As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 40
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 5: Loving Families Can Change the World
My Wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, pg 141-144
CHAPTER 5 Loving Families Can Change The World
My Wife, Hak Ja Han Moon
The first time I saw my wife, she was a young woman of fourteen who had just graduated from elementary school (sixth grade). She was a quiet girl who never raised her voice and never sought to bring attention to herself. She always took the same route to and from the church. When she was first introduced to me, I was told she was the daughter of one of our early church members, Mrs. Soon Ae Hong. “What is your name?” I asked her.
“My name is Hak Ja Han,” she answered with a clear voice.
In that moment, before I knew what was happening, I said, “So Hak Ja Han has been born in Korea!” I said this three times in repetition, and then prayed, saying, “God! Thank you for sending to Korea such a wonderful woman as Hak Ja Han.” I then looked at her, and said: “Hak Ja Han, I’m afraid you are going to have to do a lot of sacrificing.”
All of these words came out of my mouth spontaneously. Later, Mrs. Hong told me that she thought it strange that I would say the same thing three times after meeting her daughter for the first time. My wife has told me that she also remembers that first, short meeting. She told me she remembers everything I said then as if I had delivered a sermon just for her, and she kept it in her heart. She said she felt like she had received an important revelation about her future that she could not forget.
Her mother was from a faithful Presbyterian family, so she was raised in a Christian home. Her hometown was Jeongju, which is my hometown as well, but she had lived in Anju until coming to South Korea during the Korean War. When Mrs. Hong first began attending our church, she lived a very faithful life in Chuncheon and raised her daughter strictly. My wife attended a nursing school that was operated by the Catholic Church. I am told that the rules of this school were so strict that it was as if she were living in a convent. She had a gentle character, and during the time she was raised by her mother, she never went anywhere except to school and to our church.
Years passed, and I was approaching forty. I sensed that the time was coming for me to marry again. All I needed to do was wait for God to tell me, “The time has come, so get married,” and I would do as I was told. Seung Do Ji, an elderly woman in our church, began an effort in October 1959 to prepare for my engagement, even though there was still no bride-to-be. Another church member who had been praying for seven years about a wife for me told me one day that she had had a dream in which she saw that Hak Ja Han was my wife.
Mrs. Ji told me about a strange dream she had. “What kind of dream is this?” she exclaimed. “I saw hundreds of cranes come flying. I tried to wave them away with my arms, but they kept coming and they finally covered you with their white feathers. Is this some kind of omen for the future?” The “Hak” in Hak Ja Han is the Chinese character for crane.
Then, Hak Ja Han herself had a dream in which I appeared and told her, “The day is near, so make preparations.” My wife later told me that in her dream she said to me in a humble tone, “I have been living until now in accordance with the will of God. In the future, as well, I will follow God’s will as His servant, no matter what that will may be.”
A few days after my bride-to-be had this dream, I asked Mrs. Hong to bring her daughter to me. This was our first meeting since she had been introduced to me at age fourteen. That day, I asked this young lady many questions. In every case, she responded with composure and spoke clearly. In this meeting, I asked my future wife to draw a picture. Without hesitation, she picked up a pencil and started drawing on a sheet of paper. When she had finished and placed her picture before me, I was very impressed by what I saw. I then looked at her face, and her shy expression was very beautiful. Her heart was as wonderful as the picture she had drawn.
We were engaged on March 27, 1960, and had our marriage ceremony barely two weeks later, on April 11. I did not set a date at the time, but when I called Miss Han several days later, I told her, “Tomorrow morning, we will have a marriage ceremony.” She responded simply, “Is that so?” and did not ask any questions or try to speak in opposition. She seemed entirely obedient to Heaven. That was how pure and gentle she was. Then as now, when it comes to the will of God, she has a strong determination.
At the marriage ceremony I wore a samokwandae, the formal dress of government officers that now is commonly used in traditional wedding ceremonies, and she wore traditional Korean attire that included a jokdori bridal tiara. My bride, who was then seventeen and more than twenty years younger than I, looked confident and radiant with her tightly closed lips and pretty face. During the ceremony, I told my bride that she was about to embark on a difficult course.
“I think you are already aware that marrying me will not be like any other marriage. We are becoming husband and wife to complete the mission given to us by God to become True Parents, and not to pursue the happiness of two individuals, as is the case with other people in this world. God wants to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth through a true family. You and I will travel a difficult path to become True Parents who will open the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven for others. It is a path that no one else in history has traveled, so even I don’t know all that it will involve. During the next seven years, you will experience many things that will be difficult to endure. Don’t forget, even for a moment, that the life we live is different from others. Don’t do anything, no matter how trivial, without first discussing it with me, and obey everything I tell you.”
She responded, “My heart is already set. Please do not worry.”
I could see in her expression that day that she had made a strong determination. Her difficult challenges began the day after our marriage. The first difficulty she faced was that she could not see her mother as freely as before. My wife, her mother, and her maternal grandmother were all only daughters. As a result, the relationship between mother and daughter was particularly strong. In order to take on her public mission and develop the proper focus, I asked her to live what amounted to an ascetic life for three years. That meant she could not see her mother or any of her relatives for three years. She lived in a room rented from a church member. She came to the church no more than once a day, usually in the evening. So as not to create disruption, she left through the back door.
I myself was often involved in worship services or praying through the night and was rarely at home, but the separation was not for practical reasons. The separation was to establish a spiritual condition of unconditional devotion to her mission. As the outrageous rumors about me continued to circulate, this separation from her relatives and me made it even more difficult for my young wife to endure.
At the time of our marriage, the Unification Church already had been established in over one hundred twenty communities around Korea. Even in our church, however, there were those who were critical of our marriage. Some envied her, some hated her, and many stories circulated. As if that were not enough, she lived in someone else’s home, while older women of our church followed me everywhere I went.
Eventually, my seemingly cold treatment of my wife brought an end to all the criticism and envy against her. In fact, people began to sympathize with her. For example, many members criticized me when I couldn’t go to see my wife even though she was suffering postpartum illness and was shivering in a poorly heated room after the birth of our first daughter. Some of them said, “How can he even call himself her husband?”
“You’re going too far, sir,” I was told. “If you married her, you should live with her. What are you doing, making it difficult for her even to see your face?” The people who had been criticizing my wife one by one began to take her side instead.
In spite of her young age, it was necessary that my wife receive harsh training. During the time we lived together, the pressures on her were relentless. She never had even a single free moment for herself. She constantly was on edge, as if she were walking on a thin layer of ice, wondering, “Will today be peaceful? Will tomorrow be peaceful?” Because she had to attain God’s standard of motherly love, I corrected her for even a single wrong word. Sometimes even her affection for me had to be curtailed for the sake of her eternal mission. It was all necessary for her to become True Mother, but I am sure it caused much grief in her heart.
I might say a word in passing and not think much of it. She, however, had to harmonize herself with my every word, so I am sure her suffering was great. It took us seven years to conform ourselves to each other. I relate these things because the most important thing in a marriage relationship is trust. It is what makes it possible for two people to become as one.