Mother of Peace: Episode 18
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 3: The Marriage Supper of the Lamb, pg 75-80
At 10:00 that evening, Mrs. Oh was making her way home after finishing her work. She was on the Noryangjin bus as it was crossing the Han River when God spoke to her: “It will be Hak Ja. It will be Hak Ja.” God’s revelation descended upon Mrs. Oh like a wave of energy in the autumn night sky. She arrived in her neighborhood around 11:00 p.m., but instead of going home, she hurried to see my mother, who lived near her.
“Soon-ae, are you sleeping?” “Not yet. Come in!”
“How old is your daughter?” My mother gave her a puzzled look. Mrs. Oh had skipped all formalities and asked a point-blank question. “Why are you visiting me in the middle of the night to ask me how old my daughter is?”
“Don’t change the subject; please just tell me.” “She’s 16, turning 17 next year.”
“When is her birthday?”
“She was born in 1943, on the sixth day of the first lunar month. She has the same birthday as our Master. Why are you suddenly asking me such questions?” Mrs. Oh and my mother were old friends. They were the same age, and they had attended the same church in their hometown in North Korea. In addition, their mothers were very close friends. My mother, in fact, was living in Noryangjin, across the street from Mrs. Oh. Mrs. Oh had found this place for my mother when she had fallen into poor health while doing her church work.
Just as abruptly as she had arrived, Mrs. Oh bid my mother good night and departed, leaving my mother to figure out what was on her mind.
* * *
The next day, as soon as it became light, Mrs. Oh was on her way back to work at the Nakwon Building. God’s revelation about me completely distracted her, and the workday came and went without her realizing what she was doing. When she finished her work, she went directly to see a fortune teller. To this day, Koreans often consult fortune tellers for guidance about marriage, and that’s what Mrs. Oh did. She described to the fortune teller the two persons about whom she was consulting, without mentioning their names. Right away the fortune teller’s eyes widened.
“There may be a large gap between the ages of these two persons, but it doesn’t matter. They are a match made in Heaven. I have rarely seen such a couple whose fortunes are so aligned.” Mrs. Oh felt her heart was about to explode. She calmed herself and went directly to the church to meet our Teacher and tell him everything. As soon as she gained a private space with him, she blurted it out: “Hak Ja Han, the daughter of Hong Soon-ae, is the heavenly bride.” She waited for a response, but Father Moon didn’t say a word.
* * *
Father Moon had listened to many members suggest who might be his bride, and none of them had paid much attention to me. I did not worry about that. I kept my mind on Heaven. I knew then, and know now, that a person’s destiny is not contingent upon external evidence. God is the judge, and it is predestined that the only begotten Son will marry the only begotten Daughter prepared by God, and that this is in the hands of God. I knew it was Father Moon’s mission and duty to recognize the only begotten Daughter. I may have been young in years, but my heart toward God was unwavering. I waited for the time.
One day not long after that, hearing the sound of a magpie sitting on the branch of a tree outside the window of my dormitory room, I had a premonition that I was about to receive good news. I went to the window, opened it, looked up toward the sky, and I heard God’s voice. Those were days in which God was giving me revelations not only in my dreams but also like waves coming down from the clear blue sky. I heard the words, “The time is near.”
It was the voice of God. I had heard it often since I was a child. I had always felt that I would meet a very precious person one day. As if someone were pushing me, I closed my books and left the dormitory. Something was telling me that my mother was not feeling well.
As I was crossing the Han River on the bus, many thoughts flooded my mind. Does crossing the river mean that I am crossing over to a different world from the one in which I have been living? How many stories are embraced by the river, swirling beneath its confidently flowing surface? Is the heart of God, who is searching for us, like this river?
I got off the bus and started walking up the Noryangjin Hill toward my house. As I climbed the slope, an unusually bright winter sun drew me onward in spite of the wind from the Han River blowing against my forehead. When my mother saw me, she did not seem at all unwell; she looked rather excited and gratified to see me arrive. My confusion as to what drew me home dissipated right away, as she held the door open and quickly put on her coat. “I have received a message from the church,” she told me. “We have to go there right now.”
To me, it was a given that the news that awaited us at the church, whatever it might be, had been prepared by God. The scene of my first meeting with Father Moon, which was just after I had finished elementary school, passed before me like a panoramic vision. I recalled the dream I had had after that meeting. Father Moon appeared in it with a young and gentle face, and I clearly heard God’s revelation: “Prepare, for the time is near.”
Recalling this strict command from Heaven, walking toward the church, I surrendered myself completely, with a heart filled with trust in my Heavenly Father. “Until now I have lived according to Your will,” I said to Heavenly Parent in prayer, “Whatever be Your will and providence, I am one with it already.”
Because I knew God’s sorrowful grief, a courage based on my faith in God rose up within me. I felt I could gratefully accept whatever might be asked of me. Then I heard God’s voice again. I felt the same presence that I felt in the upper room of the Inside-the-Womb Church, when Grandmother Heo anointed me, and when the monk passing by our house had prophesied about me. Bathed in that presence, I heard the words, “Mother of the universe. The time has come.” It was like the sound of a gong reverberating in the air. The voice spoke again:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, and I have been waiting for the Mother of the universe since the creation of the world.” When I heard those words, I knew what my future was to be, and it settled in my heart and created an ocean of calm. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve talked with God directly and heard God’s words with their own ears. I had had such direct conversations with God from a young age.
I continued walking, going to church while holding my mother’s hand, as I had done so many times before.
* * *
My mother and I arrived at the Cheongpa-dong Church. It was February 26, 1960, a day when winter was withdrawing and spring was signaling its advent. Father Moon met with my mother and me all day in order to come to a conclusion about the heavenly bride. He and I talked about many things over the course of nine hours. At his request, I drew him a picture. I spoke clearly as I answered his questions about my hopes and aspirations. Remembering how Jacob received God’s blessing at Bethel, I happily, yet seriously, said to him, “I will bear many heavenly children.”
What God told Jacob at Bethel came into my mind: “And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” I determined that I would embrace all the people of the earth and bring them new life as God’s good children.
When Isaac went up Mount Moriah with Abraham to offer a sacrifice, he asked his father where the offering was. Abraham answered that God had prepared a sacrifice, and said nothing more. With that, Isaac, even at his young age, could understand the situation and realize that he was the sacrifice to be offered to Heaven. Just as Isaac obediently lay upon the altar, I knew that God had prepared me as the heavenly bride and that this was God’s predestined providence. I had no questions or doubt in my heart; I had only the desire to keep going on the path. I accepted God’s command in a state of complete selflessness.
* * *
On our way back home from this extraordinary day, my mother looked at me with warm eyes. “You are usually so meek and calm; I didn’t know you could be so bold.” I reflected on the fact that the Holy Wedding is not based on how bold a person is. In order to multiply God’s lineage, the True Mother has to bear many good children, and therefore she would have to marry in her teens. Such a bride should be of a patriotic family, I realized as well, with a life of faith inherited over three generations.
Three years before that, a number of single women believers had put themselves forward as marriage candidates before Father Moon. Several around the age of 30, in particular, had high hopes, as Father Moon himself was nearing 40. Even in that circumstance, and having publicly announced the date of the Holy Wedding, Father Moon had maintained silence. He was waiting on Heaven to decide who would be his bride. He knew that God is the one to prepare the only begotten Daughter. Only God can confirm the bride for whom the marriage supper of the Lamb is conducted. God alone knows who is to become the Mother of the universe and the Mother of peace.