The Words the Hose Family
On March 17, 1988 the day True Parents arrive in America, Father and Mother exchange loving words with their two youngest sons, Hyung Jin Nim and Young Jin Nim.
Good morning. All throughout this week, I was preparing to speak on this topic, but I didn't know exactly what to talk about. Then Heavenly Father said, "Just open your heart. Don't be nervous. Don't be anxious, for your anxiety cuts the flow of love from my heart. So stop worrying."
I chose the title "Open the Door of Your Heart" because it seems to me that opening our heart is of prime importance at this time, especially as we are aware of a new age unfolding and God is revealing many new things.
We all know that God created man in His image, to be nothing less than His children. Jesus taught us to pray to God as a child talking to his own father. There should have been no gap, no distance, between Heavenly Father and His own children. From the time of your birth, your relationship with God, your talking and sharing with God, should have been a completely natural thing. No child has to be taught consciously step-by-step how to relate to his parents. From the time the child is born, he knows securely whom he belongs to. Thus we should never have needed to go on such a painstaking search to find out who we are or whom we're supposed to love.
Something happened in the beginning of history, and we lost that paramount relationship. In reality, we lost the place in our hearts to receive God's love, because we lost the truth. We couldn't hear any longer what our own Father was saying to us. Therefore, now we have to struggle to recognize not only the powerful Creator who created us but, more heartistically, the Someone we can truly relate to.
Before I joined the church, I didn't know God -- my background is Buddhist -- and I was looking desperately for someone with whom I could share everything, good and bad, without holding back. When I came to understand God through the Divine Principle, I was overjoyed to finally find that Someone. But in following this truth for more than 20 years, I became acutely aware that, tragically, our heart toward God is often closed. And upon becoming a parent myself I began to see how a child's closed heart is extremely painful to his parents. Parents have the desire to completely give everything genuine of themselves to their children, but children can deeply misunderstand their parents. Let's say I have to leave my child for a while in order to work in some distant place. His relationship with me may become remote, and when we are reunited, he may not be quite sure if I can receive him just as he is. He may hold back his heart considerably and only present to me what he feels I can receive without getting angry. A mother's pain from not having her full love received by her own child is incredibly deep. I never knew that until I had my own children.
With our minds we can accept that God is our parent and we are His children and that there should be no Wall between us. But we have to recognize that in the restoration process, the door to our heart is closed most of the time. And this door that blocks us from receiving God's love is fear. Basically, fallen man is afraid even to receive love from God. Why? Because in our life experience, when we opened our hearts and approached our parents, our teachers, and our brothers and sisters, we were judged, scolded, not received, not approved of. Thus we learned to close our heart in fear of getting hurt and rejected again.
We don't even know how thick the walls we've built really are until we come in contact with God's love. I'm sure many people who have never been touched by His love may live a lifetime with their hearts completely door, just allowing their intellectual minds to work. When your heart is closed, nothing but a self-defense mechanism is operating, and you think that people around you are not there to love you, but to potentially harm you. Therefore, you feel you have to take an aggressive stance toward people.
You may even want to attack and criticize and hurt them before they can hurt you. You say, "Yes, I admit I can't love; yes, I admit I'm not happy; but at least I'm protecting myself from more hurt." The degree of fear varies; some have a lot and some have less, but the reality of being a fallen human being, not really knowing God's love fully, makes us all the same before God. In spite of it all, Heavenly Father tenderly visits us many times, trying to open the door to our hearts, trying to assure us that He is a devoted parent whose only desire is to encourage us, to give us better things, to make us happy, and to even see us become perfect.
Jesus came 2,000 years ago to those people who thought they knew God from having received the Old Testament scriptures, and he challenged them with his heart. From the people's point of view, he violated the Sabbath day, because they thought that day was reserved for worshiping God only. But wouldn't a loving parent completely devote himself to his sick child, whether it was a Sabbath day or any other day? Jesus taught that parental dimension of heart, but he was seen as a law-breaker who was advocating something not written in the book. Even a prostitute, whom the people felt should be judged and prosecuted and even stoned to death, Jesus forgave. When the people heard Jesus preaching they said, "This is marvelous. These words are beautiful. This man is very smart," but almost none really understood his heart. When they were urged to listen to their hearts and decide for themselves who this man was, they all failed.
Time has passed, and God, after another 2,000 years, has sent us the people through whom He can truly manifest His heart -- a heart that is yearning to embrace His children, a heart longing to be alive in each one of us. I've seen how my teacher, Rev. Moon, whom I call "Father," has been persecuted, not just because he has been speaking truth and words of judgment but because he has given tremendous love. But we are just like adopted children who don't know their real birth parents. When their real parents are introduced, their first reaction is that of cautiousness; they want to make sure that these people are not going to harm them. All that Rev. Moon wants to do is just to give out God's love, and his deepest desire is only to invite all of us, to urge us, to come to God. He never once said, "I want to be a great man, so follow me." He only wants us to understand God and, therefore, ourselves.
Last year, the emergence of the second generation, led by Rev. Moon's sons, really confronted us. Here they were, standing up to every responsibility, really having caught their father's heart and wanting to convey that heart to us. Sometimes they expressed their anger and we were afraid, because of our false concept that loving parents would not challenge us but would just let us get away with everything. Our fallen nature was painfully exposed, and we all went through emotional turmoil. We felt we wanted to just hide from anyone who brought judgment and made us see a disappointing reality. Some of us justified ourselves by quickly saying, "I'm okay, I'm not really bad, I know God loves me." And some of us, in being exposed to our sin, just felt completely devastated: "I knew I was no good!" Being seen in the light of true love brought revolutionary kinds of reactions and responses from all of us. We had to see that we weren't really open to receiving God's love or ready to create in our generation a Heavenly Kingdom here on earth.
"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." I chose this Bible verse to be read this morning because, as parents know, whether your child is crying, begging, complaining, or being happy -- whether his words are profound or unintelligible -- your child naturally wants to have total communication with you. I'm grateful to have children because now I can see how I am supposed to be with my own invisible Parent, not afraid to ask Him anything. My church mission is counseling, and many times a brother or sister reminds me of this by saying things like, "Oh, I have had this problem for a long, long time, and I just can't find the solution." So I say, "Did you ask God?" "Well, yes, I've been praying. And I've been working very hard, too." I say, "Yes, but did you ask God?" "Well, Heung Jin Nim taught us to be responsible. I have to be responsible, so I shouldn't ask God, because I have to work out everything by myself first before I present it to God." How arrogant we are to think that we have a solution to everything by ourselves when we are still children! We still have to grow a lot. Remember, God is the source of our value, our love, and our ideal. He has the power and the answers to everything.
Whenever we feel a lack in ourselves, why is it that we don't go to God and seek and ask and knock? Why has our identity as a child of God just stayed in our minds and not become real in our hearts? If your child can go to his dad and ask, "Why is it that I am struggling like this? Papa, I just don't understand," why can't we? We don't do this often enough. Maybe all throughout history someone has been telling us, "You're not the child of God. You're unworthy."
You goof up a lot, making one mistake after another. How could God ever accept you? Straighten yourself up first and then He might consider accepting you." I want to emphasize how much we hesitate to voice our struggle before God.
If not to God, then to whom are you going to take that struggle and get it all out? To your roommate? To your husband? To your children? They cannot give you the ultimate answer. I feel God is saying to us, "Why didn't you come to me first of all?" We have a hard time believing that we are worthy to claim ourselves as the children of God and ask Him our questions. Most Christians know why God loves them, right? They say, "Jesus said so."
We know God loves us because He said He did! It's been proven over and over again throughout history. In our movement, God's love through Rev. and Mrs. Moon has touched all of us very deeply at one time or another, and our hearts were healed of their wounds; we felt hope and confidence and appreciation for life. Our spirits were resurrected in a very deep way so that we could finally shout out with joy that we were alive.
With love in our hearts, we knew we could live with confidence and trust that our lives were meant to be good.
But many times we fell back under the water, so to speak, and old memories took us back to that fearful place where we just tightly closed the door to our heart so that no one could possibly get in, including God Himself. Last year when we were receiving so many heavenly messages, I kept wondering why there was so much repetition of these words over and over: "God loves you."
Open the door of your heart. Please let the new child that is to be born come out." These messages all spoke to the reality that we were not yet open. Heung Jin Nim told us, "Know yourself. You are a child of God." I thought, "Yes, we are supposed to know that. But why is he repeating this so many times?" And I realized, "Yes, it's true, we are children of God, but we aren't behaving or living as if we really believed we were the children of God." It's a concept we accept readily enough in our minds; but we forget that the most important thing is to make it real in our hearts, so that we know it. Our heart has to be wide open to God in order to enter into the coming new age. Without this, the parental heart of God suffers extreme pain.
What strikes me most about Hyo Jin Nim and Heung Jin Nim is not only what they say, but their whole attitude of openness to God and to new ideas, and the fact that, because they are confident in God's love for them, they are not afraid to reveal their mistakes. I see a powerful testimony to the love of Rev. and Mrs. Moon in their children's example. When their children really come to recognize that love, no matter who says what, they can never let go of what they have experienced.
What inspires me about this new generation is that we are all being urged to open up our hearts once again, and to be unafraid to walk with God, and to not make too many negative value judgments about ourselves. It humiliates God when we do that, calculating in a very petty way whether God will receive us or not. Doesn't God relate to me just as I am, as I have been?
God is my parent. He committed Himself to walk with me through all the phases of my life, through stormy weather and sunny weather. If I know securely that I am the child of God, an incredible power can come to me to help me pursue what is right, regardless of what others may say or what the circumstances are. Each one of us is asked to make this a reality in our daily lives.
All those persons we call prophets, righteous men, saints, children of God, sons of God, or the Christ have had that security within themselves that came from the personal relationship they developed with God when they sincerely began seeking, asking, and knocking. It gave them inner strength to face the outer difficulties.
For example, for Jacob to have persevered through 21 years of treacherous mistreatment, deception, and exploitation by Uncle Laban, we can easily assume that in his heart he had a very active communication with God. I can also see this in Rev. Moon's life. Through year after year of persecution and suffering, he never seems to be down. The day he left for Danbury prison, we were all feeling miserable, but he was beaming with love, hope, and confidence, encouraging all of us, lifting us up. All his life, he has talked with God. He knows God, and he never forgets God in any situation.
From the Principle we know that restoration involves uniting with Abel, going through Abel, and loving Abel, but don't make the mistake that Cain cannot relate to God by himself. Heavenly Father is really cracking my concept that I can speak to Him only if I can bring Him good behavior or good results. Sometimes He says to me, "Why don't you get up and give your testimony?" I say, "Yes, but I haven't successfully concluded it yet. I haven't made a beautiful offering yet." Then He'll say,
"That you succeeded or haven't succeeded yet is not important; but as imperfect and as awkward as you may be, the fact that you walked all the way with me is important. Can't you just get up and share that?" He'll say to any of us, "It is important to me that you didn't give up, you didn't close your heart completely. You stretched it open, even when you were tempted to close it so you wouldn't have to go through any more pain. I know you may have wanted to change your mission, or your situation, or whatever, because the pain was great. But you persevered and kept your heart open, kept the possibility open for union in heart with me." That is what moves our Heavenly Father.
Without that kind of heart, we cannot really go on and enter into the new age. And that new age is urging us to courageously reach to depths we haven't known before. It may demand some risk, but God doesn't ask us to do something that we aren't ready for. So if your heart is closed, and if you feel you don't have the energy, you don't have the courage, you don't have the strength to go on, why don't you ask and open yourself and allow yourself to be filled? That is your responsibility. It is not always the central figure's responsibility or somebody else who is in a higher position than you. You are a precious child, and your Parents know what to give you, even more than you know.
Openness to receive what God wants to give you is the most important thing. I don't know what's going to happen in this coming year, but if sudden changes and challenges come, let's say to ourselves, "Okay, I'll take everything to my Father and He will tell me how to look at these things." We know that the first fallen nature is failure to take God's point of view. This is the step to reverse that. Christ said, "Not my will, but Thy will be done," and we are all invited to practice this! Let me ask what His point of view is and wait with the faith that He will teach me, because He is my father. He is devoted to love me, to lift me up, to make me perfect.
Together with the young, energetic, and very open-hearted sons of Rev. Moon, we can really let God work mighty things in this new age. And you are entitled to do so, qualified to do so; you have every ingredient. Let's not forget that.
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Your heart has been painfully waiting for the least bit of our openness, so You can rush into us. We really repent for our fear of approaching You, for our ignorance, and for the many times You have been unable to speak, unable to be heard, unable to really come alive in us.
I am aware that the Kingdom of Heaven has to be created in my own heart first, before I ask my neighbor or my leader or anybody to create it and give it to me. I'm going to create the Kingdom because I'm Your child. Father, please remind us of this, because we are so forgetful. We will not just simplistically convince ourselves that we have You in our hearts. Many times we don't have You, or we don't make the place for You. So, Father, please help us and allow us to open our hearts, help us seek, help us ask, help us knock, because we still aren't Your spontaneous children yet.
Thank You so much for all these great men and women in history who have inspired us to open our hearts to You. Lead us through those people around us now who are pioneering the way into the realm of heart, and help us to create a true family under You. Thank you so much, Father.
All these things we pray in the name of Your Son, Christ our Lord, Amen.