Unification News for December 1999

Motherís Course

Linna Rapkins

She loved peace and quiet. She loved reading and music. She was intelligent and studied well. Her life was quiet and protected. She was like a lovely, lonely flower living in a greenhouse, away from the rest of the world. Suddenly, she was thrust into the center of a noisy battlefield where those around her were witnessing and trying to restore the world. She was a little raft in a mighty torrent. On March 16, 1960 (lunar calendar), she became the bride of the man the members knew as their True Father. Hak Ja Han would be the True Mother for all people of all time.

The women of the church in 1960 were busy day and night. They cooked, cleaned, sewed, shopped, and in addition to this full schedule, they also found time to witness. (Witnessing is when you go out and tell people about God, the Divine Principle, and about True Father.) Some of these hard-working women found it hard to accept Fatherís new wife, Hak Ja Han. They knew she was to be the mother of all people. The True Mother. Their True Mother! Yet, the women in the church were all older than she. They had been born earlier and had joined the church earlier.

Some of these women thought, "Sheís so young and inexperienced. How can we respect her?" A few even felt that they could have been a better wife than she. They truly loved Father, and they didnít really want to complain, but jealous feelings were strong day and night. They churned around and around inside their hearts, giving them a sick feeling. Sometimes they murmured critical things about the young bride among themselves.

"What are we supposed to call her anyway?" they asked each other. "Should we call her Hak Ja-nim?" (Koreans add "nim" to the end of names when they want to show high respect for a person.)

Some were uncomfortable with this. "It would look strange to people outside the church if we called her Hak Ja-nim," they said. "In their eyes, sheís just a child."

"Actually, I think we are supposed to call her Omoni (mother)," said one of the women.

"Maybe even Omonim (honorable mother)," said another.

"Well, sheís only been in the church four years, and she hasnít witnessed or gone on a 40-day condition or anything like that," they objected.

"Yes," added another. "And Father looks more like her father than her husband. Heís 23 years older than she is."

"True, true," chimed in the others, nodding their heads grimly.

"Well, I have to tell you," announced one woman. "I received in a dream that she is the mother of only the Growth Stage."

Another woman added, "Now that you mention it, I had a dream that she is in the John the Baptist role and that Fatherís real wife will be announced later."

The women thought about this a moment. "Now that does make sense. A young girl for the Growth Stage and an educated, capable woman for the Perfection Stage."

One woman interposed, "Still, her birthday is the same day as his. So maybe she really is the right one for him."

"Well, thatís what she and her mother say," answered another. "Maybe they just made it up. Do we have any proof?"

"No, we donít," answered several. "What if itís all a clever trick?"

"I say we watch her and see what she does," said one. "If she fails, heíll have to get rid of her."

"Fine. Weíll watch every move she makes."

One of the oldest women had another concern. "What about her mother, Soon-Ae?" she asked. "Sheís probably gloating now that her daughter is the bride of Father. And sheís only been in this church four years herself."

Several nodded in agreement. "I must admit I was thinking the same thing," said one.

Others vented their feelings. "I suppose sheíll live like a queen now. Maybe even live in his house."

"Do you think we have to bow down to her, too?"

These ladies were not evil. They were just confused. Some of them thought God had said, "You will be the bride of the Messiah." Maybe these women didnít know that sometimes people receive false revelations. Maybe they didnít know that they must pray about it and be very careful. And maybe they didnít know that God was really telling them they were all brides of the Messiah in a spiritual sense.

As Soon-Ae Hong hurried out of the kitchen and around to the front of the building at the Chung Pa Dong church, she finished drying her hands by waving them in the air.

"I wonder why I have been called by Father," she thought to herself. Now that her daughter was his wife, everything had changed so much.

"I donít know what to do anymore," she murmured to herself. "How should the mother of the Messiahís bride act, anyway?" So far, Father had not asked her to do anything. In fact, it was as if he had forgotten all about her. And to make matters worse, she hardly ever saw her dear daughter anymore.

She reached the top of the stairs and turned to the sliding doors of Father's little room. He waved her in. Her shoes had been left at the door downstairs, so all she had to do was bow and sit on the mat-covered floor before him. Out of respect, her eyes were cast down.

"Your daughter is well," said Father, knowing how much she wanted to hear those words. "Won Bok (Choi) is doing a good job caring for her and raising her up."

She nodded her head, grateful for this bit of information. How she longed to ask questions. How she longed to go help her daughter, but she remained quiet.

He continued, "Now I have some directions to give you. I must ask that, from this time, you stop thinking of her as your daughter. You raised her. You offered her to Heavenly Father. Now she is not really your daughter any longer." He looked at her intently. "Can you accept that?"

It would be hard for any mother to accept such a direction, but Mrs. Hong loved him and always obeyed him. Her very name meant "Obedient Love." It had been given to her by a minister.

"Yes, Father," she said softly, without looking up. "I can accept that."

"Good," he said. "Then Won Bok Choi will be her mother from this moment on. Do you understand?"

"Yes," she answered. In her heart, maybe she could not fully understand everything, but she sensed that what he was asking was very important. At that moment, even though she was his mother-in-law, she felt like his child and her heart beat with love for her father. She was about to stand up to leave, when he added another surprising direction.

"Furthermore, from now on, I want you to stay away as much as possible," he said. "If you come to Sunday service or any other activity, you should use the back door and sit in the back. Donít ask to see heróor me. Just go about your work in the kitchen and serve everyone humbly." He paused a moment and then added rather sternly, "And furthermore, you must never, never tell your daughter that she is to be pitied or that you wish she didnít have this position. If you ever speak like that, it will be the greatest crime. You will hurt her terriblyóand you will hurt all women."

"Yes, Father," she said. Her voice sounded calm enough, but as she backed out of the room, her head was reeling. Had she done something wrong? Did he hate her? Why was he rejecting her? It was as if a knife was cutting out her heart.

As she went about her duties in the days following, Mrs. Hong felt as though she had no family or friends anymore. She couldnít visit her child. The people in the church seemed to be uncomfortable around her and wouldnít look at her and some of them appeared even to dislike her. Why? What had she done? She was so lonely. Because of these difficulties, she often became sick. The stress affected her stomach, and she was in a lot of pain. For months on end, she could only eat a small bit of rice each day. She grew worn and thin.

The other women soon noticed how difficult her life had become, and before long they took pity on her.

"Look how sheís treated," they said. "Sheís an outcast, a nobody. She has to come and go by the back door. She has no friends. No family. I wouldnít want to be in her situation, poor woman."

Through these difficult years, Soon-Ae Hong focused on her love for Heavenly Father and for True Parents. She thought about how she had been led to the Holy Lord Order and then to Ho Ho Binís group and then to True Father himself. As far as she knew, she was the only person to have been in all three of these important groups, and she knew God had been guiding her. Therefore, she would be faithful always. She would never give up.

No one could know at that point that it was important for Mrs. Hong to suffer and be rejected yet never complain. No one could explain it to her and make it easier for her to bear. It was a test that most women might have failed. Soon-Ae trudged onward, shielding her faith like a candle in a high wind.

Many years later, Father would praise and honor Soon-Ae for her faith. Many years later, Father would even gently tease her about how strict he had had to be with her in those days. He would give her the heavenly title of "Great Mother." But there was no hint of what was to come in those difficult days back at Chung Pa Dong church.

Hak Ja Hanís life, too, had completely changed overnight. One day she was quietly studying in Chun Chon; a month later, she was married to Father. Now, everyone watched her to see if she would be a good wife and mother. Deep in her heart, she knew God had prepared her for this mission. He had already taught her to deal with loneliness, to work hard, to persevere, and to keep herself pure and centered on God. She had also learned to love Godís wondrous creation.

On the other hand, nothing could have prepared her for this new life. She was on her own. Her mother was not allowed to visit her. Her husband was always with the church members or on the mountain praying or in his little room praying. His closest disciples were always around. She lived in a separate building, and once in a while Father would visit.

Although no one said anything to her personally, she could feel jealousy from some of the women. She could feel eyes watching her, ready to criticize her if she failed. Not only did she feel rejected by many members, she also felt rejected by Father. He never discussed things with her or chatted or shared his feelings with her. He didnít ask her opinion on anything. He didnít ask her how she was. Sometimes he would be warm and kind; the next day, he would be cold and tyrannical. In fact, he treated her more like a servant than a wife. Whenever Father gave a lecture, she was expected to be there, but she had to enter by the back door and sit in the rear of the room. She shed many tears.

By early summer, she learned that she was going to have a baby. As the scorching heat invaded all corners of Korea, she hid her feelings of nausea and stayed active.

The food at that time was better than in the earlier days, but they still ate barley instead of rice most of the time. Every Korean knows that only very poor people ate barley, yet rice was too expensive for the church members. Father insisted that they both should eat barley just like everyone else.

Whenever Father traveled around in the jeep to visit the members in other towns and in the countryside, she went along. Korean summers are always very, very hot and bouncing around in a dusty jeep with the wind in her face made it unbearable. The wind tried to blow through the lace sleeves of her Korean dresses, but there was no relief from the humidity. Many days, she was so very, very tired, but Father never asked her if she would like to rest. Instead, he was more likely to tell her to walk faster or come along to another meeting.

Oh, how she missed her mother! If only she could go to her and cry and rest. She was constantly tired. And always, she felt overwhelming loneliness. Even the flowers of Cheju Island would have made her feel less lonely at that point. At least on that island, where she had experienced loneliness so many years ago, there werenít hundreds of eyes watching her all the time.

By and by, after the cold winds of winter blew in from the North, the time came for the birth of their first child. They called the doctoróShin Wook Kim (today we call her Lady Dr. Kim). The women who came to help realized what an important day it was. As they scurried about preparing for the blessed event, they started singing joyfully, making up the song as they sang, "The prince is come! The prince is come! Hallelujah, the prince is come at last!"

That day, December 11, 1960 (by the lunar calendar), the baby was born. It was a girl, a little princess! Her name was Ye Jin. But was Mother congratulated? Probably not much, for the members were expecting a boy. They were shocked that a girl was born first.

"You see?" some of them said. "She canít even produce a boy. She's failed."

After the first year of marriage, almost all of True Motherís time was centered on having babies, nursing babies, and taking care of babies and little children. She still traveled with Father as much as she could, but many times she had to stay home. Mrs. Choi helped her with little Ye Jin-nim.

Two years after Ye Jin-nim was born, on December 3, 1962, a second baby was born in the same room. This time it was the son everyone was awaitingóand his name was Hyo Jin. Mrs. Eu was asked to help care for him.

Two and one-half years later, a third child was bornóa baby girl, In Jin. And just one year and three months later, the fourth child was bornóa second son, Heung Jin. By this time, Ye Jin-nim was almost six years old; Hyo Jin-nim was almost four; and In Jin-nim was a one-year old. When the 7-year period ended, Mother had given birth to four children and was already pregnant with the fifth, a daughter, to be named Un Jin.

After the first three years of marriage, Mother moved into Fatherís room in the Chung Pa Dong church. Now she wouldnít have to be alone so much. However, she soon realized that she had only traded the old problems for a new set of problems. Father and Mother had one small room of their own. All they had to do was close the sliding door to have peace and quiet. Right? Unfortunately, it was not that simple. For one thing, the walls were so thin, you could hear everything in the rooms even when the doors were closed. Secondly, there were always people in the room talking to Father until midnight, one oíclock, two oíclock in the morning and even later. Night after night, Motherís body would be crying out for rest, but she couldnít pull out her mat and lie down on the floor when people were still in the room.

"What can I do?" she thought. "I must get some sleep. But these meetings are so important, I don't want to disturb them."

Then she had an idea.

"The bathroom!" she thought. "No one will be in the bathroom at this hour." So she went to the bathroom, sat down on the cold floor, leaned against the wall, and soon fell asleep with exhaustion. Only when everyone had gone for the night and Father had finished his prayers could she finally return to their room to sleep properly.

After only two or three hours of sleep, however, Father would bolt awake and call for Mrs. Choi or Mr. Eu. He was already thinking of the problems of the world. Sleep was finished for that night! Within a few minutes, Mother had to be up and presentable because that was about how long it took for Mrs. Choi or Mr. Eu to come when they were called. Mr. and Mrs. Eu slept in the room next to True Parents and Mrs. Choi often slept in the living room. Many times, they slept in their clothes so they could go to Father quickly when he called. Mother had to be even swifter to rise than they were.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Hong was having dreams. Night after night, it was the same dream. Her daughter would come running up to her. She was in her nightgown. and her hair was flowing free in the wind. Mrs. Hong could see that she was very, very tired, and her eyes were red from crying. She would just collapse in her motherís arms and cry, "Oh, Iím so tired and sleepy!" When Mrs. Hong awoke, however, she was not allowed to go to her daughter to comfort her. She could only relive her dream in silence and cry in silence.

There were days when Mother thought she couldnít continue. "Everyone thinks I should already be perfect," she said to herself. "But, of course, Iím not. The standard for being True Mother is too high! Itís almost impossible to achieve!"

While she was going through this seven-year course, no one explained to Mother why she was being treated in such a terrible way. No one told her, "You see, Father is making you suffer on purpose. Thereís a reason." No one said, "It wonít be like this forever. Just hold on for seven years, and then things will be better." No one explained, "You have to start out from the very bottom, as a servant, before you can go to the top as True Mother."

No. She was told nothing. She just had to endure. If she cried, she cried in the privacy of her room. And never was she allowed to complain.

The first three years, it was her struggle alone. The last four years, not only did Mother suffer, but the four children suffered, as well. They all lived together in their small apartment in the church. As toddlers and preschoolers, the children wanted to run about and shout and play and have fun, the way all children do. But always they were told, "Shhhh! Father is teaching. . . Be quiet! Father is praying." And always, the adults were watching to see if they were good children.

After a few years, an improvement came about. A house was bought next door to the church where their family could live. The first thing they did, however, was build a passageway directly from the house to the church, so there still wasnít a lot of privacy. But at least now the children had a little more space, and they didnít have to stay so quiet all the time.

As these years went by, there were some good moments for Mother, too. For one thing, Mrs. Choi loved her and took such good care of her that soon she seemed like her real mother. True Mother felt comforted to be with her.

The most wonderful part was that Heavenly Father never forgot her, and He often came close to encourage her. She learned that when one goes through hardships, Heavenly Father comes closest. He can't resist. Heavenly Father is very drawn to lonely and suffering hearts, because His own heart has been so lonely and suffering for so very long.

Also, despite the complaints of some members, there were many other people who were very kind to her and really tried to help. In this way, she learned how to experience both hardships and joy, rejection and love.

On December 31, 1967, True Motherís first seven-year course came to an end. Father had treated her like a servant. He had treated her like a child. He had treated her like a younger sister. Through all these trials, she had totally sacrificed herself. She had given her total obedience; she had given her total love to him. She didnít let herself get discouraged and give up. She was completely obedient. And above all, she had never complained! She had grown to the point where she could be True Mother.

One day, Father prayed in front of everyone, "Dear Heavenly Father, please look at your beautiful daughter. She has succeeded. She suffered for seven years, but she is victorious. Please bless her now." Tears streamed down his face as he prayed, for it had hurt him terribly to make her suffer for seven years in order to properly raise her up. Heíd had to be like the strictest of teachers, the strictest of fathers in order to make sure that this very young and inexperienced woman grew properly in her training, step by step. No one had realized how much pain he had felt in his own heart during that time.

The very next day, January 1, 1968, Father announced the first Godís Day. Not many people had understood the importance of True Motherís role in the creation of Godís Day. After that, many people repented for the way they had treated Mother.

"We are sorry we complained about her," they cried. "We can see that she is, indeed, our True Mother. We can see that she is the only bride for Father. And we can also see that Mrs. Hong must be respected. This is truly the central family of Heaven."

Mother remained quiet, pondering these things in her heart, and bearing no ill will towards anyone.

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