The Words of the Sudo Family
In embarking on his new mission as national IW, Rev. Ken Sudo, former regional coordinator of Region 11, was honored with a farewell party at Belvedere on July 19, 1988.
Scripture reading: I Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Today's topic is "Loving from God's Point of View." Sometimes when we look at ourselves, we might become tired of ourselves, thinking, "Why is it so difficult for me to change?" Sometimes we are not so sure anymore if God loves us or not.
A man may hate himself and his situation to the extent that he wants to kill himself. I think it must be a very difficult thing to kill another person. To kill oneself must be much harder, but people do it. Yet even though you may hate yourself, God doesn't hate you. If you really think about it, it's certain that God loves everyone.
When a person is standing on the edge of a cliff trying to kill himself, God, the anguishes parent, cries, "My son, don't do that!" But when the man actually jumps into the ocean from the cliff and dies, from that point, God's suffering become' even deeper. He hears the voice of His son crying for God from the depths of hell. When He listens to that voice, His heart is tormented, and He can never get it out of His mind. Day and night He tries to find a way to reach out to that person's spirit and take his hand so He can finally pull him out of the pit and embrace His son with tears.
How it is possible for God to be this way? You all know who Mother Teresa is, don't you? When she started her ministry in India in the city of Calcutta, she saw many people dying of leprosy. One day she was walking in the street and saw a man with leprosy lying in the gutter. Because his disease was so advanced, he smelled bad, his hands and legs were rotten, maybe even his nose and ears had rotted off, and a lot of flies were swarming around him. Our first response might have been to turn away. Maybe she experienced the same revulsion, but all of a sudden she felt a completely different force driving her toward that man. Impelled by that spirit, she went to him. Looking into the dying man's eyes, she saw Jesus. She hugged and embraced this man and took him in and cared for him.
Mother Teresa saw that dying man with God's eyes. That force moving her heart of love was much stronger than the disgusting feeling that came from seeing his rotting flesh and smelling the bad smell. She was able to physically reach out and embrace him. That's God's love. God could see His own image in the dying man's eyes through Mother Teresa.
Sin must be so dirty, so smelly, in God's eyes. When God sees us sinners, surely He can perceive the stinking smell of sin, of death. But why didn't He give up on me when I was committing sin? If He had forsaken me, I would not be here; none of us would be here. The fact that we are here means that, no matter how sinful or dirty we have been in God's eyes, He has never given up on us.
A brother I knew once told me this testimony. Just before he met the church, his spiritual senses were partially opened and he could see the spirit world. He told me that one day he met with his boss, an executive of a big construction company. Externally, the man was a very capable person and very dignified, but his internal life was dirty and corrupt, especially in his relationships with women. When this young brother looked at his boss, his body looked like rotten flesh, and a snake was twisted around him. He was so scared! Right after that, he quit his job and joined the church. Later he was witnessing on the streets of Tokyo, where many young women were walking, dressed very beautifully. However, he could see the dirtiness of their spirits. He told me, "It's not so good to be spiritually open, because if you can actually see the spirits of the people, you can't even bear to walk in the streets of Tokyo."
In God's eyes, even if people externally look very beautiful, their lives are often spiritually dirty. Their spirits stink so badly. God smells this much more than we can, but still He never gives up. He believes in us. We don't know how many hundreds of thousands of years God has been trying to raise mankind up -- yet He keeps waiting and waiting for us. We can't count how many times we have rebelled against Him, and still He never turns away. Why? Because He knows one thing: "No matter how terrible my sons and daughters are, no matter how dirty and smelly they are, my own image is buried deep in their hearts. It is covered by sin, with spiritual leprosy, but I still see my own image in their eyes. That's why I keep calling and calling and calling." That is God's tragic testimony.
When Adam and Eve committed sin, the beautiful relationship between God and man was cut, and God could never have a fulfilling experience with His own children since that time. As we know, family breakdown is a big problem in this society. It's the cause of all kinds of troubles -- AIDS, suicide, promiscuity, crime. But all this family breakdown ultimately came from the breakdown of the first family of God. The servant whom God trusted seduced and corrupted His loving daughter. And that's just the beginning. Then Eve's son killed his younger brother, and innocent blood was shed. From the very beginning, tragedy engulfed God's family.
Since that time, it has been impossible to have truly happy families on the earth. God never experienced a happy family life as Father God and Mother God, as happy parents. The only happy time God experienced in the entire history of the human race was when His son and daughter were young, and that feeling remains in His heart. "I loved them. They responded to me. My heart quivered to see my little boy and my little girl. They are dead, but still I cannot forget that beautiful experience I had with them." That joy is still deep in the heart of God. It's the reason God cannot forget about us. He wants to completely restore the joy He once felt with His children. Loving from God's point of view means to have the same depth of feeling inside of us that God has. In order to inherit that kind of love, we have to understand clearly God's point of view, and His way of loving people. Even though we are covered with sin and He cannot see us, He firmly believes that His own image is deep inside us. Can we see God's image within ourselves? Can we see God's nature within our brothers and sisters? Can we see the nature of God even within the heart of a prostitute?
IRFF's 1985 drought relief program in the Sudan helped thousands of starving nomadic people.
Several years ago, I helped organize a fundraising trip with 30 or 40 people for 40 days. During that time a sister reported to me an experience she had. A prostitute had come up to her and asked her if she could get some flowers. The sister was astonished and said, "You like flowers?" The woman answered yes. The sister thought, "This prostitute also has an original nature. There is indeed beauty hidden inside her. Even though her business is ugly and sinful, she has a heart that's longing for beauty." So the sister smiled and simply said, "Please pick out the flowers you like." The woman picked some out and gave the sister money she kept inside her dress. Even though what she was doing to earn that money was completely against God, still that beauty, that image of God, was within her. And I'm sure that, when the time comes, God will defend that prostitute. When Satan accuses her and says she should go to hell, God will say, "No!
This is my daughter! When I called her, my daughter saw the beauty of my creation, and her heart was moved because she has a beautiful heart. She gave money for the flowers, and because of that, she contributed to the restoration providence. That's why, Satan, you cannot claim her. My daughter, come with me." That must be God's heart.
Most of us don't make enough effort to find the original nature of a person. We have a tendency to find a person's weakness first and judge him from that point of view. But God's way is not like that at all; He wants to find some condition by which He can claim His sons and daughters as His own and take them away from their connection to sin. Even though a person may do terrible things, God is looking for the one good thing that can be a condition for Him to call His child back. Satan does the opposite; he tries to find all your weak points. He takes note of every single bad thing you did in your life, all the little sins as well as the big ones, and then he goes to God and shows Him that you did this and this and this and should go to hell. God's way and Satan's way are totally opposite because their motivations are completely different. Satan's motivation is to destroy us, but God's motivation is to save us.
It's very important to recognize a person's good points, but beyond that, it's important to stimulate his original good nature and let it come out. And when this goodness is stimulated strongly and deeply, that person can have great power by which he can destroy the evil in his mind with goodness. We should be "anti-evil mind." In other words, because we are original-minded people filled with a spirit of goodness, we should try to stimulate ourselves and stimulate our brothers and sisters so that all the goodness in their original minds can come out. Our life is a constant struggle between good and evil. Now is the time when we can stimulate our own goodness to come out much more than before. The time has come when we can defeat evil completely, and the power and strength of the original mind can gush out and bloom and blossom like spring.
To do this, we need a weapon. That is truth. We need to understand the Meaning of the absolute standard. On an individual level, we can try to overcome our own personal selfishness by following the truth. For instance, we can say, "I don't need to eat this cake; I can give it to my brother or sister." As a person becomes responsible for more people, it's harder to sacrifice. It's more difficult to sacrifice one's own team or region for the sake of another team or region, isn't it? What about sacrifice on a still higher level? For a country, what is the most important thing? The national interest, isn't it? If something benefits America, it's a good thing; if it takes something away from America, it's a bad thing. That is the typical standard of a nation. Political leaders cannot usually go beyond this concept. Serving the national interest has a higher priority for them than serving other nations. A president of a country may be a good and sacrificial person on an individual level, but in acting on a national level, he may become selfish.
What if America had a president who was always thinking about how America could sacrifice itself for the welfare of all humanity? What do you think would happen? Many Americans live prosperous lives, which most people have never experienced. Suppose this American president begins to inspire the entire nation by teaching the universal principles of how to attain true eternal happiness. He tells the people of the nation, "We all thought that to be happy meant to gain material wealth and power for ourselves. We've been trying this way for 200 years, but no one has become happy. So let's change our way of life!" Suppose he creates an entirely new budget and says, "Okay, this year half of our national budget will be used to rebuild Ethiopia. This year's goal is to save Ethiopia." If all that money were used to save Ethiopia, Ethiopia could be completely rebuilt -- with beautiful cities, schools, hospitals, transportation systems, and factories. If the world saw what America was doing in sacrificing itself for the sake of a small suffering nation, what would the people of the world think? They would be completely moved! They would say, "America is a wonderfully sacrificial country!" Then in one year, America could grab the heart of the entire world.
In contrast, look at what the Soviet Union is doing in Ethiopia. The Soviet Union's whole purpose is to take from that miserable country -- not to give the people food but to destroy them in their own drive to take over other countries. Such selfishness is Satan's tool. But if America continued to live in a selfless way for 10 years, serving all the poorer countries, the whole world would bow down to America, don't you think so? People would realize that communism's presence isn't needed.
There have been lots of presidents of the United States, but not even one of them had this kind of insight or determination. If the American president could see the image of Jesus in the eyes of a starving, dying, old Ethiopian man, then such a sacrificial thing could happen. Since the image of God is also inside the heart of the American people, we must stimulate each American citizen's pure desire to do good, which is the desire of God. It is actually our responsibility to move the hearts of the American people so that they can understand the value of sacrificing for the sake of the people in needy countries. Then the Americans can melt the heart of those people, embrace them, and kick Satan completely out of those countries. It is clear that first we need to stimulate America, and then America can stimulate the world.
Father is thinking about how to restore North Korea, the enemy country. Kim Il Sung is teaching schoolchildren that the most evil person in the world is Rev. Moon. But Father is teaching us to love the North Koreans. They are really suffering, almost to the point of starvation, because their ideology just doesn't work. Even the richest people in North Korea, the members of the Communist Party, are encouraged not to eat three times a day, but only twice a day now. They have nothing to wear, nothing to eat. But because they want to save face, they try to hide the fact that their people are suffering.
Last year, a Korean Air Lines jet crashed, and it was discovered that Kim Il Sung's son had given the order to two committed North Korean communists, an old man and a young woman, to destroy that airplane. They forged Japanese passports and prepared a time bomb and destroyed the airplane, killing 115 people. Then they were ordered to commit suicide. Why? Because it was feared they might be captured and interrogated. The man succeeded in killing himself by taking poison. The woman tried but failed, and she was arrested and taken to Seoul, Korea. She had been told that if they failed their mission and were captured, they would no doubt be executed by the South Koreans. But, astonishingly to her, she was treated very well. She started to wonder what was happening. She was given a tour of Seoul. According to her education in North Korea, the city of Seoul was supposed to be filled with beggars, with everybody suffering because of the oppression from America. But she saw that no one was suffering. In fact, people were wearing beautiful clothes, such as she had never seen in North Korea, and were eating good food, whatever they liked. In her native North Korea, people couldn't eat like that. Her most shocking experience came when she observed the national election on December 16, 1987. It was unthinkable for her that this was the reality, that four different candidates were competing.
She finally realized that her own president was a liar. That's the reason she broke down and confessed everything on national TV.
Father wants to love the North Koreans. He believes that despite their oppression they have a pure heart inside. If we show them love, we can open their hearts and finally give them a chance to come back to God. He knows that the unification of the Fatherland won't be accomplished by weapons, but by truth and love. What if the president of South Korea, the prime minister of Japan, the president of the United States, the chancellor of West Germany, and the prime minister of England all got together with that spirit of giving and started to discuss how to deal with this world? Don't you think everything would be completely different? If these leaders could touch the heart of God and commit themselves to loving the entire world from His parental point of view, in a short time, this world would realistically change.
Then how do we inherit this love, this heart of God? We are fortunate to be living at this moment in history, because this is the time of the coming of age of the True Children. By connecting with them, we can directly inherit that kind of heart, for they are the bridge. Then we can convey that same heart to others, eventually reaching out to the leadership of the world. Therefore, our goal, especially this year, should be to connect with the True Children and inherit that heart and that absolute standard of truth and action. If we can focus on these points this year, surely the hope and joy and happiness of the entire world will be near. As we touch and awaken the original heart of God within each person, the attributes of love that Paul described in his letter to the Corinthians will come fully alive throughout the world.