Part 3 Forgiveness, Prayer and Love for Others
Dr. Pak’s life has been an adventurous one. He has been a heavenly general standing up to defend True Parents and working to break through barriers to assist them in fulfilling their mission (for example, with their work in relation to North Korea), and to enable the movement to break into new areas to bring the healing power of True Parents’ love and words. His deep voice and positive can-do spirit was evident even the day after True Father’s Seonghwa Ceremony (September 16, 2012), when he spoke at the Sunday service at Cheon Bok Gung, the central headquarters church in Seoul. There, noticing that many in the congregation were from overseas and were trying to cope with the loss of True Father to this earthly world, he spoke mainly in English and through his heart and words he gave strength to all present.
Dr. Pak has been in hospital for many months now, and indeed he may be confronting his final challenge in this earthly life before joining his beloved wife and our True Father in the heavenly realms. If those who read this can say a prayer for him, I am sure he will feel uplifted and encouraged for whatever the future brings.
This is the final part of his testimony, first published in Today’s World magazine in 1990. Dr. Pak’s testimony to True Parents is written in much greater detail in his autobiography, entitled Messiah, which has been translated into English. Click here to read Part 1 or Part 2.
I came to the United States, particularly to the nation’s capital, to be an ambassador of God and of True Parents. I came representing fallen Adam, paving the way for the True Adam, so that when True Parents came they would receive great glory and victory in this country. When they arrived in America on December 18, 1971, True Parents began working tirelessly for the salvation of this country. In fact, this nation owes its life to our True Parents. Instead of repaying that debt with gratitude, America put our dear Father into Danbury Prison.
When Father was summoned by the Senate Constitution Committee for testimony, he concluded with a most noble and remarkable conclusion. I quote:
“The issue today is the very survival of America and the Free World. To assure this survival I am willing to suffer any indignity, to go any distance, to do any labor, and to bear any cross. I am even willing to give my life if that will ensure that the nation and world will survive and do God’s Will.
Today I carry no animosity towards anyone. I long ago forgave my accusers. I have no hostility toward the United States government. Instead I pray for this country. I thank God that He is using me as His instrument to lead the fight for religious freedom and to ignite the spiritual awakening of America in this most crucial hour of human history.
Mr. Chairman, I once again thank you for this opportunity. I would like to conclude by saying ‘God Bless America.’”
On July 20, 1984, when Father was heading for Danbury, I felt like a dead man, a man with no purpose to serve in the future; I felt I was totally responsible for Father’s imprisonment. I was really miserable. Riding in the car together with In Jin Nim that day, I could not stop weeping from the moment we began the journey from East Garden to the gates of Danbury. In Jin Nim comforted me so many times, saying: “This is not quite the end of it, so do not cry so much.” But I could not stop: how could I live, how could I eat another meal, or sleep another night?
I fully expected Father to reprimand me or show us his discouragement or dissatisfaction, his grief, his pain. But on that day, Father was absolutely a new champion. I had never seen Father’s face glowing as brilliantly as the sun. “You never know,” Father said, “beyond the hill of Danbury, what great blessing from Heavenly Father is waiting. I’m jubilant, I’m exuberant and looking forward to the new chapter that is going to be opened beyond the hill of Danbury.” It was that statement and seeing the great hope and determination on Father’s honestly joyful face that really prolonged my life and lightened the burden I felt in my deepest heart.
The virtue of forgiveness
While Father was in Danbury, I was kidnapped by North Koreans. When Father heard of it, he began to intensely pray for my life. He continued to pray the entire 40 hours I was gone. Like the battle at Chang Chon River, I thought my final moment had come. I did not want to die either in shame or dishonor before our God, our True Parents and our Church. Nor did I want to give shame or dishonor to them. At that time, I desperately called out to God declaring that if I have to die, I want to die in glory and victory, reaffirming and proclaiming this as if I were standing in front of the True Parents. I wanted to die with my final word calling out to True Parents, “Mansei” I received God’s help so definitely and manifestly. Because of His grace and the grace of our True Parents I was saved. I owe God and True Parents eternal gratitude.
Father’s I8-month sentence was shortened to 13 months because of his good behavior. He was a model prisoner under these unpleasant and undignified circumstances. This is just one beautiful example of Father’s entire life. I learned from Father the virtue of forgiveness. Any grudge or embedded animosity towards someone, or any hatred, is poison that doesn’t hurt anyone except oneself.
Therefore, my life credo is to hate no one, to have no embedded animosity toward anyone. If someone does work malevolence on you, pray for him and forgive him. If someone misunderstood you, drop everything and go talk heart to heart to end the misunderstanding and bring harmony between you.
Honestly speaking, I have no enemies, as much as Father said he has no enemies. I have no one to hate. Yes, I may like someone better than another, but I have hatred toward no one. I never tried to hurt anyone. I want to try to see the goodness in each heart and bring that goodness out and praise it. I love to praise and applaud others. On the other hand, if someone is trying to praise me, I feel very uncomfortable because I always feel success and credit belong to God and True Parents. I never want to keep it as mine.
Another credo of my life is to never speak ill of anyone, especially in the absence of that person. Yes, I have given a lot of advice and counseling to many brothers and sisters, but I do it face to face, out of genuine love and strictly for their benefit. One time a brother broke down in front of me and said, “You truly love me more than my own father ever did.”
To my wife and me, Father and Mother are not just our spiritual Father and Mother. In our minds they are absolutely our physical Father and Mother as well as the Eternal True Parents. Being close to True Parents is also a grave responsibility. It is not always a “fun time” with them. We have serious moments together. Father has many times scolded me and still does without any reservation because he trusts me and I am his son. As a son, you have to suffer heavenly wrath many times. You will be scolded and spiritually spanked.
The three stages of prayer
My prayer life in the church has always been in three stages. First, I pray in repentance because I genuinely feel I am not worthy of receiving True Parents. Furthermore, by being close to our True Parents I must remember that I have a great responsibility representing all the members of the world. Yet I often either forget about this or relax too much. The struggle between mind and body is always there. Sometimes I have done things which I later regretted greatly. Simply speaking I am not worthy of being a son of True Parents. I was chosen truly by mere grace, not because of my doing. So when I am thinking of myself and the grave responsibility I have of being where I am, there is so much to repent for. Repentance is probably the only and best way to get rid of your feelings of guilt. God is a good Parent. When a son or daughter comes to Him and truly asks for forgiveness, won’t He, as the Parent, forgive His son or daughter? You must trust God as your True Parent. A prayer of repentance will make you revive, cleanse you, give you energy and make you a new person.
The second stage in my prayer is always a prayer of gratitude. It is my lifetime goal to live a life of gratitude, being grateful for everything. Even in my suffering there is something to be grateful for. I always believe my suffering will turn into a great blessing. If you are willing to suffer, welcome it when it comes. So many times I told people that complaint is a disease. If you have an attitude of complaint or a complaining mind you will never be satisfied, nor make yourself happy. You will always make your life miserable. Even if you become a king or millionaire you still will have a thousand things to complain about. It is a disease like cancer. External things will never heal this disease. I decided a long time ago that I would never complain under any circumstances. I would always find something to be grateful for. I am simply grateful to God for my life, my mission, my health; grateful to True Parents that I am their son, that they love me, that they are my savior, that they rid me of my original sin, that I have eternal life, that I am so close to them. No amount of suffering in any circumstance under the sun can compare to these blessings. So I am grateful in my prayer.
The third stage of my prayer is to give my pledge to God and True Parents. I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. Every ounce of energy I have I dedicate to the victory of True Parents and Heavenly Father in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. How could we not be victorious with God and True Parents on our side. If we do everything in the name of True Parents, there is no way we can fail. When I am in eminent danger or have a sense of failure, I call out to God saying, “Thy Will be done.” I know that His Will must be victorious. Don’t let Bo Hi Pak prevail, but let God and True Parents prevail. This kind of discipline of prayer life gives me lasting energy, power, wisdom, spirit and, most importantly, the presence of God.
Yes, I am facing incredible challenges of furthering God’s providence in everyday life—as we all are. I always believe in victory and I expect it to happen, not with my power but with His power. Many miracles have therefore happened in my life. I always expect them and I receive them—it is that simple. Some might call it positive thinking, while others might call it faith. Whatever definition you choose is fine with me. I believe and expect a glorious victory for our True Parents. When victory comes I never consider that it is I that should be acclaimed or that it is my victory. It is the victory of God and True Parents. I simply kneel down to be grateful, often in tears.
Love one another
While we are here on earth it is our duty to fervently love one another and love humanity. Let us not judge anyone, as judgment is for God, not man. The work of man here on earth is to love: to love those closest to you, your brothers and sisters, and all people around you—even the person who thinks of you as his enemy. Of course, I am far from reaching the level of perfection where Father lives. That is why I am his disciple, learning every day, advancing little by little toward that perfection. Thank God we have True Parents—the greatest blessing of all for me, for all members of the Unification Church, and actually for all humanity once they realize it. Love heals; hatred is poison and hurts you more than anything else. Let us be like Father every day, more and more, and evermore.