Mother of Peace: Episode 04

Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 1: My Cherished Lifelong Wish, pg 10-15

Wildflowers smile on a mountain path

“It’s been raining a lot and the path will be slippery,” my assistant informed me. “Why don’t you just rest today?” Of course she was concerned for my safety, and I thanked her but continued my preparations.

In autumn, we have heavy rainstorms, and snow falls in the winter. There are countless reasons and excuses to stay inside. Regardless, after his passing, I departed my room each day at dawn for prayer at my husband’s tomb, and upon returning, I prepared his breakfast and dinner. 

As I walked along the path up the hill to the Bonhyangwon and back, he and I shared many heart to heart conversations. My husband’s thoughts became my thoughts, and my thoughts became his.

Korean bonsai pines lined the path to the Bonhyangwon, and underneath them, clusters of wildflowers bloomed in the spring. During the winter, wildflowers disappear, but in spring they bloom profusely, as if competing with each other. I would stop on my way up the steep incline to take a closer look at the grasses and flowers. They displayed their colors beautifully in the spring’s bright morning sun, whether I was there to admire them or not. I would become intoxicated with their beauty, caressing the wildflowers before resuming my ascent up the path. The walk was difficult but my heart would be as serene as the flowers.

When I would reach my husband’s tomb, I would carefully check to see whether any weeds had sprouted among the blades of grass, or whether animals had left any traces. The lawn on the grave became greener and greener as time went by. Sitting alone in front of his tomb, I would pray for everyone in the world to be as beautiful as wildflowers, to have minds as strong as pine trees, and to always live prosperous lives as green as a summer lawn. On my way down I would say farewell to the flowers and pine trees, “My friends of the natural world, I will meet you again tomorrow.”

The path I would walk was the same each day, but the weather was never the same. There would be days when I felt the warm rays of the sun; there were windy days, rainy days when thunder roared and lightning struck, and snowy days covering everything in white.

During this three-year period of devotions, I also retraced my husband’s travels throughout the United States, traveling nearly 4,000 miles as my husband had done in 1965, and visited the 12 mountain peaks we had toured in the Swiss Alps to pray and meditate. Through these devotions, our spiritual oneness deepened into eternity.

In traditional Korea, offering such filial devotions in remembrance of one’s deceased parents was expected. Representing the family, the first son would build a small hut just to the west of his father’s or mother’s tomb, and live in it for three years, regardless of the weather, even if unable to eat properly or make a living through this period. Those three years represent the three years after we are born, when we receive our father’s and especially our mother’s full love and care, without which we would not have survived. This time of devotion is a time to acknowledge, show gratitude and return that love and kindness.

Today, there are too many people who forget their father’s and mother’s kindness. From those who lack filial piety toward their own parents, comprehension of Heavenly Parent and the True Parents, who have shed tears over humanity’s suffering, cannot be expected. People today live without any connection to the True Parents, not knowing that they are here on earth.

To awaken people who have eyes but cannot see, as my husband’s wife, I offered devotions in remembrance of True Father every day for three years, on behalf of all people. With this depth of commitment, I promised my husband and all the members of our worldwide movement: I will bring us back to the spirit of the early days of our church, and I will create a revival through spirit and truth.

I dream of a church that feels like a mother’s warm embrace, a church that is like a home, where people always want to come and stay. This is my husband’s dream as well. Honoring him, I made the decision to dedicate myself to God and all of humankind even more than before. Since that hour, I have never fully rested.

Then, in 2015, moved by my husband’s unchanging heart, I prepared his gift for humanity. May the Sunhak Peace Prize stand forever as an expression of his eternal commitment to peace.

The Sunhak peace culture

Looking into the hazy summer sky, I queried what the weather was going to be like the next day. “There’ll be showers in the morning,” I was told, “with lots of clouds.” With a smile on my face, I accepted that that was how it was going to be. Rain has poured down during many of our Unification Church events. It was more than 40 years ago that heavy showers and strong winds swept through our Yankee Stadium rally in New York. Heavy rain also fell all day long during the International Blessing of 360,000 couples, as well as during the inauguration of the Women’s Federation for World Peace at the Seoul Olympic Stadium. I have grown to accept rain at such times with gratitude, as a gift. So it rained on August 28, 2015, the day of the first Sunhak Peace Prize Awards Ceremony. That day, hundreds of guests converged on our hotel in Seoul, moving quickly through the downpour, summer’s last cleansing gift. Thankfully, when the doors opened, the skies cleared, and this felt like God’s joyful welcome to our guests. These were special people, leaders from all fields, gathered from throughout the global village, many traversing long distances, for the sake of peace.

Everyone desires peace, but peace does not come easily. If it were as commonplace as stones on the side of a country road or trees on a mountainside, we would never have experienced the terrible wars and conflicts that plague the human world. But bringing peace demands that everyone invest sweat, tears, and sometimes blood. That is why, even though we long for peace, we seldom achieve it. To experience true peace, we must first practice true love without expectation of reward. My husband and I walked this path and, continuing on it, I prepared the Sunhak Peace Prize as a gift for the world from Father Moon.

Despite the rain on this first day of the awards ceremony, none of the guests could suppress their excitement. They were like little children about to receive a special gift. Everyone was wide-eyed as they greeted the person beside them, one saying, “There are so many kinds of people here! I’ve never been to a more diverse gathering,” and the other, “It’s unbelievable! I wonder where that attire is from.”

The event was an exhibition of the world’s ethnicities; the hall was alive with the rushing flow of various languages. Everyone’s eyes showed gratitude on behalf of the entire human family. People seeing me for the first time focused on the stage to get a good look, wondering, “Who is this Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon?” Then they would tilt their heads quizzically. Perhaps they considered my clothes to be no finer than theirs, and that I looked like a typical mother.

As I prepared the Sunhak Peace Prize project, my utmost concern was that people would understand its fundamental root. To embrace the future, we must expand the scope of vocations that can herald the coming of peace. Even though we may never meet our descendants, we must make sure that all their activities will harmonize in peaceful societies and nations. After serious consideration and discussion, the Sunhak Foundation determined its overarching orientation, the peace that transcends the present and builds the future.

True peace certainly requires that we resolve the current conflicts between religions, races and nations. The even greater challenges that we face, however, include the destruction of the environment and demographic trends. The world’s leading peace awards focus on solving the problems of the present generation. Yet we must solve the problems of the present in a way that is integrated with a practical vision for a happy future. I founded the Sunhak Peace Prize as a bridge bringing us out of this world’s maelstroms of conflict and as a compass pointing to a future homeland of peace.

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