Meeting God Face to Face – Part 3
by Ann Dubois
A testimony of one sister’s experiences with the True Family during their stay in England in 1978.
One sister and I were asked to make some evening gowns for Mother with jackets to match. The other sister was a pattern designer and made patterns for the clothes. The new clothes had to be fitted of course, which is such intimate work. A lot of prayer was needed, and there were days when we felt so nervous while other days flowed and we felt quite relaxed. If there was a particularly difficult time, I could feel Mother praying for us, or she would give us a cookie or something and all the difficulties would go away. There were many special moments.
During one of the fitting sessions, Father was sitting on the bed looking at the dress we were working on. His interest in Mother was beautiful. Father had chosen some of the material for one set of clothes, and Mother had chosen the rest. Father had chosen a burgundy velvet, with red and gold lace for the jacket, and the match was superb. We wanted everything to be perfect, and Mother knew exactly what she wanted and how the clothes should look.
For True Parents, it was normal to work alongside brothers and sisters. One day Mother decided it was time the boys had a haircut. They were so young and full of energy that the idea of a haircut did not appear to be so much fun. Mother must have known it would be an ordeal, because she also armed herself with a pair of scissors and put one chair between us in order that we could tackle the job together.
They really struggled and disapproved but we managed to finish Heung Jin Nim’s hair, and then it was his brother’s turn. He hated the idea of sitting still for a haircut and tossed and wriggled so much. We fought with all our might to make sure we cut the hair and not the ears. No amount of persuasion could calm the energetic boy, and all at once Mother said, “That will do, let him go.”
As quick as a whistle, he was away with half a haircut. Mother and I stood looking at each other with smiles, not sure who had won.
Rooms filled with their presence
The days and weeks passed quickly, always presenting something new. With small miracles happening all the time, it was hard to keep our feet on the ground. It often seemed unreal to us.
At the beginning of September, Father invited all the brothers and sisters who’d been helping with True Parents’ visit to a restaurant, along with many of the leaders. The restaurant was in Soho, a hot part of London. The cars were parked a few streets away from our destination. There was a whole stream of members walking in Father’s footsteps to a huge Chinese restaurant with three floors. Father had reserved one whole floor for the party. I think True Parents ordered almost every dish available; there was so much food. Every now and then, Mother came around patting us on the back, encouraging us to eat more. That time, like many others, seemed like a dream. Watching Father and Mother’s concern for the brothers and sisters made me feel like a very precious person. The experience and memory of those times gives me great strength in moments of deep loneliness.
On September 15, toward the end of True Parents’ stay, Father held a matching in Lancaster Gate for younger brothers and sisters from all over Europe.
On September 18 [the anniversary of the God Bless America Festival at Washington Monument], True Parents invited brothers and sisters to watch the film of the Washington Monument Rally with them. Afterwards they divided us into two groups with brothers on one side and sisters on the other. Father came down the rows of sisters and Mother went down the rows of brothers. They gave some money to each of us and told us to spend it that day. We could buy anything we wanted, but we had to spend it that day to celebrate the Washington Monument victory.
On September 21, True Parents left Britain for America. The children had already left some days before, so we knew Father and Mother would leave soon. As we waved goodbye to them, and watched their car go out of sight, we all knew it might be many years before Father and Mother would come to England again. And even if they did, we had no idea where we would be or if we would ever get the chance to see them again so closely. But it had been a wonderful five months.
For a long time, their powerful spirit filled the rooms and staircases of Lancaster Gate, and our hearts, too. We could feel their presence everywhere. Although it was sad to see them go, we were all filled with their warmth and love. We had been living in an unfamiliar world, a world that should become second nature to us.
We had spent hours listening to Father’s words, and we had been living and working with True Parents. They had given so much of themselves to us. It had been like magic, more than we could dream. We had seen God face to face.