Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance

by Rev. Paul Werner

Chapter 2 - God's Suffering

God is the creator of two amazing masterpieces: this universe and mankind. Since their birth, He has surveyed the world and also seen the face of misery humanity has worn since the time of the fall; He Himself suffers as a consequence. He originally purposed things so beautifully and has been tremendously anguished these thousands of years seeing what has become of His creation. The grief He feels is profound. It is not for one person, a single ideal, or group of people. It is not one nation or a few hungry people that has caused Him such intense pain. His agony is for the billions and billions of people that constitute humanity.

There is no place He can go not touched by the hand of heartache. When we travel to less developed countries, we often see old women with faces resembling wrinkled leather. There is nothing left of their faces but scars borne from exposure to the elements and the pain of life. It is hard to determine if such a woman is fifty or one hundred twenty years old. If a person has not seen much of the suffering of this world, it is very hard to relate to the sorrow of the universe. But God can never shield His eyes from this suffering.

How can we feel the pulse, the heartbeat of human society? We are not just concerned with longing for God, the need for food, life, or existence. The right to live is much more important than even human rights, and in fact must precede human rights. Yet in fighting for our own, we cannot forget God's rights. So much injustice has already been handed Him. We must rectify the way God has been treated and alleviate the agony He has suffered. We must be the ones to wipe away the tears that continue to fall from His eyes.

The greatest suffering any of us can undergo is separation from God. When we are distant from Him, we enter a certain kind of hell from which we hope to be rescued. Yet we too often forget that no matter if we are ecstatic or depressed, God lives within each one of us; He has endowed a portion of Himself into each person's spiritual mind and accompanies us wherever we go. God abides with the bum on the street and the prisoner convicted for life. God lives within kings and queens no matter how small or large their kingdoms may be. His patience might be tried by their behavior, but God never abandons any bag person living in the streets. If He has such fierce loyalty for those who do not seem to want to know anything about Him or may even deny Him, why wouldn't He be close to those who call Him "Father?" Why wouldn't He recognize and in turn call them His children?

We hurt God when we refrain from living with Him. He also feels tortured when we fail to talk to Him. But if we intensify our prayer life and desire to actively communicate with Him, He will love us for every word we speak and every tear we shed.

God is a God of suffering. He is tortured by being separated from mankind and from the creation. Of course the deemed recipients of His love also agonize being alienated from the source of His love and energy. But God grieves because He misses billions of people. We may experience missing one person or entity, but He yearns to connect with the multitudes of human beings and every organism within the cosmos.

The universal tragedy should be mentioned in detail. God has been deprived of the love that should be returned to Him from the whole universe, especially mankind. He designed each entity to reach perfection. Although each creation fulfilled its purpose, His children did not. They betrayed Him through the action of the fall of man, and unfortunately this betrayal has been perpetuated; until now there has been no possibility for individuals to perfect themselves.

God purposed such a tremendous goal for mankind, but it has been buried under layers of misunderstanding, misperception, and mistakes. The relationships people have developed, both with God and with each other, are steeped in trials and hardship. Many people have never even understood that they have a Heavenly Parent. Whenever He looks at the deficiencies and the magnitude of the catastrophe which resulted from the fall, His heart is pierced once again.

How would you react if someone kidnapped your children? Grief? Anger? Bitterness? God certainly feels these emotions. He has deep resentment against the abductor. God is jealous of the forces that deprived Him of the love and response that He rightfully deserves from mankind and the universe. God resents and hates Satan because he is a thief and destroyer. Satan stole and not only misused God's love, but twisted the love experience for all people.

God has existed for countless eras and has never been able to close His eyes to this ongoing tragedy. His memory never fails Him. We forget things easily, but because God abided at the beginning of the world and will prevail to the end, this historical resentment is something He cannot readily shed.

Many of the central figures of history were men and women of God. He chose many of His children to become champions and lead mankind. But these people were generally treated poorly, suffered intensely, and often died tragic deaths. God Himself lived within these people. Yet through them, again and again He was chased out of what was legally His world. We have to understand that this was a very personal thing that occurred. God was not reserved, far above the clouds and dreamily gazing at the events happening on the earth; He was and always has been intimately involved.

He was involved when the dove sent by Noah landed on dry ground. He was involved when the Israelites crossed the River Jordan. Time and again, God fought for survival, and struggled to establish a foundation to regain what Satan had plundered. The story is heart-rending and poignant, and it is true.

If you dug into all the events of history, you could not help but weep with God. Shouldn't He have resentment against the force that caused this? Shouldn't He resent anything that has to do with Satan? We cannot totally comprehend the true meaning of sin because we have lived in sin all our lives. We have never experienced true goodness or perfection. We lived life, but have not yet experienced God's way of life.

After the fall, mankind failed to live with God which caused Him extreme loneliness. He was cut off from His creation and deprived of communication. However, God never stopped yearning to reveal Himself and reach His own perfection. Since that time God has longed to appear to His whole creation in the raiment of His ideal by manifesting Himself in the bodies of men and women. But before the appearance of True Parents it never happened.

Satan realizes that God has been frustrated by His inability to manifest Himself totally. For this reason Satan swells with pride, convinced that he is greater than God. He continuously indoctrinates us with these supposed facts, but his theories are presumptuous and false. Because for thousands and thousands of years God has never been able to reach His fullest potential and reveal His total power, Satan may conclude that there is some possibility of annihilating God and taking Him out of circulation. However, he is dead wrong.

Satan wanted to prevent God from fully manifesting Himself and worked ardently to prepare for the return of Christ. But Satan did not herald this reappearance; instead he spread his evil domain all over the world. Even now he toils long hours to convert people to accept concepts so seemingly logical, those people eventually think they are doing the will of God. He twists ever so slightly many of God's intricate plans and aims, lacing them with a deadly dose of evil. But his cleverness does not stop there. He sugar-coats the outside, making it attractive to the smell and taste. After compelling each of us to try a sample, he ridicules and mocks us once we become snared and hooked.

Christ has come and God wants to speak to humanity through him. Because we have taken Satan's bait, the words used by God's son sound strange. Satan's world looks fine to us and we continue to be tempted by the many lures he plants along our path. We then are cautious about God and feel that He and His representatives are the ones lying. Everything is in reverse. That is why many people denounce Father and our ideology, claiming that we are the antichrist or at the very least, come from the devil. In the meantime, many communists have succeeded in overtaking the pulpits of churches throughout the world. They grin from car to ear about the "stupid Western world." That is Satan; he laughs hysterically, and that is what God resents.

If we really reflect deeply upon how and why God lacks a substantial foothold in this world, we can much more easily perceive the agony living in His heart. It is the suffering and sorrow He has borne throughout history. Everyone is deprived of God's love and the effect of His appearance. Peace on earth, freedom, the Kingdom of God, heaven on earth we are robbed of all of this.

We are in the process of liberating God as we grow toward perfection. That is the goal -- liberation. God has been imprisoned and entombed throughout history. Lonely. Forgotten. Yet the heart of God has always contained within it the absolute and ultimate love the world has been trying to discover. He has so much love within Himself that He sometimes must feel as if He will burst. That true love is the absolute epitome of all our dreams. He wants so much to bequeath it, yet nobody knows how sweet it tastes. Because He could never manifest Himself completely, nobody has been able to recognize Him. Nobody has been able to wipe away the tears of His torment.

It takes only a split second to break through and feel God and heaven. If you are able to connect with God for even a moment, a tangible warmth engulfs you and fills you with absolute security and strength. The same rush of heat also encircles you when your heart is touched by a human being. When you see a person suffer and can deeply empathize, God comes to you. If you see the world situation on television, you may project yourself into that picture -- commiserating with the people who are starving, the nation involved in war, and so forth. This too allows you to experience the suffering heart of God and visualize the world as He does.

When you look at a person, don't just see him at face value; examine his depth. You are much more emotionally affected when something happens to an individual, you have known personally for many years. The event bothers you much more than something that happens to a person you just met. When you look at God, don't just study what you discover on the surface; research His very soul. If you unite with Him and understand His plan of restoration and His will for mankind, you will not just perceive what the people appearing on your television screen feel. You will discern so much more. You are not limited to that one picture. Displayed before your mind's eye is all of history-all the struggle and agony your God has endured. You will sense the longing God has to bring His children home. And you will wonder when His ordeal is going to end. From this single image, a whole screening of life spans your mind, and in just one moment, it touches and ignites you. What you are feeling is the suffering of God, and consequently, His urgency to completely restore Satan's evil world to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

You are connected to all people through your relationship with God. Although it may be subconscious, you tend to have compassion for others. This feeling becomes most intense with individuals you know well. In fact, no human being ever suffers alone; God always participates. As well, even unconsciously, you despair for other people. Whenever I watch television and see anyone in misery, I have to hold back my tears. When I see the state of affairs described in news broadcasts, I cannot help but feel pain. I perceive how strongly communism is working underground and I am sickened when I see the majority of people walk into one trap after another, so ignorant of how smoothly it operates. I can't help but cry with gratitude when I perceive how God continues to work, and marvel at His vast patience.

Because all of humanity is interrelated, it is often an emotional experience just to watch the news. Everyone is connected through the nervous system of the one gigantic body of mankind. We are all part of this nervous system; we each constitute one cell of God's body and thus, we can physically and emotionally feel what is happening to other organs or limbs.

There are people who do not recognize themselves as a component of this body; their nervous systems do not function properly, and therefore they cannot easily feel the pain or soreness experienced by other appendages. But if someone is connected to God, he is automatically interlocked with the rest of humanity as well as the worlds of animals, vegetation, and minerals. Once we are restored to our total potential and fulfill our function as one cell of God, we will each experience the heart of other people in the world.

Each of us is one cell of God's body. We all have a responsibility to act and react, to give and take. Because we are accountable to each other, we must stay healthy physically and spiritually. If one cell becomes sick, the whole body suffers and becomes weak. Therefore, every cell must be restored to good health. It is not possible to cut one leg off and claim that the whole body is restored with the exception of that one leg. Every person who has ever been created or will be created in the future occupies one segment of God. It is impossible to imagine that God would cast aside one leg, or His heart, His liver, or any other part of His body. No matter how evil a person becomes, God continues to work at chipping away the layers encasing his heart. All people eventually must be restored or God could not be considered omnipotent. But He is almighty. The goodness of God cannot be totally comprehended by any of us.

God's grief began the moment He lost His object of love. If you are deeply in love with your spouse but he or she is claimed by death, you lose your object of love. You feel totally abandoned. You feel empty and no longer fulfilled because your object of love has gone. God created the power of love to be the essence of life.

God's objects of love went astray through the fall. He has grieved throughout the ages over His loss. God's greatest joy was to find His objects of love again. Can you imagine how elated God felt when Father and Mother became His true children? He had been awaiting the return of His objects for so long. It is not difficult to imagine that God would pour out so much of His love to them; He has been hungry to share love for thousands of years.

There is such a distance between God's way of thinking and ours. When we try to become intimate with Him and close that gap, we naturally try to comprehend His nature. It is normal to ponder how He could continue to endure these thousands of years. How long would we continue to love a person who constantly rejects us?

God resents anything related to evil. He feels great animosity toward Satan and all iniquity. However, He does not hate or resent His children. There have been so many sermons about God's wrath and rage delivered in the fire and brimstone tradition; we must work to eradicate that image of Him and in so doing, discover the warm and passionate heart of God. God is a loving father. As His sons and daughters, we should also treat each other with love and compassion and dissolve any resentment we feel toward a brother, sister, employer, employee, friend, spouse, or parent. We may have felt such an emotion for others, but could not have learned it from God. He does not exhibit hostility toward any of us. Rather, He has resentment against the historic evil which has flowed through the generations. Mankind made many mistakes which may evoke indignation from within God's heart. But His greatest resentment is against Satan himself.

God must be weary from the tremendous amount of suffering He has endured. He always hopes to see the glimmer of awakening and rebirth shine from our hearts. He is enthused about us because as a whole, Unificationists want to end His misery. God is lonesome; for thousands of years no one talked to Him. Yet at this time He doesn't only hear our voices full of promises, He sees that we mean what we say and act toward fulfilling those pledges. He sees that we are devoted to knowing and loving Him. This is what God has been waiting for; despite all His suffering, this dream never died. He kept it alive within His heart these thousands of years.

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