My First Feelings toward Father
By Rev. Won Pil Kim
Won Pil Kim first met True Father in 1946 in Pyongyang. Father was 26 years old and Won Pil Kim was 18. During the winter of 1950-51, in the midst of the Korean War, Won Pil Kim accompanied True Father on his journey south to Busan. The following is taken from a testimony Rev. Kim shared during his time in Europe more than three decades ago, which includes some poignant insights into attendance and spiritual life.
I’d like to tell you what I felt when I first met Father, and how my mind changed while I was traveling south together with him. My first impression was that Father was a person of a different dimension. I felt he was completely different from anyone I had ever met before. However, the respect I felt towards Father was similar to what I felt towards my schoolteachers in elementary school.
In Korea we attend teachers with respect. Recently, even in Korea, this respect towards teachers is lessening among elementary pupils and junior high school students due to the influence of other ideas. But back then we had the same kind of respect towards our teachers as you have towards the saints. In those days, the teachers taught and loved their students with sacrificial parental love and lived model lives. Can you imagine this? Sometimes we kept in our pocket a picture of a teacher we particularly respected. If we understand Principle well, and become a teacher of it with the same attitude that my teachers had in those days, our students will surely feel the same for us.
If a teacher teaches his students with love and enthusiasm, they will come to respect him. Father told us that if we really serve the people in 360 homes, they will put our picture and one of True Parents on the first page of their photograph albums.
In those days, we had a testimonial dinner to show our gratitude towards our teachers on graduation day; that’s how much we felt for them. I felt the same awe and respect for Father. To tell the truth, I thought Father did not even have to go to the toilet or eat; I thought he was a superman, even though I was already 18 years old. I believed whatever Father told me. The members all looked like angels to me, regardless of their physical age. I knew that what they were saying was God’s words; so I did not have any questions to ask but was only intent on listening to their story.
Before Father was imprisoned, I lived in my own house. But sometimes, when it was too late for me to go home, I slept together with Father in the same bed. It was very hot in the summer and there were many reddish-brown bugs that fed on human blood. Around midnight or one o’clock the bugs came out. The spots where the bugs bit became very itchy and swollen. There was no decent insect repellent in those days. Father was already sleeping and his sleep was not disturbed at all. I could not sleep and I always wanted to move around and scratch the bites, but I could not because I was afraid that I might wake Father. As I fought the bugs I would become tired and fall asleep.
I could not ask Father directly
I was always very happy to greet Father, but I could not say anything to him. When I was alone thinking of a certain problem, the problem would seem to be so big as to overwhelm me. I would think that I had to ask Father about it. I would go home and the problem would get bigger and bigger. Then I would see Father and listen to his words and the problem would become smaller to the extent that I did not know why I had thought it was so serious. Then I would go home and start thinking again, and I would conclude that I should have asked Father. I repeated this process many times and eventually I came to solve my problems by myself. I faced many problems but I solved them indirectly by listening to Father’s words instead of asking Father directly. However impossible things were to understand, I could get answers step by step by observing Father’s behavior.
While Father was imprisoned, some spiritualists left the church, but my faith in Father was not affected at all. I myself sometimes wonder why. Of course, I had some agitation in my mind, seeing the spiritualists and senior members whom I had respected as angels stop coming to the church. But a feeling of peace had always come over me when I was together with Father, and his words would not leave my mind. So I could think of nothing except looking forward to meeting him again.
I wrote down the months and years from when Father was sentenced. When one month passed, I crossed out the number one on my chart. I was always filling in the chart and looking forward to crossing out the last number, which would represent the end of Father’s five years of imprisonment.
Wherever I went, what Father said remained in my mind. One day an idea touched my mind strongly: “I am still attending Father, who is in prison. Father is still keeping his faith. How can I change my faith? I can change my faith only if Father changes his.” Therefore, I could not change my mind. Whenever a leader starts any project with a promise to the members, he should not change his mind.
Some of the members who made their pledges before Father ended up leaing him. Even though he knew this, he still visited them; even if they opposed him, he did not change his heart towards them.
Suppose there is a person who has the merit of 10 good ancestors. After he meets Father, he increases his own merit to that of 20. Altogether, he has the merit of 30. Suppose this person leaves the church and starts opposing Father and Heaven. Then his merit will diminish gradually. Still, as long as he has even the smallest merit left, Father cannot cut off his connection with him. If he continues opposing Father and his minus or evil points become bigger than his good points, then Father can cut off his connection without accusation.
If we cut off our connection with a member who has started opposing the church, this is not good. As long as he still has some merit of goodness and loyalty left after subtracting the minus points, we must not cut off our relationship with him.
We cannot really measure merit in numerical units, but a person must surely have some merit to have worked for God on the level of heart. God cannot cut off His relationship with someone until the person has piled up more bad points in proportion to his good points. Do you follow me? If a person works hard but fails, a leader still cannot change his mission or cut off his relationship with him.
He can change the member’s mission only when the amount of his failure becomes larger than that of his merit.
The most sensitive person
When Father and I traveled south together after his imprisonment, I came to have a different relationship with him. I was with him all the time. While we were walking I told Father about my faith. I admitted that I surely would have let Jesus starve had I lived with him 2,000 years ago, because I believed that the Messiah did not feel hungry even if he had not eaten anything for a long time. I told him Jesus would have starved to death if he had been surrounded by people who thought as I did.
Gradually I could understand the circumstances and heart of Jesus 2,000 years ago through observing Father. I came to understand that Father indeed feels hungry when he does not eat and feels hot or cold when the weather is hot or cold. He stands in the same physical dimension as we do. We must understand that the Messiah is even more sensitive to everything than we are. He feels even hungrier than we do. We usually think that he feels less hungry than we do. It is the opposite. Why? Because he can feel other people’s hunger, too.
You can understand this if you think of a mother and her child. Suppose the mother is very poor and can buy only a bottle of milk. Even though they are both hungry, the mother cannot drink before her child. If there is some milk left over after she feeds the baby, she may drink it. Both are truly hungry but there is a difference between the mother’s hunger and her child’s. The child says he is hungry when he is hungry, but the mother does not say she is hungry as long as there is food for her child, even though she does not have anything to eat. When the mother says that she is hungry, it indicates both mother and child are hungry.
The hunger of a child, a parent, a person governing a country, and a person governing the world are all different in content and dimension. Sorrow or joy can exist on a personal, societal, national, worldwide, and macrocosmic level. If you cause trouble to a certain person, it means you give him trouble on a personal level, but if you trouble a person who governs a nation, it means you give him trouble on a national level.
Saving an ordinary person is different from saving a person who governs a nation. If you save the life of an ordinary child, his parents will thank you sincerely and reward you.
What will happen if you save a prince? The king will put up a notice around the country to find you and bring you to the palace to live. Do you follow me?
Attending the Messiah
In the same way, if you kill an ordinary person you will receive punishment on a personal level; if you kill a prince, you will receive national level punishment. How much will a king suffer through losing his son? Since he is the person who governs a country, he will feel loneliness and resentment on a national level. How about the Messiah? If you make the Messiah even slightly happy, that means you give him happiness on a macrocosmic level. What if the opposite happens? Think of what a big punishment resulted from the killing of only one person, Jesus Christ. If Jesus had been an ordinary person, the punishment would not have been big, but Jesus was the Messiah, the person who had inherited the cosmos; that’s why the punishment was so severe.
Do you understand now how carefully you should attend the Messiah? Please think about whether you attend him well or if you trouble him. Since God is a God of love, He allows a punishment carry on only to the second or third generation, but goodness will bring merit to many thousands of generations.
Suppose you are the leader of 10 people. If I trouble someone who is responsible for 10 people, I give him trouble amounting to 10 because he is responsible for 10 people’s worries and burdens. If I trouble someone who is a leader of 100 people, it means that I trouble 100 members. Because of this, we are told not to blame or criticize a person in the Abel position. If you give even the smallest trouble to the Messiah, who is carrying many more worries and burdens on his shoulders, the trouble will be magnified. But if you give him even the slightest joy, the joy will be magnified even more. Therefore, the Messiah is more sensitive than anyone else. I’d like you to understand this clearly.
Father sometimes exaggerates when a member has done something well. The member is embarrassed to see that Father has viewed his achievement in a favorable light. If you mature well as a leader and love your members in this way, your members can have the same experiences with you as I had with Father.
Rev. Won Pil Kim ascended in 2010. His Seonghwa Ceremony was held at the Headquarters Church at Cheongpa-dong in Seoul.