As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 23

As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 3: Internal Riches Through Struggles and Suffering
The Crazy, Handsome Man by the Well, pg 86-89

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The Crazy, Handsome Man by the Well

When we built the mud-walled house and began the church in Beomnetgol, there were only three people to hear me preach. For me, however, I was not talking to just those three people. I thought to myself, “Though they cannot be seen, I am preaching to thousands, even tens of thousands.” I envisioned as I preached that all humanity was in attendance. These three people sat before me while I conveyed the words of the Principle in a loud, booming voice.

There was a well in front of our house. Soon a rumor began to spread among those who came to take water from that well that a crazy man lived in the house with mud walls. They fetched their water and peered into this ramshackle mud house to see a man in wretched clothing speaking like he was shouting commands to the whole world. It is only natural that people began to whisper among themselves. I preached that heaven and earth would be turned upside down and Korea would unite the world.

Rumors about me soon spread beyond those using the well to those at the bottom of the hill. Perhaps these rumors are what brought people coming out of curiosity to see the crazy man living next to the well. Among these curious ones were students from a nearby seminary, as well as a group of professors from the prestigious Ewha Womans University. The rumors became embellished to say that I was a handsome man with good stature, so middle-aged women began to climb the hill to see me, as a way to pass the time.

On the day I finished writing Wolli Wonbon, I put my pencil down and prayed, “The moment has come for me to evangelize. Please send me the saints to whom I may give witness.” After this, I then went out to the well. It was May 10, late spring. I was wearing traditional Korean trousers with cotton lining and an old jacket, sweating in the heat. I caught sight of a young woman wiping the sweat from her brow as she struggled up the hill toward the well.

I spoke to her, saying, “God has been giving you tremendous love for the past seven years.” She jumped backward in surprise. It had been seven years since she had decided to dedicate her life to God.

“My name is Hyun Shil Kang,” she said. “I am an evangelist at the Beom Cheon Church that sits in the neighborhood at the bottom of this hill. I heard there is a crazy man living here, so I have come here to witness to him.”

This was how she greeted me. I invited her into our house. She looked around the squalid room, making plain how very strange she found it. Eventually, her eyes settled on my desk, “Why do you have so many pencils?” she asked.

“Until this morning,” I replied, “I was writing a book that reveals the principles of the universe. I think God has sent you here so that you can learn about these principles from me.”

“What principles? I am here because I heard there is a crazy man living here who needs to be witnessed to.”

I handed her a cushion to sit on, and I sat down as well. The spring water made its trickling sound as it flowed beneath us.

“In the future, Korea will play its role at the pinnacle of the world,” I said. “People will regret that they could not be born as Koreans.” She clearly thought I was speaking nonsense.

“Just as Elijah appeared in the person of John the Baptist,” I continued, “Jesus will come in the flesh to Korea.” 

This made her angry.

“I’m sure Jesus will have better places to come than a place so wretched as Korea,” she retorted.

Then she said, “Have you ever read the Book of Revelation? I have ...”

I interrupted her mid-sentence, saying, “You want to say you have studied at the Goryo Theological Seminary?”

“How did you know that?” she demanded.

“Do you think I would have waited for you without knowing even that about you? You said you came here to witness to me. Please, then, teach me.”

Hyun Shil Kang was clearly knowledgeable in theology. She quoted Bible texts to me one after another in an effort to attack my views. She continued to challenge me strongly as I kept responding to each of her challenges with answers in a strong and clear voice. Our debate continued so long that it began to grow dark, so I stood up and cooked dinner. The only thing we had besides rice was some overripe kimchi. (Kimchi is cabbage fermented with spicy red peppers or other ingredients common to Korean cuisine.) Nevertheless, we sat there with the sound of water trickling below and shared this food before resuming our debate.

She came back the next day and the day after that, each time to continue our debate. In the end, she chose to devote her life to the principles I teach.

Later that year, on a windy November day, my wife showed up at the door of the Beomnetgol hut. There standing with her was a seven-year-old boy, my son, who was born the year I left home. I had left that day simply to go pick up some rice, but went to Pyongyang instead. The years had passed, and now he had grown into a young boy. I could not bring myself to look him in the eye, nor could I reach out to stroke his face and embrace him in joy. I just stood there like a stone statue, frozen in place, speechless.

My wife did not have to say a word. I felt the pain and suffering this poor mother and child had to experience in the midst of war. Even before this visit, I knew where they were living and what their situation was, but I was not yet at the point where I could take care of my family. I knew this, and I had asked her several times, just as before our marriage, “Please trust me and wait just a little longer.”

When the time was right, I planned to go get them. But in this situation, as they stood in the door, the right time had not yet come. The hut, our church, was small and shabby. A number of members ate there and lived there with me to study God’s word. I could not bring my family there.

My wife took a look around the hut, expressed great disappointment, and turned to leave. She and my son set off back down the steep path.

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