Mother of Peace: Episode 27

Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 4: God’s Light Shines Upon a Path of Thorns, pg 121-126

Throughout April and May of 1976, our worldwide membership prayed for success at Yankee Stadium. Volunteers came to New York from across the United States, as well as from Japan and Europe, to invite people to attend. They reached out tirelessly and enthusiastically. We tried in those two months to awaken a sleeping giant, to revive the democratic world by countering the influence of communism and the culture of drugs and free sex that was destroying the moral fiber of America’s young people. We considered the bicentennial a crossroads, an event that would signal whether or not we could change America’s direction. Through our members’ hard work, people from throughout the tri-state area and our supporters from other states and nations gathered.

And on that first day of June, others gathered as well. Just as in Korea, where from the right and left, Christians and communists united to accuse and attack, outside Yankee Stadium the demonstrators were yelling, screaming and heaping all kinds of ridicule upon us. The police couldn’t handle it, so we sent many of our core members out of their seats inside to cordon off the crowds of opponents and allow the more than 50,000 people to enter peacefully.

As history records, however, the real drama of Yankee Stadium was not in the protests. The real drama was the weather. Even though the sky was clouding up, thousands of people were in their seats and more thousands were entering the stadium. The banners and signs, sound system and staging were all set up; the band and choir were in place. Suddenly a violent rainstorm swept in from Long Island Sound. Fierce winds blew, rain poured down, our God Bless America banners were torn off the outfield walls and our posters were soaked. The equipment onstage was blown around. The rain soaked the people as well; it was an indescribable mess. And outside the stadium, the crowd of opponents was yelling, screaming and heaping all kinds of ridicule upon us.

One would have wondered, was God truly with us? Was this all part of God’s plan? Then one of our young American leaders jumped onto the top of the home team dugout, raised his arms like a conductor in front of an orchestra, and started singing at the top of his lungs, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray.”

It was like a signal flare. With one heart, everyone began to sing, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine!” A magnificent chorus spread through the stadium and tears of joy mixed with the drops of rain flowing down everyone’s faces. The summer squall, our opponents’ criticism, and the scramble to protect the equipment—these had only bolstered our spirit. Even though we were soaked, no one sought shelter. Heaven was the shelter that united the people of all races, nations and religions that filled the stadium.

That singing was the condition of faith and unity that moved God. The skies over the stadium began to brighten. The darkness cast in both heaven and earth was lifted. Rays of sunshine appeared, and the festival, which seemed utterly demolished, was reborn. Our volunteers swept the stage, wiped off the media equipment and cleared the grounds of fallen signage. Now, with the sunshine warming everyone, the program began.

Before he went out to the stage, my husband said a prayer. Then he grabbed my hand and said, “Thanks to your sincere devotion and prayer, I am going on stage today.” My husband’s smile of gratitude was warmer than the sun that was shining through the clouds. I truly felt that we and our entire global family had pierced the darkness. From the borderline of death, we had resurrected into a bright future for heaven and earth. I brushed the cold raindrops from my face and gave him a hug of encouragement.

We had strong faith in God and in the salvation of the world, and we did not lose courage, because we were fully aware that God was with us. Compared to the hardships and oppression we faced in our homeland before coming to the United States, this was nothing. We transformed shouts of opposition into songs of glory. The pouring rain and gusts of wind blew away our signs but not our love.

As my husband took the stage, the audience greeted him with loud applause. “Who are the true Americans?” he asked. “True Americans are those who have a universal mind. True Americans are those who believe in the one family of humankind, transcendent of color and nationality as willed by God. True Americans are those who are proud of such international families, churches and nations consisting of all peoples.” With faith and courage, the rally was a great success.

* * *

It was 30 years later, in June of 2006, on our sprawling complex on Cheongpyeong Lake in the Republic of Korea, that our movement opened its global capital, the Cheon Jeong Palace. In its gardens, I did not plant roses or lilies. I planted daffodils. And early each spring, as I see the yellow flowers peeking out from under the melting winter snow, I’m gently reminded of the Yankee Stadium event.

Daffodils, which overcome the wind and snow, are a signal for the advent of new life. Their bright little petals, the color of sunlight, are the first sign that spring has finally come. They will always be here, in a special place in my heart. To me, they symbolize the beauty and peace that is blossoming worldwide in our movement. They are seemingly small, but within them is a surge of new life that leads us to forget that there ever was a winter.

As a summer rain fell upon the lawn

In his 1991 novel, Mao II, an American writer, Don DeLillo, described the Unification movement’s mass weddings as opening the path forward for humanity. Interestingly, he depicted our 1982 Blessing Ceremony at Madison Square Garden as having taken place at Yankee Stadium. Mr. DeLillo in any case described a oneness and harmony among thousands of young couples devoting their marriage and family to God, and observed, “We all are Moonies, or should be.”

Back then, we were known, often not affectionately, as “the Moonies.” The name was a creation of the media. We were new and exciting. Regardless of the name, Mr. DeLillo grasped something profound. I’m sure millions of Americans had similar intuitions. Everyone indeed should—and will someday—participate in the Blessing of marriage for world peace.

When my husband and I arrived in the United States in December of 1971, five years before the Yankee Stadium Rally, we saw a world adrift on a chartless ocean with no compass. The threat of communism was growing and Christianity was losing strength. Christian theologians even came up with justifications for communism. Young people wandered about, having no purpose or goals, seduced by sexual temptation and the false freedom advertised by the birth control pill. The United States, founded in the blood and sweat of people of faith who had crossed the Atlantic, risking their lives in pursuit of religious freedom, was breaking its covenant with God.

From the moment of our arrival in America, we rushed forward infused with heavenly energy. Increasing numbers of young people in the United States and the Western world were drawn to our idealistic teachings. We shared our hearts with the members about the challenges the world was facing and the responsibilities that, together with them, we wished to fulfill. “The democratic world is facing an urgent crisis due to the threat of communism,” we explained, “We must invest everything in order to overcome this.”

Within two months of our arrival, my husband and I conducted a speaking tour of seven cities, mobilizing members in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berkeley. It was difficult at first, but by the time we reached California, we had overflow audiences for our three nights of talks. In those cities, some among the young people who attended our speaking events committed themselves to our cause. By early 1973 we had several bus teams covering the country and a house center in most states. From these groups, reinforced by energetic leaders and members from Japan and Europe, including the Korean Folk Ballet, we formed the One World Crusade and a choir, the New Hope Singers International. We loved their fiery passion and desire to enlighten the world.

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