The Words the Hose Family
Rev. David Hose presenting a Principle lecture for the American ministers at the ICC.
This morning I would like to speak about the love of the second generation. More and more, the love of the True Parents' children is becoming extremely important to me. They can help teach us about love.
When I look back over my almost 20 years in the church, I recognize that I haven't yet learned how to truly love. I know it may make you feel hopeless in some way to hear an elder member say that! Since learning how to love is a step-by-step process, perhaps I should say instead that, while I thought I had taken many steps toward becoming a loving person, I now know I had only taken a few.
In the original world, Adam was first to have developed his heart; then he would have become lord of creation on the foundation of his heartistic development. But in the world of restoration, first we receive the position and then we have to develop our heart. When in a leadership position, you may find that you go through a lot of suffering, because you recognize that people need your love so much. A lot of times you may feel dry, that your channel is too small to give them what they need.
For the last few years I have been responsible for the World Mission Department in New York, that is, overseeing our missionary work. I was involved with a lot of administrative duties -- planning and organizing many large projects. Yet I found that the hardest part of my job, the part that challenged me the most, was to sit down across from a sister or a brother and truly love that person. There were times when I wanted to embrace that person, or hold that person's hand, or even give that person a kiss on the cheek, but I was afraid to do it. I guess I was afraid that that brother or sister would reject me, or wouldn't understand, or wouldn't think it was right for a leader to do such a thing. Yet I also needed that love just as much as those brothers and sisters did.
I found it easy to sometimes hide my own heart behind my mission. I regret to say it has been my tendency over the years to get so involved with my administration and organizational duties that I would not get down to the real issue of facing myself, facing God, or facing True Parents. I remember with a great pain in my heart that during these last couple of years, some people would come up to me and say, "Could I speak to you -- oh, but I know you are very busy." That hurt me very deeply because I realized I was hiding behind my work. Many times my concern with my position and external responsibilities made me unfree internally.
But even more painful has been my process of growth within my marriage. My wife and I have a wonderful family and a good marriage. But I have to admit to you that when we were blessed in 1970, we did not know anything about the meaning of the Blessing. We knew the concept, but in our hearts we did not know what it actually meant. And over the years, although we have shared a lot of love, I have to say that we are still learning, painfully and slowly, how to love each other.
My wife was raised on a farm in Japan. Her father was a very good man, but from what she told me, he stage, but when you step off the stage, that is where the real story is written. My wife has told me that many times!
In June 1986 I became a staff member on the ICC seminars to Japan and Korea. Just before I came on the staff, I had reached a point of real dryness in my life. I was feeling that my love channel was cut off, that I was just going through the motions in my work. When I got the mission to come to Japan and Korea, I thought, "Okay, another new mission. I will try to do my best."
But when I came to the Orient, everything exploded like a bomb, and I started to feel a tremendous need for inner healing, a tremendous need for love, as if I were a little baby. This is no doubt fitting, because providentially America is in the child's position, and Japan and Korea are in the parents' position. I felt like I was coming home to my mother and father.
The feeling was so overwhelming that it frightened me at first. In Japan, the mother country, I started feeling great love toward Japanese women. I would look at a woman on the street and think, "Wow, she is beautiful!" Even some of the old grandmothers were lovely to me. I realized it was not a physical thing; I was experiencing something very internal.
And when I got to Korea, I would look at the mountains and just start crying, even before looking at the people. Externally my mission was to be the leader of the ICC seminars, but internally I felt as if I were a little baby lying on the floor, completely helpless. In front of those 200 ministers I appeared fine and took care of everything very well, but then I would go back to my room and fall apart.
After four months of leading these conferences, I finally realized clearly that God wanted to heal a lot of things inside me. He wanted my heart to become as big as my mission. When you get to be over 40 years old you start to think differently than when you were 20 or 30. You think, "Well, I have this mission and these responsibilities, but what about my inner self, my internal status? In another 10 years I will be past 50, on my way to becoming an old man. What will I have actually achieved in my life by then?" I started to think that I would rather be a sincere, loving dishwasher than an insincere president.
Rev. and Mrs. David Hose in Korea.
Not long after that, the ICC staff members started having experiences with Heung Jin Nim. Since that time my life has completely changed. I realized that my love or my effort alone was not enough to solve the problems I was having in my marriage, in my mission, and in my life. I want to give tremendous credit to Heung Jin Nim for helping me so profoundly to resolve these very deep questions in my heart and experience what love really is.
Of course, True Parents' love is the greatest love. But I have to admit, as I look back on my life in the church, that I had never actually made a total connection with True Parents' love. I realize now that I had been very distant from True Parents in my life. True Parents have so many burdens to carry and so many things to do that they cannot embrace each one of us personally and physically. But incredibly, in these last few months, I have been deeply and personally embraced by Heung Jin Nim and helped to resolve many of the hurts and resentments I had kept since childhood.
The first night I had an experience with Heung Jin Nim I was in Korea. He was speaking through a medium in the hotel room of another director of the ICC, and I was invited to join would come home at night and ask for his rice, tea, and newspaper without much communication with his daughter. He did not express much affection for her. A deep feeling of loneliness in her heart resulted from this lack of relationship. My wife is a very truth-loving person; she always wants to express the truth. She likes to have intense relationships with people. So when she could not have a close relationship with her father, it hurt her very deeply. This was her situation as she entered into marriage with me.
My circumstances growing up were quite different. My father died when I was two years old. I look almost exactly like my father, so when he died, my mother poured out her love to me.
Even when I was only 10 or 11 years old, I often had to be her counselor. She was like a little girl reaching out to her father for guidance. I grew up inwardly full of anger at my mother for putting that heavy burden of responsibility on my shoulders when I was not ready to carry it.
Thus, my wife and I both grew up with much resentment from childhood, and that does not easily go away. There must be millions and millions of people in the world who have inside themselves a hurt and angry little child. Ever since we were married, my wife and I have been trying to learn how to heal the hurt child inside ourselves. She was looking for me to be the kind of father she never had, I was looking for her to be the mother I never had, and neither one of us was ready to meet such expectations. We have both hurt each other by our inability to receive each other's pain or to help heal the other. This is what I mean about the many steps it takes to love one another. We not only have to go from zero to plus; we first have to go from minus to zero, and then to plus.
Learning how to translate True Parents' love into the love for another person, especially when that person is your husband or wife, is not an easy thing. So over the past 17 years both my mission and my marriage have been the biggest challenges I could ever imagine. Being a lecturer is a tough job in itself. It is not so difficult for me to speak in public; the hard part is backing up the words of your lecture with your own life. It is easy to appear to be a saint up on the people in that room. The minute I came in and sat down on the bed, Heung Jin Nim said to me, "You have such a beautiful family." And he literally embraced me. Of course Heung Jin Nim is not physical, but I felt his deep, close, personal embrace. I was so shocked that I burst out in tears, because I could feel the reality of that love so close to me. Through this experience I could genuinely feel that God loves me! And also that God knows me! He knows everything about my life down to the finest detail. That is true love.
One of my difficulties had been not being able to believe that God loved me. I could not actually trust that love. I could give lectures to thousands of people on the Principle and explain how much God loves each and every one of us, but I could not really accept in my heart that God loves David Hose. As I look around our American movement, I find that there are a lot of people in the same situation. We fail to really believe and accept the love of God.
That is why people need somebody to testify to them -- deeply -- about that love of God. It is one thing to say to a person, "God loves you',' and another thing to walk up to that person and really demonstrate the love of God. Of course love means more than just hugging somebody, but in our lives we have to daily live that love. That is literally what Heung Jin Nim did in my life. Someone might say, "Well, that is spiritual phenomena:' But I say, "No, it's not, it's Heung Jin Nim." If I walked up to you and gave you my love, would somebody say, "Oh, that is just physical phenomena"? How would I feel? That is not just physical phenomena, that is David Hose!
I believe Father wants to share the victory of Heung Jin Nim with every one of us. He told us that Heung Jin Nim has built a bridge from the spiritual world to the physical world that had never been there before. I used to wonder what this meant. At first I thought it meant that the spiritual and physical worlds can now communicate more deeply with each other. But I do not believe that that bridge is just from one "world" to another, 'world.' From my own experience, I believe it means that Heung Jin Nim can come into every one of our hearts personally.
Through Heung Jin Nim I believe God wants to liberate all the pain and hurt we have carried with us -- our lack of confidence and our failure to really know that "God loves me." God wants to liberate all these things from our hearts so that we can go forward, because as long as we keep those feelings of hurt or lack of love inside us, we harbor such a low opinion of ourselves. It is unfortunately very true that if you cannot love yourself, you cannot love True Parents, and you cannot love God.
Particularly in the last few months I have been realizing how much Heung Jin Nim has achieved. He is called "Lord Heung Jin Nim" in the spirit world, but at the same time, he is a close brother to me, like the closest friend I have. Through my relationship with him, I am starting to learn how to love my True Parents for the first time, and also how to love my wife and my brothers and sisters more deeply. Love carries us beyond position and beyond institutional structure. It melts everything and everyone down into one.
The coming together of America and Japan is not an easy process at all, because we have such completely different backgrounds and ways of thinking and being. In the process of restoration, there are so many hidden points of contention that we do not realize have to be overcome; it takes years and years to start to realize even a little bit of unity. In reality, there is only one way for East and West to come together, and that is when we get down on our knees together and reach out to our Heavenly Father. Unity comes when real prayer begins.
Our Japanese brothers and sisters have been making tremendous effort over the years to become the mother or the parent for the American members, but it has been such a struggle for all of us. I feel the Japanese have been like a mother who is so worried about how to love her child that she doesn't love the child. She keeps thinking, "How can I be a mother?" while the child is just sitting on the floor! The Americans on the other hand, in the child's position, have been critical of the mother and quick to point out all her shortcomings. Even though many times we have reached out for each other, our reach has generally not been far enough.
But now I believe a real union between East and West is beginning to take place. In particular, I know one Japanese brother and one American brother who have been able to achieve something very deep and I believe very important. They both forgot about being parent and child -- they just reached out for each other in prayer. They have been loving each other and loving God with no sense of "What's my position?" Heung Jin Nim is very much a part of their prayer. It's not only these two brothers, but other brothers and sisters too, who are gathering around them and praying. Hearts are being liberated and pain is being resolved.
I personally feel that Japan has a unique providential opportunity to grow tremendously at this time, even though the Japanese members have gone through very deep persecution in the last few months. Growth is not a matter of making a new strategy or a more effective plan; I don't think that's the point. I believe what those two brothers are doing is the point. We can take millions of cold showers and make many kinds of conditions, but I think all of us are being challenged right now by God to reach out and love one another.
A close relationship between Americans, Japanese, and Koreans is critically important for the providence. I honestly feel that up until now, this relationship has been largely conceptual. That is why I have so much hope when I see the unity of these two brothers. I think what Heung Jin Nim is trying to tell all of us these days is that the point is not a new plan. The point is courage to go beyond our limits in reaching out to each other. When we reach out with our hearts, beyond our fear and defenses, God's power can come in. Guarding our hearts from hurt blocks God's love. This is the gospel that Heung Jin Nim is trying to bring to us -- to have the courage to reach out and to break out of the old identities we are all stuck in,
Think about Jesus going into the temple at Jerusalem. In his day, the temple was very well organized. All the rituals were being done just the way they'd always been done. Jesus walked into the temple and started tearing it apart. Sometimes the only way we can learn is to be shocked into the reality of where we are and what we are doing. When Jesus walked into the temple, he challenged the things that everybody thought were good. The main point was that the Israelites did not know the purpose of their own temple. They were not going to the most holy place. They were not finding God in their temple.
I have gone past my 40th year now, and I can testify that the heart is everything. Not position, not organization, but heart. Of course we need organization. But without hearts that are open and able to be shared, that organization becomes very cold.
It is not really the spiritual world that we are talking about; it is the true heart of one brother who is very real and who sacrificed his life for True Parents and us. I don't believe these experiences of love should just end with Heung Jin Nim. I think he wants us to develop that depth of love for each other. Something he said to me about two months ago I will never forget. He said, "Why do you think Father is insisting on making a library of all his speeches? Because he wants to plant each one of those words in your living heart so that it can grow and become part of your life. But if your heart is not alive or open, then all those words do not mean anything"
I am realizing that without my heart opening up to love, my life is empty. I pray deeply that our church members can have a victory of heart in this year as we face the challenges of the coming months. It is the same for brothers and sisters in Japan, America, Korea, and all over the world. It will involve each one of us reaching out beyond our own limits. This includes myself.
We are moving into the time of the second generation. Even the old ones, like myself, want to be part of the second generation. I once heard a member say, "Well, the first generation will die in the wilderness and only the second generation will go into Canaan." I don't want to die!! I believe that that second generation is inside of me, too, and I want to see it come out.
Rev. Kwak has been very inspired about the experiences the ICC staff has been having with Heung Jin Nim. He has encouraged us to pray and to have those experiences. He told us that the mainstream of our life of faith is True Parents and the Principle and that Heung Jin Nim wants to help us to come into that mainstream, which we have not come deeply enough into yet. This is the kind of sacrificial heart that Heung Jin Nim carries: Out of his love he wants to help us heal all the hurts from our past, overcome all our difficulties, and come to God and True Parents in a deeper, closer way than ever before.