The Words of In Jin Moon
The fog covering the still-to-be lit Manhattan sky was dense. Misty-eyed on the dawn of this momentous occasion, like many others, I felt as though this were Heaven. It was February 20, 1984, the day of the Holy Blessing of Jin Sung Pak and In Jin Moon, and Heung Jin Moon and Hoon Sook Pak. Both the spiritual and physical worlds were waiting in anticipation; we were all to witness a miracle.
Several of us started out from the World Mission Center shortly before 6:00 a.m. for Belvedere. On the way, Mr. Shunichiro Yoshida and I commented on the weather, wondering how the day would actually turn out. Mr. Chong Jik Woo mentioned that perhaps the fog would act as the bridge allowing the spirit of Heung Jin Nim to come more easily to earth. Soon enough, the fog dissipated. Heung Jin Nim must have arrived.
In less than four hours, everything would start. Peeking from the back entrance near the kitchen of Belvedere's Main House, I saw staff members scurrying between various rooms. White sheets leading in and out of the Blessing Hall were still being tacked over the usually-bright red carpet of Belvedere's main hall. The banner needed straightening. Candelabras accepted long white candles one brother bestowed upon them. Several brothers were finalizing details of the stage construction, while others were placing flower arrangements with care. A sea of white seemed to engulf the transformed library. The Blessing Hall was decorated beautifully.
As the buses arrived, the sky erased its grey and replaced it with bright blue. A table was set up in the parking lot below the steps near the side entrance in order that we could register those who attended, giving them programs and asking them to sign guest books. Shortly after their arrival, participants changed into their white robes and gathered near the registration table waiting to enter the Main House. The anticipation to witness such an event was not only in the air, but in the faces of those Korean, Japanese and Western blessed couples. Special smiles seemed to turn up on almost everyone.
After registration, as the participants filed into the Main House, I slipped into the basement and made my way up the back stairway to find my own white robes. I had left them in a small room not far from the kitchen. When I went in, I was astounded to see some of the blessed children who were to attend the brides and grooms in the two different ceremonies. Dressed in pale pink and ruffles, there was no way these young girls could contain their excitement. Laughter. Talking. More laughter. And after a few minutes, they broke into Korean songs. I was impressed by their beautiful harmony, definitely not simply the blending of their voices.
I had the privilege to help the General Affairs Division of the Blessing Committee before the event as well that day. Some of the most important things which that staff was responsible to provide for the Western style wedding were streamers, horns and confetti which were to be showered upon the couples as they exited the Blessing Hall. Several days after the Blessings, I talked to a few of my co-workers about their impressions. The consensus was similar. We were pleased to see how the elder couples and leaders of our worldwide family took the opportunity to truly be children of our True Parents. Usually we see them as our elder brothers and sisters, and in their positions as the leaders under True Parents. Yet surprisingly enough, that day many of them were delighted at the prospect of tossing pink and white heart- shaped confetti or throwing multicolored streamers while blowing a horn. Each of them displayed such freedom to rejoice with our Heavenly Father and True Parents at these two historic weddings and with this, surely bringing joy to the True Family as well.
I felt, as did several of my coworkers, the impact of unity among the leaders. Hearts beat in accordance with our Father's direction to hold these Blessings one week to the day after he announced them. Everyone knew the historical importance of that day and responded in obedience to our True Parents.
When it was time, some of the elder couples from the different Blessings took their places in the Blessing Hall. Space was reserved for the True Family as well as for the Pak family. Many other participants stood in the doorways of the living room and dining room, craning their necks at appropriate times for the best view possible. In addition, there were members several rows deep along the two walls of the hallway.
I was standing in the area where the quartet performed, just outside the Blessing Hall. My view to the main hallway was blocked; however, at just a few minutes before 10:00 a.m., a familiar voice floated from the second floor. Father wanted to know if everything was ready. The audience hushed quickly and immediately became reverent. A signal was given and the music started. True Parents walked down the main staircase and came into view. Father's face was steady and determined. As always, True Mother's beauty seems to increase with the years.
The first ceremony was about to begin. The familiar notes of the famous wedding marches drew the first couple past my vantage point and into the Hall. But I took my moment to look at them as they passed. In Jin Nim was a lovely bride in all senses of the word. We have enjoyed her on stage countless times, soulfully singing her songs of love to Heaven, to True Parents, and to our membership. It was not so long ago that she also gave such a tearful portrait of love through her words at the Belvedere Seunghwa Ceremony for her beloved brother, Heung Jin Nim. Certainly we cannot forget what she said, how she revealed more of her brother as well as our True Parents to all of us. But at this moment, she lifted us in ways that songs and words could never do. Her beautiful face showed us the depth of her commitment to follow the Will of our Heavenly Father, and obey her True Parents. She conducted herself with the dignity and grace that she has obviously studied from our Mother. Her handsome groom, Jin Sung Nim, walked beside her with such humility yet heavenly pride to have been the one chosen to care for this princess. They looked so beautiful together, so ready to live their lives not simply for the moment, but for history.
I could not physically see their Blessing ceremony being performed from where I was standing; however, the tone of our Father's voice as well as those who offered prayers and congratulatory messages expressed the desire all of us had in wishing them a life that is enriched with the love of God. As they left the Blessing Hall, I sensed how precious these two children were to our True Parents. The purity of their vertical love was so evident in their faces.
After our True Parents left the library and went up to the second floor to wait for the start of the second ceremony, there was a massive cleanup of the confetti and streamers. Another white runner was placed over the carpet in preparation. And people lined up again.
Several of us had previously talked among ourselves and speculated as to who would represent Heung Jin Nim, but until I saw our very dignified elder brother, Col. Pak holding the picture of his daughter's bridegroom, I could not imagine how special this scene would be. I was not alone in the experience of taking a look through my tears. I will never forget her face: beautiful... serene... calm. And ready to become a daughter of Heaven. Most of us have seen Col. Pak so many times before, but that day in one way he did not look like Col. Pak to me. I feel he brought more than simply the picture of our Heung Jin Nim into the ceremony.
The atmosphere of this Blessing ceremony seemed different somehow. One had the sense that there was virtually no "elbow room" left because of the thousands or perhaps millions of spiritual beings who had crowded themselves into every corner to witness this union. Again, I could not see our True Parents or the couple as this ceremony was performed. I only have second-hand bits of information about the tear-stained faces of the True Children, particularly Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim. But I think that even second-hand bits of information can speak to us.
I regretted deeply my inability to understand Korean. Although Father's Blessing prayer for this ceremony has been translated, we who are the recipients of a translation lose a great deal of the depth and character of the original words our Father proclaimed at this historic event. I am sure that Dr. Durst, and Rev. Young Whi Kim who offered the prayer and congratulatory hymn for the first ceremony, as well as Dr. Kuboki, Rev. Jae Suk Lee, and Mr. Kwang Yul Yoo who offered the prayer, congratulatory address and congratulatory poem for the second ceremony, prepared long and hard to bring forth the glory of this event through their words. The Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, also painstakingly selected his words of introduction to each of the events of the program in order to connect them to the Principle and show us the significance of this historic Blessing.
I could not help but notice the three blessed girls who had been the attendants in Jin Sung Nim's and In Jin Nim's Blessing. During this ceremony, they stood directly outside the Hall and across from where I stood. I could see them gaze into the Hall. What a contrast to their light and lyrical singing of several hours earlier. Their eyes were filled with tears; I saw them mouth prayers.
Perhaps the greatest climax of the day for me was watching this couple exit the Hall. Again, I did not know what to expect, and in a way, at first I was rather surprised that it was Hoon Sook Nim who carried Heung Jin Nim's picture. Of course it was appropriate; for all eternity, they belong to each other. It was more than the word "beautiful" could describe. When she walked out with her groom, Hoon Sook Nim absolutely shone. Just as I will never forget her face when she walked into the ceremony, the picture of her smile as they walked out is forever etched in my mind. Her happiness and joy spilled into each of our hearts. I don't know how many people could keep their eyes dry. There was no mistaking her love for God, for True Parents and for her new husband. And she gave a piece of that joy to all of us who attended that morning ceremony.
Yet it was not just those who witnessed the Blessing who were given this gift. I feel that the Blessing Banquet was also an extraordinary way to share in both these Blessings. There are countless things one could describe about the Banquet; the decorations, the candlelight dinner, not to mention the wonderful entertainment provided by the members of Performing Arts. Yet when the couples were asked to come to the stage, everyone felt mounting excitement.
Jin Sung Nim began, and his loving tribute to True Parents, his bride, and his physical parents is contained within this issue. From his presentation we were able to see the absolute sincerity and dedication this man has to live up to the ideal of a Blessed Couple. He moved everyone with his words. And In Jin Nim graciously gave us a gift of song. She dedicated "Mother of Mine" to our True Mother; In Jin Nim's portrayal of how her heart was connected with God's work in her life touched each of us in a special way.
When Hoon Sook Nim came to the stage, she gave her testimony first in Korean and then in English. Her testimony, too, is included in this issue. As she spoke, tears came. Later she clarified that the reason she cried is that she felt so unworthy to receive such a blessing; she pledged that during her life on earth, she would strive to bring joy to the True Parents, living in the place of Heung Jin Nim, especially to wipe away Mother's tears. Col. Pak sang when it was Heung Jin Nim's turn. And for all his apologies regarding his singing voice, I thought when he sang that time, he sounded pretty good! Perhaps someone harmonized with him
Each of us who attended was mesmerized by the spirit, and felt that perhaps we tasted a bit of Heaven that day. We heard Col. Pak give testimony about the two couples, and were treated to a speech by our True Father, as well. Father clarified several points about the importance and meaning of these Blessings, educating us also about the reality of the unification of physical and spiritual worlds. He even shared with us some details of Heung Jin Nim's mission in the spiritual world.
Reading over Father's speech, I was re-inspired by the providential role that Heung Jin Nim is playing in history. Father is asking each of us to become united with both Heung Jin Nim and Hoon Sook Nim. This can be done when we heartistically respect the loyalty, filial piety and sacrificial spirit of Heung Jin Nim. Also, when we can connect our prayers for Hoon Sook Nim in her own spirit of sacrifice, Satan has no opportunity to accuse us. It is obvious to me, that although these two couples were given the Blessing on that day, each Unification Church member received the grace of God as well.
After Father and Mother sang several songs for us, and we closed the celebration with three cheers of Mansei, I again felt so strongly the presence of the spiritual world. The last cheer was dedicated to Heung Jin Nim. I believe he led those same cheers in the spiritual world, but that he, too, was on the stage with his True Parents, his bride, and his sister and new brother-in-law. His pledge has already been made before Heaven. It is up to each of us to receive the benefit of his pledge gratefully, and help him by solidifying our own.