Father's Course and our Life of Faith
by Won Pil Kim
Life in Pyongyang
Besides the Sunday service, Father taught us a lot of things at various opportunities. We could keep ourselves high spiritually with Father's words spoken on these occasions. Even though his words were often very few, he gave each of us the most appropriate guidance. Father could do this because he had a deep interest in, and understanding of each member. He didn't talk privately with each member so much, but he observed us very carefully when we were praying or talking with brothers and sisters. He could understand our characters from one word that we spoke. When I made a mistake, Father didn't point it out on the spot. When we went out together, or at a meeting, he taught me in a way that only I myself could understand the purpose of what he was saying. It was always in a very peaceful atmosphere.
A leader usually points out a member's mistakes in a way that everybody can recognize who he is talking about. Father doesn't take this approach. He teaches in a way that only I myself can understand his intention completely and only I can realize what he is saying.
Besides this, Father doesn't openly say what I've done is wrong. He speaks about what God's will, Jesus' heart and our predecessors' courses are like, which naturally leads us to reflect closely on what we have done. I'll give you an example I myself experienced. It was one summer day; Father was earnestly speaking to the new guests in the small room. I was listening and gradually became sleepy. Eventually I began to fall asleep, even though I didn't want to. After the guests went home, Father and I went up the hill as usual, meditating together looking down over the city. On the way home, we took a short rest half way down the hill. Father started speaking calmly: "When new guests are listening to me and you fall asleep, your sleep results in your doing harm to them." While I was listening to him, the tears came down from my eyes without my knowing why, even though his attitude was not like he was scolding me, but rather teaching me how I should have been. Father educated me in that way.
While walking together, Father said something brief which made us think deeply later on. Father didn't speak much, but we could find many words in his silence. He made us realize many things without speaking any words. When we were walking in a field of ripe barley once, he asked me what my impression was at seeing such a field. Sometimes he asked me whether I had any questions to ask him. Occasionally he asked me whether I would work with him for God's Providence for ever or not. Father made each one of us determine firmly that he or she would go together with him whatever might happen.
Father gave us hints to make us think of things we hardly ever thought of by ourselves. He would pray very much for the members and listened to our personal history. Father always had an interest in the members, so that he could lead them according to their individual characters, while observing them carefully in their daily life. Father could do this because he had the deep and unchangeable determination that he had to make the members understand God's heart and His will.
Father didn't speak all the time, but he listened to the members' testimonies. If 20 people give their testimonies, we can learn so many things. Father didn't give any conclusion by himself. He spoke the Principle, then the members confirmed the truth of his -- words through their spiritual experiences and testimonies. So testimonies played an important role in explaining and proving the Principle.
The Sunday service lasted until noon. We shared lunch together with Father, after which we had open conversation centering on Father. It was the same on weekdays. The church was full of people with whom Father was talking and sharing a meal. There was a man who was suffering from a digestive problem, but when he took a meal in the church, he felt it was delicious. One member gave him the food Father had left over. He was very thankful for it and ate it, then his disease was gradually overcome. He gave the testimony of how he recovered. Because of this, the rice of the church was called "medicine rice".
If I talk in this way, it will take a long time just to finish the story of the Pyongyang days. This week I'd like to speak about the story after Father went into prison, as you already know why he had to go there. Do you think Father had thought that he would have to go to prison from the beginning? How about Jesus? Did Jesus think that he had to go to the cross from the beginning? At the beginning Jesus didn't think so, but he had an idea that he would have to go to the cross if fallen man didn't follow God's Providence.
I was taken to the police station together with Father; he was very calm, but very tense at the same time. We walked side by side for a distance along a busy street. Usually you can't hear the sound of the breathing of a person who is walking beside you in such a street, though you can hear it if the person is sleeping beside you on a quiet night. I could feel and hear the strong and deep breathing of Father when we were together this time though.
The police thought of Father as some kind of magician. As soon as people heard his words, they stayed in the church. Some core members of established churches cut off their relationship with the church they had attended for several decades, a husband or wife who loved their spouse very much, or a parent and a child who had a deep love towards each other, didn't go home. Therefore the police couldn't help thinking that Father was a magician who hypnotized people. It was especially strange for them that a young couple might not sleep together after one of them had listened to the Principle. So the authorities imagined that there were some illicit relationships in the church. In order to observe Father, the police didn't let him sleep for one week. They watched him in turn. When Father went to the toilet, two or three guards accompanied him. Actually, Father found a way to sleep with his eyes open; three minutes' sleep gave him the strength to endure several hours' torture.
In the church life of Pyongyang there was not even one day Father didn't shed tears. However, as soon as he went into prison, he stopped shedding tears. He knew how much Heavenly Father loved him and could imagine how sorrowful Heavenly Father would be to see His beloved son crying, so Father decided not to in order to console God. I suppose that Father felt as if he were facing a wall when he went into prison, after he had loved and served the members for one year and eight months continuously with such heart. But Heavenly Father gave him a clear indication that there was one young man waiting for him in the prison. Of course Father had resolved to go even the way of death in order to fulfill God's will, but he nevertheless had to think of how to overcome the practical problem which now faced him.
It is the same with you when you think of how to deal with the difficulties which appear after you have determined that you will walk the way of God, come what may. When we pray to God in positive circumstances, we feel God is always with us. However, in those times when you are opposed, you feel that even God has gone away from you and that only you yourself remain. After this, God will visit you again. When you are uneasy, lonely or troubled, God is not around you. After this period has passed, God appears again. So you should have a peaceful mind in the midst of danger and fear, then God will reappear.
When you maintain give and take action within yourself, God can work on you. The time when you lose this give and take action with God is the time when you are uneasy. You can't meet God because you don't have give and take. The feeling of uneasiness shows that you are already separate from God. God can work where your mind and body have give and take action centering on God's will. What would happen if you have give and take centering on Satan? Do you think God can come to you? He can't. Then you come to be under Satan's dominion. Uneasiness is a sign that you are about to go away from God and a warning that you should come back quickly. Father, in this uneasy situation, consoled and encouraged Heavenly Father. That's why he didn't show any tears.
As Father was such a man, Heavenly Father prepared someone to welcome him. Father had hope rather than despair, even after he was put into prison. What kind of person was waiting for him? There was a young man who was sentenced to death. He was kept alone in a cell. One day he heard a voice calling to him. Looking around, he could find nobody. He heard the voice a second time, but couldn't see anybody around. A third time he heard the voice calling and he answered: "Yes?" Then he saw an old white haired man who told him that he would not die, and that he had to prepare to welcome the young master from the South. The old man disappeared, having left this message. Time passed and he forgot his vision and was waiting for his execution. Then an unexpected thing happened: he was tried again and given a five year prison term. The vision had come true. He should have thanked God for the vision and prepared to welcome Father, as his life was saved, but he forgot it completely because he was so overjoyed. This happens to us too.
One day he heard the old white haired man calling his name furiously. The man scolded the young man because he had forgotten his promise. Then his physical parents appeared. His father told him that he would take him to where Father was. He told him to follow. They arrived at a palace where there was a staircase which they proceeded to climb, taking three steps at a time at first, then one at a time, until they reached a throne. They bowed down to their knees three times; they couldn't look up because it was so holy and bright. His father told him to look up at the face of the person who was sitting on the throne. Then they climbed back down the stairs, his father disappeared and he regained consciousness. It had not been a dream. Then Father, who had been sentenced to five years' imprisonment, came into the same room as the young man.
Altogether there were around 20 prisoners in this small room. There was a toilet in a corner and the entrance to the room had a lattice door. Of course, around the entrance was where there was most fresh air. There was a boss in the prison; the older members sat closer to the entrance and the newcomers sat near to the toilet. As Father knew the prison rules from experience, he introduced himself to the prisoners and sat closest to the toilet by himself. Whoever he may be -- a professor, a minister, a government officer -- he is treated the same in prison as a robber. The person who went there the earliest, regardless of whether he was a robber or whatever, became the boss, and the newcomer -- even if he was a supervisor or a government minister -- had to present himself to the boss. If he insisted on keeping his past social position in prison, he would be kicked about by the other prisoners and wouldn't survive. You didn't know such a thing did you?
An evil boss would make the newcomer do some shameful thing like crawling around; or they would kick him, wrapped up in bedclothes so that he wouldn't know who was hitting him. No matter who you may have been, once you had committed a crime you became the same as any other prisoner. As Father was familiar with the rule in prison, he introduced himself and adjusted into the prison life smoothly. That young man was the boss of Father's room. He was attracted by Father without knowing why and let Father sit next to him, breaking the rule of the prison. He didn't know why, but he was anxious to listen to what story Father had to tell.
As Father knew the system of Communist society, he didn't say so much in prison. The authorities sent spies disguised as political or ideological criminals to let the real criminals believe they were their comrades. Then the real criminals would give away their secrets. As Father knew that the young man had a special mission, he spoke to him, and gradually the man came to understand Father was the very person the old white haired man had told him about. He was so moved that he pledged he would become Father's disciple. He became the first disciple in the prison. His name was Mr. Kim -- the same as mine.
I'll conclude today's speech here. Thank you very much.
Download entire book in ZIP format
Table of Contents