40 Years in America

John Williams

When I first met Rev. Moon, I had been acquainted with the group for a few months. It was in Oakland, California, in 1973. I was 19, living with the members, working with them and studying the Principle. At one point, I understood the founder was coming to speak on the campus of UC Berkeley on the Day of Hope tour. Though I understood by then that he was held to be the Second Coming of the Messiah, my interest in him was more from the respect that my new friends showed him and less from theology. My days had been taken up with the practical day to day concerns of living with God and serving others. I knew that the sense of hope that made our community and enterprise possible was due to this Master Moon, but I didnít think that much about him at that time.

On the day of attending Rev. Moonís speech, we had had a regular day of flower selling, getting up early with my team, buying flowers at dawn and heading out to sell them business to business in a nearby neighborhood. We must have come home early to our Regent Street house and changed clothes, before heading out to the campus. The event was held in a campus auditorium of no small size. The place was becoming packed. I had performed some service that left me coming in just as it was about to begin. The only seat was in the very front row, directly below the lectern.

I donít recall what preceded the speech, but I remember the mysterious Asian Master sitting off to the side. When he was introduced and stood up to speak, I naturally joined the faithful in vigorous applause. Rev. Moon began to speak passionately in Korean, his face, voice and gestures uninhibited, expressive, emotional and intense. I had never seen anyone express himself so explosively and urgently. His elastic face ran the gamut of child-like joy to heartbreaking anguish. His compact body was forcefully animated as he spoke of Godís purpose, His providence and the present age. It was as if the manís physical form was being thrown about by his powerful spirit, or that of Another. I was struck by this sense that an ancient torrent of feeling, power and authority was pouring through him, like a mighty river through a narrow crevasse. What was coming through was much bigger than his body could contain or convey and the man was bursting with the intensity. It was almost too much to bear. I sat as tears rolled down my face.

Looking back I am reminded why he elicits so much loyalty in his followers. One wanted to help him, he seemed so burdened by the urgency of what the Almighty had put upon him to say and do.

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