knew I was upset about something, she would always end those words with a big smile. Even though I’m 40-something, I’m still a child when it comes to my mother. I still hear her voice as loving, comforting, and something reassuring. She is truly the voice of my conscience.
So when the voice of my conscience was telling me, “Let this one pass,” I saw my mother’s face and the way she ended her words. It was with a most magnanimous, most brilliant, most comforting smile. Then I realized that maybe I should just have a sense of humor. If God is having fun with me because he knows what I would like to talk about the next day, maybe I should just laugh it off, laugh along at how comical the situation is and how desperately comical I must look because I’m so frustrated and ready to have another volcanic eruption. God must have been laughing at me the whole time.
I said to myself, let’s just laugh about it. So I smiled. Then I started thinking, “Okay, maybe I won’t get to experience that glorious sleep that my husband is so enjoying, but at least he will have a great day tomorrow. Maybe he can be well rested for me. If I’m tired, maybe toward the end of the day he will do the dishes without reminding me that he’s done this. Or even better yet, he will take out the vacuum cleaner -- hint, hint -- and vacuum the room before we sleep. That would be glorious to me.”
Then I started laughing. Because I was laughing, letting this one pass, and not taking things so seriously, I realized that if I were to see myself on TV, most likely a reality show, I would probably be in stitches by now, looking at my husband and me, trying to deal with each other: two different people trying to figure out how to live together, how to sleep together. Then it wasn’t so bad. I realized that once I calmed things down, then I could just relax and fall asleep. Of course, before I knew it, it was time to get back up. But that 30 minutes of rest was glorious, and I have never experienced such phenomenal pleasure in having 30 minutes of rest ever before. This is a first for me.
Here I am, looking at my husband, my partner in life, my partner with whom I have to walk the road of eternity. This is God’s way of reminding me that a house divided cannot stand. When I look at myself as somebody wanting to build an ideal family of my own -- and I’m sure all of you in the audience are going through the same thing; we want to build an ideal family of our own -- I think this is God’s way of telling me that I have to be united with my husband so that we can stand together as a house undivided, not divided.
This is a reminder for every husband and wife in the audience that, if we are on the road to build an ideal family, we must be a family undivided. We have to be a family that’s truly united, a husband and wife who truly love each other and truly do their best to overcome any differences in character, cultural background, or in the baggage that we bring to our relationship. In working it out and dealing with all these problems, we can truly create an inviting environment for the future generation, our children.
This was a wonderful reminder, as a wife, to be patient. It was a wonderful reminder for me to genuinely try to love, however difficult the situation might be, and to try to have a sense of humor, maybe not taking things so seriously. If the other person seems to be having a better day than we are, then we can find a way of overcoming the difficulty of the situation and truly be happy for that person. In the end of our days, the only thing we’re left with is not what we make or what we hoard throughout our lifetime; it’s the wonderful memories that we can share between husband and wife that make us feel like we’re a part of history. It’s history in the making; it’s the memories that have brought us along together, that we’ve created together, that truly become the treasure for a couple’s life. It’s something that only the couple shares.
If we can learn to be grateful in our relationship and treat each other in the best way that we possibly can, then we’re well on our way to building an ideal family. But if we can’t even work on our relationship as a couple, there’s just no way that we’re going to be on our way to building an ideal family because the children learn more through observation than through being told what they should be. They learn more by looking, they learn more through osmosis; they need to see their parents truly loving each other and overcoming difficult situations with a sense of humor and gratitude in tough situations. God is giving us opportunities to go really deep and come out at the other end as mature human beings. These are the lessons that children naturally learn, even before they start their school years.
This might be a good reminder for wives to really try to love husbands in such a way that we can be empowering, nurturing, and supportive. I know, women in the audience, that we have the difficult task of dealing with the perfunctory responsibilities of running a home, which are routine things like cleaning and cooking, and many times we feel we’re not appreciated. When a husband comes screeching in from a long day at work, throwing his shoes about, maybe the wife might be tempted to yell back, “What are you doing? Do you not have any respect?”
I think every woman needs to be mindful that words are incredibly powerful vehicles of emotion. Children are listening all the time. They are like tape recorders permanently turned on since the day they were born. They’re listening to every word that their mother says to their father, that their father says to the mother. If children grow up in a home where the mother is verbally abusive to the father or the father is verbally abusive to the mother, they begin to think that parents being verbally abusive is okay or that’s how couples should be. Or, worse yet, if a husband and a wife have no relationship whatsoever and the only thing a child experiences is the icy coldness of a home where there’s no heart, no laughter, no sense of sharing, then the child will desperately seek warmth and love. If the child is not getting it from the home, you can pretty much rest assured that the child will get it elsewhere.
This is a reminder -- God’s way of telling us that even before we can think about the blessing and going forth as an ideal couple, we need to work on ourselves. Considering a house divided, when you look at someone, you’re talking about mind and body unity; if these two things are constantly at war with each other, someone cannot be a whole person who is spiritually, emotionally, and physically sound. Likewise, a couple who is constantly fighting, who is not united in a common purpose as to why they’ve received the blessing and responsibility to take their family to the next level and to invite children into their lives, then they’re not going to be able to create the kind of environment that will be conducive to raising great kids.
When Father and Mother say that the family is the true textbook for building the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, they are absolutely right. The family is the place where you have no room for selfish individualism. There is really no room for a husband to be selfish; there is no room for a wife to be selfish. If you are the father or mother of a great bunch of children, you have to think about them and about your spouse.
Many couples came up to me over the course of the last year that I’ve held this post, seeking advice. Sometimes the men say, “My life is not exciting. In fact, she’s boring. Before the movement I lived a hippie-yippie lifestyle. I had all the excitement that I wanted, and here I am, living a sacrificial life, wanting to build a wonderful family, but my wife just doesn’t turn me on.”
This is what I say to people like this: “It takes two people to turn each other on. If you’ve already decided that that woman’s not going to turn you on when you’ve had children and you’ve built a family with that person, then you’ve already basically taken yourself off the team. If you are thinking you want a woman that’s like a Playboy model, to really excite you in the bedroom, your wife might not fit that image. But what about not looking at just the physical but the spiritual aspect of the woman? Maybe if you open up your spiritual eyes, you’re going to realize that your wife is Bridgette Bardot times ten. Maybe if you make her feel like she is the most glorious creature, the most beautiful woman on earth, she might be inspired to please you in whatever way you want in the bedroom. Maybe you haven’t done your responsibility of inspiring your wife to want to be that passionate, exciting woman in the bedroom.”
I have told people, “Instead of complaining about how your wife falls short, maybe you can spend a little more time thinking about how to get what you want out of life. It’s really not that difficult. Every married couple knows that the more love you want to receive in the bedroom, the more you need to give because the more turned on you are, the more turned on your spouse is going to be. Then you will have a wild and crazy circuitry of love and passion going on. Then you will wonder what you were complaining about. In many instances it really starts with us.”
When my father is expounding on the great ill of society now as individualism, he does not mean individualism as in individuality of each person. My father says that this is a wonderful thing. It’s actually a divine gift to every one of us to be a special and unique someone. But what my father means by selfish individualism is a person who decides to live not for God, not for our Heavenly Parent, not for his or her brothers and sisters, but simply for him or herself. Basically such a person replaces God with I, me, myself. I think a lot of people all around the world, and not just the young people but the older generation as well, are suffering from this selfish individualism.
English is a phenomenally interesting language for me. When I look at the word selfish, for me it sounds like cell. What does sel mean in French? It means salt. And fish -- you know what a fish is. And it’s interesting that Christians all throughout the centuries have been symbolized by the figure of a fish. In this word selfish you have what seems to be salted fish.
In Korean, when you call somebody a salted fish, it’s a great insult. It’s basically saying you’re a horrible person and not even human. When a person is selfish, you’re like a salted fish. First of all, salted fish smells really bad. It’s interesting that when we meet someone in the course of our lives, in school or in social settings, we may say to ourselves, that person is fishy; something’s wrong with that person. When you say that somebody is fishy, or doesn’t smell right, it means that something is off, right?
When you’re not connected to God, or when you have cast God off to the side and replaced him with you, yourself, then you become like a smelly person; you become somebody who does not invite the divine fragrance to emit from the glorious being that is the true you to imbue this world with the beautiful perfume of God’s love. You become simply smelly, offensive, and a source of discomfort and distaste.
Another aspect of a salted fish is that it is totally dried up. Human beings are two thirds water. We’re like walking saline solutions, like seawater. And without water, we become like salted fish -- dried up. Without the water of life that comes from God, his words, and his teachings, and without us swimming in it and being gloriously grateful for this opportunity to live and enjoy our lives, we become dried up. In different segments of society, people seem to have a concept that a religious life cannot be a fulfilling life; it must only be sacrificial, as if God commanded his children to suffer and be miserable for the rest of their lives: “Live a life of poverty. Live a life of suffering. That’s what I want for you because I wanted to realize true love.”
This does not go in line with God’s purpose of creation. God’s purpose of creation is to experience love, to enjoy true love. No matter how great he is as an ultimate subject, he cannot do it alone. He needs an ultimate object, and that’s why he created the universe and his children.
Contrary to a lot of religious thinking, namely that the only way we can be fulfilled in our religious life is to live a life of denial, God, our Heavenly Parent through our True Parents, is saying, “No, we have to become ideal people, ideal parents, ideal families”. God wants all of us to experience the glorious power of true love. God wants all of us to be successful in his love but not in the satanic sense of successful, of only thinking about money, power, and the pursuit of wealth.
So for many religious people, money, power, and knowledge are things that they had to throw aside to the curb. One had to live a life of denial because these are forms of temptation that had to be overcome to be a true son or daughter of God. I think a lot of people, even different segments of our own community, feel like maybe the Unification Church is too prosperous. We’ve been blessed with so much money; maybe this is not God’s way. Maybe we need to return to a lifestyle of abject poverty like Mother Theresa or Jesus Christ.
But anybody who knows the Bible and understands the Principle realizes that Jesus Christ had to take a particular course because he did not have a John the Baptist to declare to the Israelites that Jesus was the Son of God. What resulted was the road that he had to take to build a foundation on his own in the hope of having a wonderful wife and building an ideal family. But because he was crucified, he never had that opportunity. So the 33 short years of his life, a life that, ideally, he should not have lived, became the model of Christian piety.
Many people, even in our own community, are confused, saying, “Why is Father so blessed, has so much, and is so rich in all these things? It’s totally contrary to Jesus Christ.” But Jesus Christ was born to be the King of Kings. He was born to be heralded as the Son of God, and his wife was to have been heralded as the daughter of God and the wife of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
So, brothers and sisters, where we are right now is that we are continuing the saga of what Christian and religious piety should look like. On the basis of Jesus’ life and his model, many Christian men and women have lived single lives for the sake of faith, for the sake of piety, for the sake of living for the sake of others. But you know what? Anyone who has children, anyone who has lived with a spouse, knows that probably the most difficult thing in life is to raise a family. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought, “How glorious and delicious would it be if I could just be alone! Maybe we should turn back to Christian piety, to our understanding of how Jesus Christ was.”
But the thing is, in order to have extreme satisfaction and extreme fulfillment we have to restore the Human Fall of man. What Jesus came to do was restore the Fall, but his life was cut short after only 33 years. When True Parents came and said, “We have to fulfill Jesus’ mission,” my parents, Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, were continuing the saga of what a faithful and a pious life should look like. Truly the movie that is playing out is our True Parents, a man and a woman.
For me, that is the most glorious thing about this community and movement. We’ve had many examples of great male leadership, and we’ve had stories of many great pious women, but we’ve never had them together in this wonderful thing called the True Parents. So the concept of what a religious, pious life should be or of what the proper role of women should be has yet to be written.
I must say that I’m here because of all of you sisters’ suffering, persistence, and dedication to God and True Parents. I’m thinking that if I can do my job, rather, if my sisters and I can do our jobs, then we are paving the way for the next generation of great women leaders to come. This time around, unlike the fathers, the brothers, the uncles and the men of religion who have for centuries abused and mistreated women as second-class citizens, we need to do it right, sisters. Not by condemning our brothers and fathers for not understanding the proper role of women but by our example of what a true, pious, successful and excellent woman can be, we can raise our brothers and our fathers to be even greater men.
I encourage young people to be the kind of people who serve the world with integrity, service, and excellence. We are not only working on the internal, our spiritual aspect. What our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents are asking is for our internal needs to fit with our external: We need to be beautiful spiritually, but we also need to be beautiful men and women in how we behave in our daily life.
Instead of thinking that we should live alone in order to find God, here is our Heavenly Parent saying, “Take on a spouse, and take on the opportunity and responsibility of building an ideal home, having glorious children. When you have a child and you hold that child for the first time, you can understand how much I truly love all of you.” Giving birth to a child, you feel you cannot push even once more, and it’s only then when you feel “this is it” that the baby is born. It’s almost like you’re dying to give birth.
My husband called me quite strange because there are epidurals and medications to ease the birth process, but I wanted to experience what my mom and my grandmother experienced when they gave birth. I wanted to experience what my grandmother experienced when she gave birth to my father. They didn’t have medication back then. My husband thought I was quite strange for not wanting any medication. Some people in the hospital thought I was a Jehovah’s Witness or something. But I said, “No, I simply want to experience this.”
When the contractions started, I thought, oh, it’s not so bad. Then it started getting more intense but it was still bearable. Then it really started coming. Of course the first birth takes hours and hours, and I was thinking, “This is what you have to go through to give life to someone? Is this what God, our Heavenly Parent, was experiencing when he created his first son and daughter?” I felt that the pain was so intense that I couldn’t bear it any longer.
But the horrible thing about being born into a public life is everybody in the hospital knew who I was. Next to my bed was a woman screaming at her husband, “You did this to me; it’s all your fault.” She was at it, and I secretly said, “Thank you, God, I can live vicariously through this woman.” But I had to remain silent. It was actually cathartic for me that this woman was voicing what I was feeling exactly. The poor husband was going from room to room to get his wife ice chips, but she didn’t want any of them and she was throwing them at the husband. The nurses had seen this many times and were watching, smiling at each other.
My husband was carefully watching this couple. Just when I thought I was going to die, we heard the cry of the baby and I was like, “Thank God it’s over.” To this day I cannot believe what my husband said to me afterward. He said, “You really must be an alien or something. That wasn’t too bad now, was it?” I looked at him like, what are you saying?! He said, “You didn’t utter a peep. That wasn’t so bad.” I said, “Yobo, you have no idea what we just went through.”
Childbirth is incredibly painful and unbearable. You literally feel like your body is being ripped in two; that’s what it feels like. Young ladies in the audience, if you feel like you’re having it bad every month, just wait until the time comes. Bad will take on a whole new meaning. I felt like I can’t go on any more; I feel extreme emotions of almost anger at my husband for doing this to me -- I had to bear the extra weight for nine months, but he was in perfect shape, and he didn’t even sweat or bother to bring ice chips because I didn’t make any sound.
But when you look into the face of your child, it’s like you turn into a tabula rasa. It’s like someone erased every pain, every horrible thing that you just went through. The only thing you can feel and experience is this incredible love and beauty. For the first time in my life I realized the meaning of the word beauty. I realized that when I say someone is beautiful, it’s what I feel about that person inside. When I say someone is beautiful, I’m not talking about physical beauty. I’m talking about the beauty I feel when I gaze upon that person’s face, and that is what epitomized my experience when I first looked at my eldest son.
This is how much God loves all of us because we are all his children. We are all his sons and daughters. When God is looking at all of us, he is hoping for the day when we can grow in his and her love, we can grow in the appreciation and understanding of who he and she is, and that we can come to a place where we’re mature enough to live a life of gratitude, and to want to give back everything that he and she have given. What has he given us? He has given us love, and he has given us life. So shouldn’t we as his and her children give them back our love and our life?
At Lovin’ Life Ministries, we are here to celebrate each other, but more importantly than that, to truly celebrate God and the opportunity that God gave to us. He is hoping that we can be excellent people who practice living for the sake of others so that we can create unity wherever we go, drawing people with the natural fragrance of attraction because we are simply excellent people. Let’s not think in terms of who’s better or who’s worse, or who’s richer or who’s poorer, or who’s smarter or who’s dumber, or who’s skinnier or wider. Let’s simply revel in the fact that each of us is born with the gift of the divine. It’s within our hands to craft ourselves to be the kind of excellent people that we were meant to be.
As we move on from the first generation on to the second, third, and fourth generations, we need to think about how to make this transition a beautiful one. How do we overcome the problems of the different generations, going from one generation to the next? By sacrificing ourselves and practicing the art of true love, so that instead of the generations fighting each other, it becomes like a 400-meter relay race at the Olympics, with four contestants on a team, each running 100 meters.
Let’s say each member represents a generation. The First Generation takes off, does its lap, and then comes back and hands the baton to the Second Generation, saying, “Go, run on the foundation of what I’ve just completed.” The Second Generation starts running the course, does its lap, and comes back to the third member of the team, saying, “This is the foundation you’re running on, the foundation of the first and second team members, the First and Second Generations. Remember that and run hard and run as best you can.” Then the Third Generation does this and comes back to the Fourth. When the fourth runner finishes the race and finally hits the finish line, is it just the Fourth Generation or the fourth member who is celebrating? It’s all the members of the team who are celebrating.
So imagine for a minute, brothers and sisters, a hypothetical situation in which we are watching a 400-meter relay race at the Olympics and the first member of the team runs fast and hard and gloriously and comes back but refuses to give the baton to the second. So the second member is running along saying, “Give me the baton.” But the first one is saying, “I want to win the race. I’m running.” It would almost be a comedy, would it not?
By the time the second lap is completed, it’s time to pass the baton to the third runner, but the first runner never gave it, so the second one can’t give it to the third one, and the third one starts running, wondering, “When is the baton going to be passed?” This is a poignant lesson that we need to think about. The job of each generation is to give birth to the next. The job of each generation is to become excellent human beings, excellent sons and daughters of God, so that that wonderful tradition is continued and actually taken further by the upcoming generation.
Let’s look at our own community going through this digesting process. With my father well into his 90th year, people are wondering how much longer he will be here with us. There are a lot of questions in the air about who is going to inherit. It’s not a question of who’s going to inherit what. The only thing we are here to inherit is the true love of God, and our True Parents and our Heavenly Parent have already given that to us.
Instead of thinking about who or what or when, what we really need to do is concentrate on ourselves. My father, always ahead of the curve, can see where we are as a community. He’s doing us a favor by making things very clear to all of us. He had the coronation ceremony on January 15, anointing the youngest son of my family to be the spiritual head of our community and our movement. I see tremendous wisdom in picking the youngest son. All of you know of the True Family as almost like a cardboard cutout. We’re all public people that you grew up with. We were pictures in a magazine, in newsletters; we were video clips that you grew up on. But truly the one who knows who the perfect and right person is to be the head of this body called the True Family is God, our Heavenly Parent, and our True Parents.
Just as God has been an anchor in our life of faith, True Parents have been our anchor in our life of faith also. Our anchor and the head is clearly telling us, “Do not be afraid, brothers and sisters. Do not be confused. After me will come a body of true children, but the spiritual head will be the youngest son.” How appropriate this is even within the context of the family. You don’t know the True Family, but we know each other very well. The whole family has given the nickname “Lovey” to the youngest son because he has really been the symbol of love. He is a man who gets it. He understands the importance of women, which for me is incredibly heartwarming. He wants to raise up his sisters and his brothers, and he has led an exemplary life of faith and of obedience. So what better person for the job?
Just as we know Lovey to be, he is not the one saying, “I am the center; you all listen to me.” He is saying, “How can I help you?” Following his example, I see myself as one of his hands. My question to him will be, “How can I help you?” I hope that all the parts of the body called the True Family will have this heart: How can we help you so that we can be an incredible team, like the team that just won the 400-meter relay race, so we can truly be united in our spirit of cooperation and love, not talking about what belongs to who, or who belongs to what, but simply concentrating on the most important thing, which is our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents. That’s the only thing we need to concentrate on.
Brothers and sisters, have no fear. Our True Parents are with us, and they will be with us even more strongly and in a more profound way when they go to the other world, just as in the way God is so real and so there for us each and every day of our lives. I did not at first think about what a great sense of humor God had last night, but it’s a wonderful reminder that God has a sense of humor and it’s good to laugh. It’s good to laugh and to tickle each other, to keep ourselves from being so rigid, and inviting each other to enjoy the warmth of human touch. Next time your child gets mad at you, try tickling him. Or maybe the next time your spouse gets mad at you, try tickling him or her. The end result will be vastly different from how it started.
Brothers and sisters, I am always so grateful that I have such a wonderful community of great sons and daughters of God whom I get to experience every Sunday. To me, that’s the greatest gift. Truly I thank you so much once again for your lovely e-mails and for your words of support. Have a great week, have a glorious day, and God bless you. Thank you.