The Words of the Voelker Family
My name is Lara Voelker, and I just wanted to briefly share an experience I had in Las Vegas last Saturday. Through this experience I feel I was able to gain a deeper and more heartistic connection to the True Family, as well genuine respect and a desire to help and give what I can in this great endeavor that True Parents have begun.
My experience was relatively small and perhaps inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but just as the most minute altering of a rudder changes the course of a ship entirely, a minute change of perspective, a brief glimpse into the reality of True Family helped change the course of my heart. I'm sure you've heard this story countless times: I grew up as a sheltered 2nd generation, daughter of two foreign parents, kind of having to make my own way in this world. That picture of True Parents was ever present in every single room of the house. We talked about them, read their testimonies, looked at cute cartoons of weasels and eels and birds, and that was our religion. But for the longest time I've personally felt so distant from True Parents and True Family.
Growing up (especially when very young) I clearly remember being so frustrated that True Parents were too busy to take the time to talk to me, that I might get to know them myself. A lack of understanding and personal experience had simply left me with a sense of guilt that I didn't feel anything when I looked at that picture, guilt that I couldn't bring myself to care as much as my parents did, guilt that I doubted at times the identity of True Parents. But that was exactly it: a lack of personal experience and understanding left me with only concepts of what True Parents and True Family should be like.
I'm currently in my second year of STF and I know that my connection to True Parents has developed drastically over the course of this public mission. But still, in my heart I crave what I had always desired ever since I was a little girl: I just wanted to know them. And it was that lack of experience (or in principled terms, "common base") that limited my heart from loving. But how could I make that connection? I knew there must be something beyond stories and pictures and reports and providence this and that. This past Saturday I feel that Heavenly Father gave me an amazing chance to understand more about True Family, and feel how much love they have and He wants to show through them.
In altering a rudder, it's more than just symbolic: a physical occurrence must take place. Likewise in changing my heart a physical occurrence did take place. I had been instated as an usher for the event, and that shiny plastic badge was my ticket to the front of a burgeoning crowd of teenagers after the main speech. I found a few fellow ushers making a pathway for the True Family to walk through. "My, my, a pathway! I want to be part of it! See them up close and all..." I wedged myself between two other ushers when, to my infinite surprise, a friend of mine shouted my name.
He had just drafted me to be the water girl. "You! Get water for True Children!" Me? Wow... should I pass on the responsibility or take it? I would likely never get the chance again. Agreed, I'll take it. And thus began my journey on the inside. Realistically speaking, I was behind the scenes for max 5 minutes. I was to get the water, put it on the podium, and sit down. But those 5 minutes are a jewel in my memory. I heard laughter from the room next door... the True Family, laughing? Wow...they have a sense of humor. I'm getting them water -- wait! They're human. They need water!
As the door opened and they filed out, I see Hyung Jin Nim gently pushing/massaging what looks like a slightly stressed and perhaps nervous In Jin Nim out the door. They get nervous!? I slip into the room to grab a cup. An unfinished plate of food sits on the floor. They eat... for some reason all those little details that describe a human being stand out to me, because they describe the True Family as well. As I sat down from placing the water on the podium, I reflected for a few moments. If the True Family eats, drinks, gets nervous, etc... well, they're people. And yet we read almost daily of their monumental achievements and historic roles. These are people -- real genuine people who are changing the world.
It kind of hit me. Somehow understanding the humanity of the True Family realigned my entire perspective. From that came respect, admiration, and a desire to help. If they are real people, who they are, then how much does the True Family have to hide from us so that we don't know their pain? I've been a leader before in a very small capacity, and even then I knew there were things I could never tell my members because I didn't want them to know how much I had suffered. And I'm just one small person. I haven't changed the media world or initiated building a mega church or made promises to God that I know I have to keep because the entire world is at stake. But the True Family has and continues to do so.
I just felt like I know a little bit of their pain, but there is so much I don't know. And yet they keep going. It made me cry to see Ye Jin Nim there, back again. It made me cry to see Kook Jin Nim up there, telling us of how he gave up his own desires and time to save our church. These are real people, yet the miracles they make are still miracles. This both empowers the rest of us as human beings, and gives us hope that real people can change the world. In all honesty I know this experience was the "icing on the cake" so to speak, but it filled my heart, for one brief afternoon. I know that this amazing family is doing their best to comfort my God, my Heavenly Father, and thus I know that I will do my own personal best to help them.