Forgive Them

Imitation of Christ
My copy of “The Imitation of Christ”.

Reverend Moon’s teachings opened my heart to Jesus and I eventually decided to become a full-time member of the Unification Church. Now that I was a religious nut, I figured it was about time I learned more about Christ. So I started with the basics. I found a children’s Bible at one of our church centers and began reading it. I also kept a New Testament in my shirt pocket that I would often consult. Furthermore, I started studying “The Imitation of Christ” (a Christian devotional book composed by Thomas Kempis in the early 1400’s), and was especially moved by the chapter, “Few love the cross of Christ” where I read the following passage:

“Jesus always has many who love His Heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His cross…Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him as long as they receive some comfort from Him.”

Suffering Jesus
Our Holy song book.     http://unification.org/ucbooks/HolySongs/022.htm

In addition, a song “Suffering Jesus” from the Unification Church’s Holy Song book touched me. I began to pray and ask Jesus to show me his heart,  something I almost regretted when I walked into a large night club in Northern Wisconsin with a case of brandy snifters filled with wax and made into candles. I asked some of the patrons if they would be interested in purchasing some of my fine product.

“It’s a Moonie! It’s a Moonie!” someone in the crowd of about thirty people yelled. Somebody tried to yank the box of candles from me and the box ripped and brandy glasses crashed to the floor. A couple of burly guys grabbed hold of me and started parading me around the night club as people spat and poured their beer on me. That’s when I remembered praying to know the heart of Jesus. “Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” I thought. I felt no animosity, no hatred toward those people. However, I told Jesus that was about all I could handle after I was thrown out the door and onto the ground while the owner of the night club kicked me and what was left of my candles.

Fetal
Drop kick

After my beating was over I stood up and walked to the edge of a forest near the nightclub and hid while keeping an eye out for the van that would come to pick me up. While waiting alone on that crisp, star-studded, pine-scented night, I started humming a church song, “Grace of the Holy Garden”, and then began to softly sing the words of the chorus:

“Glorious the song ringing in my heart for my Father above; gratefully I give offering to Him, triumph and glorious love…”

 

6 thoughts on “Forgive Them”

  1. Even now people are still slanderous of ” moonies” though no one can say precisely what they hate about us! I and many others have had experiences of being slapped, or ridiculed, though this is one of the worst! Sorry for yourhorrificexperience!

  2. I’ve had cigarette ash flicked on me and been called names, but I was never physically beaten up while fund-raising . A church brother once remarked that he thought the sisters must have some special divine protection.

  3. Thanks bob for this story. We are all saints. I was once almost shoved through a plate glass window in a bar, while fundraising. An angel intervened.

    1. You’re welcome Greg. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding. Good thing you didn’t go through that glass window!

  4. This post was bitter/sweet. I loved the song! In addition to Thomas Kempis, have you read any of Madame Guyon’s books? She is also excellent. The only one of hers I have is Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ.

    1. I’m really glad you loved the song and that I overrode my wife’s editorial advise to not include it. No, I’ve never read Madame Guyon, but now I will consider it based on your recommendation.

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