By Sylvia Dick
When the first members moved into our center, we had to establish the tradition of our True Parents and education on a foundation of almost nothing. Of course it was not easy and we had to overcome many conflicts to put God’s Word into action between ourselves. I felt very strongly Heavenly Father’s care for our young members in their daily experiences and struggles.
I found the people in my assigned country have true, eternal spiritual values and are longing much for them. In the beginning, they accept very enthusiastically and have quite clear ideas, and an understanding of the Principle. But all of that does not last for long. When the inspiration is gone, it is difficult for them to remember it or to fight with intellect and will for these ideals. If by realizing the truth they suddenly feel too much responsibility, they can quickly retreat. Thus, many accept within a short time, but leave just as soon, without having serious reasons or knowing why they no longer believe.
Our Heavenly Father had been suffering thousands of years because of such human ignorance and insufficiency to understand His heart and accept His guidance. How can we become true instruments for God? How can we reveal His heart and love our members more? How small and incapable I often felt. But God had only us in this nation and I felt very deeply how He wanted to educate us gradually. Many situations came up which really shook me and I did not know how to continue. How often I felt God withdrawing from me, and that all my prayers and my longing for Him were left unanswered. These were the times when God could break my pride and as my “True Parent,” really educate me and form my character as He wanted it. In those times I often thought of the words of our True Father,
It is a mystery, but it is true: Love is purified through suffering, leaving only that which is honest and genuine, and eliminates all that which is not true love. Suffering frees love from the falsifying mask of selfishness. When the flood of suffering has passed over a person, then only that which is of genuine value remains.
Now I could understand a little more of Father’s life course and every time I became conscious of it, I was very proud and grateful to be able to go this way. I developed a very deep desire to be able to comfort God more and to take upon my own shoulders more of the heavy burden our True Parents carry. I began to understand what it means to give constantly, to give love constantly without measuring how much was given, and without noticing the wounds inflicted in my heart by someone’s inability to perceive my love. How could God endure that so many thousands of years? I realized how soon I became exhausted when I tried to love the country and the people by myself. But I discovered that when we center on God, we can draw from His reserve of inexhaustible energy.
At the end of a seven-day fast I found my first spiritual son in this nation. He understood the meaning of the Principle very quickly and moved in. He had the opportunity to take part in both the Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument Rallies, but afterward had a great many struggles, and left the center for forty days. Before he left, we talked a long time about his problems, but everything seemed to be blocked within him. I wondered how we could succeed in keeping him for God and True Parents. How gladly I would have taken everything on myself and fought it through on his behalf, but I was powerless to do that and could only watch how he was struggling. It became clear to me that our Heavenly Father is in the same situation day after day and can only watch, unable to do much to help His children because we seldom lay the foundations. How lonely and sad God is!
Before this brother moved out, he often stayed away all day, coming home late at night. But I could not rest until I knew he was home, and I sat waiting and praying to hear him unlatch the garden door. In the morning, he left the house unusually early. I got up early too, because I sensed the times when he would leave early, and I wanted to see him. During this serious and uncertain time, he once came to me, weeping and asking for forgiveness. I felt how God had waited for so long—longer than anyone of us—yearning for this one lost son. I felt how God would joyfully forgive us, if we only sought His forgiveness enough.
After a short time, unfortunately, he changed again and all the difficulties started anew. Finally, he moved out.
To me, everything in life seemed to be empty and without joy. But I could not help feeling how painful all of this must be to God. For hours I walked the streets, praying and crying to find another good son for God. I was struck with how precious one human life is, and how easily it can be wasted. I would have gladly taken responsibility for his mistakes and willingly paid all the indemnity necessary.
Then, after exactly forty days, he came back! And then I knew the joy of a parent who welcomes a prodigal son home.