The Words of the Owens Family
While I was in Barrytown in 1976 for the 120-day training, I had two very dramatic experiences with God. I was going through a very rough time trying to keep my heart centered on the Principle. It had gotten to the point where my heart was so heavy with the pain of struggling that it was almost impossible to continue. I told God, "I'm sorry that my heart is not as centered as it should be. Please don't worry, I will overcome." After several weeks, the lecture on the Parallels of History was given. It struck me so deeply that I couldn't study afterwards.
So I began to write down a prayer to Heavenly Father. I wrote: "What is wrong? Why can't I feel God's heart, True Parents' heart, the heart of an innocent child?" Then a rush came through me and I began to write faster. I realized that I was receiving a revelation from Heavenly Father.
This happened on March 18, 1976. Five days after I received this revelation, our workshop began the day with a special morning service. The staff members came in very quietly with serious faces. They were carrying basins. We all knew then that something special was going to happen. Rev. David Hose read from the Bible the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. I realized we were going to reenact this event. We all became very serious.
After Rev. Hose's feet were washed, he washed the other staff members' feet. Then they passed the ceremony to us, and we, in turn, washed each other's feet, brother to brother and sister to sister.
After my feet were washed and I washed the next brother's feet, I looked around the room. Some were watching the scene silently, some were praying, and others were crying. I started to pray about this ceremony, asking that God's heart could be with everyone. Then I began to meditate.
I suddenly saw myself kneeling before Heavenly Father. He was sitting on a throne, and all I saw were His knees, legs, and feet. It was all black around us, yet He was shining brightly. For several seconds, I looked at Him. Then He placed His feet in front of me and I washed God's feet. After I finished, I knelt back, looking up at Him. All of a sudden, the scene shifted. Now I was sitting on the throne, looking down to God, who was kneeling before me. His face was shining very brightly. Then He took my feet and He washed them.
I was so surprised that God, who is almighty, would humble Himself to me, sinful little me. I was so dumbfounded that I began to cry. It was the first time I had cried in 12 years. Over several minutes I kept reliving the vision, and I cried even more. The brother next to me saw me crying and he seemed to understand.
After the ceremony was over, I told Rev. Hose what I had just experienced. He then asked me to share it with the whole workshop. There were many ooh's and ah's, and one sister's eyes just lit up with joy. I told them that I understood now that it wasn't just Jesus who washed the disciples' feet, but God as well.
To this day, I firmly believe in the existence of God, the heart of God, the love that God has for every one of us, and how much He wants us all to become His children. That is why we are born again through the True Parents -- to become God's children.
Why can't you realize how lonely I've been? Why can't you realize how hurt I've been, seeing you suffer, hearing your screams, feeling your deep wounds? Why can't you realize that there is a barrier between us -- a barrier of death, a spiritual death? I can't stand the smell of it. I never have and I never will. It's been with me ever since you left me, and you never realized how much it was really hurting me. I love you so much. And I cry from the deepest depths of my heart to you. But it's so hard to let you know that I'm crying, that I'm shedding tears of sorrow, tears of misery.
I can't cry out like you can. I can't let loose the flood of all my tears of love out of my heart, to pour over each one of you. I want to cry out to you, scream to you, but all I can do is cry in my heart the tears of a lonely, rejected, broken Father for his long, lost children. But it's so difficult for you to understand, for you to be where I am, to feel the weight of my tear-filled heart that carries the over-burdened responsibility of my children's lives, to know that my precious ones, whom I brought into the world, have been and are suffering under the terrible pain of a dust-filled death. You would cry so much from just one tear of my sorrow. I feel your tear-stained hearts, but you can't feel my universal, suffering heart, which is so sensitive to even the slightest pain, the slightest bit of sadness.
Now my son is with you. Only he can show you how my heart really feels. He knows me so well, because he knows how I feel, and how all of you feel. Oh, how I want to make you happy! Please look to him, please listen to him, please feel him. You see him, you see me. You hear him, you hear me. You feel him, you feel me. You cry with him, you cry with me. He is your father, you are his children. But I am his Father, so all of you are my children. I don't want to see my family suffer. I don't like seeing my children cry. I cry when you cry, but even more so because I made you, you came from me. I want to love you with all my heart. I want you to be my children again.
I want you to feel joy. I want to love you and I want you to love me. I want to become one with all of you, to embrace you and cry tears of love together with you, as Father and children, as one family. That's all you've ever wanted. That's all I've ever wanted. I am praying for you.