Articles From the October 1994 Unification News


How I Found God's Heart

by Heide Schibelius

When I was first witnessed to, I listened because I wanted to know more about God. During that same time I had experienced loneliness for the first time, which led me to the conclusion that the most important thing that makes life worth living is relationships with other people. I also realized that, because there will always be people who need to be taken care of, it's up to me if I will be lonely in the future or not.

When I heard the lectures, I learned that God, too, wants to have a relationship with us, and even with me. During my first weekend workshop, God actually showed that to me very vividly at the Sunday morning service.

This is now it happened: after I had heard the first lectures on Saturday, I realized that I needed to find out if God does exist. I had always believed it, but I had never been sure. This time I really wanted to know! With that in mind, I went to sleep that night. During the following morning service, I was sitting in the front row with the city leader of my town next to me. The music was beautiful, and next to the podium was a small window through which I could see the green leaves on the branches of a tree outside.

Then, one person came up to the front to pray. I don't remember the words he spoke, but I remember the feelings they provoked within me. From deep inside of me grew a wave of emotion almost overwhelming me, bringing tears to my eyes. It was like saying "I am so glad that you are coming back to me," these are about the words which would express that emotion, and my mind was saying, "Father!...Father!" But I could not let the person next to me see the tears in my eyes; I was too proud at that time. In fact, I didn't want anyone to know that I was moved so much. So I tried to suppress the tears and keep them inside, which turned out to become rather difficult, because right after that prayer the organ was playing such beautiful music that the emotion grew stronger as long as the organ was playing. I felt as if my head was going to burst any minute, but the music just stopped on time. After the service I dismissed this experience as "just sentimentalism."

It took me almost a whole year after that workshop to join the church, and I did so because the Principle made sense to me. I thought, "This is truth, and probably the only way to really change the world, even though it may take a long time."

Unification Thought on Heart

After I joined the church I started asking people how to pray and what they experienced when they prayed, since prayer is communication with God and I did want to establish a relationship with Him. I never had an experience like the one at that workshop again. Only years later I realized that it was God somehow finding a way to get through to me- only to be brushed aside by my intellect. But I kept asking people about prayer, and each one gave me a different answer.

One time we had a prayer meeting outside in nature; we were praying in unison, each one of us trying to reach God. I only felt like I was talking to an empty darkness, as if there was a wide gap separating me from God. It just seemed hopeless. Then some time later I read one of Rev. Moon's quotes saying, "When you find your original self you will meet God." I couldn't quite figure out what that was to mean for me, and what I needed to do in order to accomplish that, but I kept it as my goal and I never stopped asking questions in my mind (to God, that is) and to people.

Then I found the book "Explaining Unification Thought," by Sang Hun Lee, which turned out to be very inspiring to read, because it explains the "Ideal of Creation" in more detail than the "Unification Principle" book does.

I like to quote from "Unification Thought" about Heart.

The world "Heart" can be used in both a general and in a special meaning. In its general meaning, Heart corresponds to "feeling", "emotion", "affection" or "deep (sincere) mind." In its special meaning (unique to Unification Principle and Unification Thought), Heart is "the emotional impulse to seek joy through love-through loving or through being loved."

The impulse to obtain joy through love wells up from the bottom of the mind, and it is irrepressible. If repressed, it will find a different way to manifest itself. Children, for instance, have the impulse to be loved by their parents; if they are not, they may become nervous or even psychologically ill. They may choose to vent their frustrations on society, thus becoming delinquents." (Unif. Thought, pp. 21, 22, 105)

"Heart, the emotional impulse to seek joy, is causal, and emotions are resultant. Everyone acts, deep in his mind, according to the impulse of heart. One feels joyful or pleasant when his impulse of heart is fulfilled, and one feels sad or angry when it is not." (U. Tht., p. 22)

"Heart is man's deepest part; to develop and to improve it is his supreme task." (U.Th., p. 106)

God's Image in People

The Unification Principle says, "In order to understand God and get to know Him, we study His creation, especially humankind, the crowning perfection of His creative work...." [quotes from "Essentials of the Unification Principle"]

Humankind consists of a great variety of different people. What about a criminal, maybe even a murderer-where do you see God in him?-I asked. And I learned that in this case we may have to dig very deep into his personality to find "God's image" hidden deeply inside his heart, covered under layers of pain, hopelessness, resentment, anger, hatred...and more.

However, there are many people in whom God's image is a lot easier to detect. When I meet these kinds of people, my heart responds with joy, as I look in their eyes, see their smile and their response to whatever I approach them with. This is what inspires me to meet new people and to witness to them. The ones who have enough foundation are able to understand and to appreciate the Unification Principle. I believe that foundation is the love and guidance their parents or other close relatives were able to raise them with, and because of that they are able to love others as well. That means their hearts are already restored to a certain level, and emotionally they are pretty healthy in comparison to some other people.

The book "Essentials of the Unification Principle" says: "The universal experience of fallen people is frustration caused by their inability to experience the true love that every human being wants and seeks in life. The love relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives, have always fallen short of the ideal. This is because the patterns of human love are based on those established by the first man and woman. Imperfect love has been passed from generation to generation: children raised with inadequate love are unable to perfect their own love and consequently are not qualified to give true love to their children. Human love has been associated with fear and guilt instead of fulfillment and joy" (p. 74).

God worked in history through the Principle of Restoration to raise the moral standard in preparation for fallen men and women to receive and then emulate the true love of true parents. He also raised the level of understanding and the quality of human love, restoring human hearts step by step through generations by using religion. Christians, for instance, learn about God's love through Jesus' teaching and example. That was my foundation on which I could understand and accept the Unification Principle, though most of it was with my intellect. There was very little that touched my feelings in the beginning. Only over the years did the teaching sink deeper into my mind, gradually reaching deeper into my emotion.


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