Witnessing Sun Myung Moon’s International Matching — The grandest performance of all
Jonatha A. Johnson
October 14, 1982
We are here in the auditorium of the Little Angels Performing Arts Center. The full-size stage features a curtain of waves, a huge rising sun in shades of orange and gold. Four white flying cranes are superimposed over the image of the sun, surrounded by multicolored clouds. Splashing waves make a transition from the stylized ocean to the colorful red and cloudy sky.
The texture seems to be like embroidery, giving the curtain the semblance of a handmade rug. The lower corner says HAPPY WORLD.
A collection of very high crystal chandeliers against the red velvet ceiling give the impression of crystal snowflakes — for they have a flattened appearance from where we sit below.
Gilded white pillars, moldings and door paneling surround the room, and all around, brothers and sisters sit in anticipation of Father’s arrival, in anticipation of meeting their eternal mate.
As True Parents come in, everyone stands. The sea of heads — brown, black and blackest black heads before me shifts and sways as sisters lean to get a better view of Mother; curiosity rushes forward to gaze upon her, to see what she is wearing, while others see her for the first time.
Mr. David S.C. Kim is translating as Father asks to see each group — Europeans, Africans, Asians, Koreans, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Latin Americans… and hands are raised eagerly.
Father is speaking of the central role of Israel, how Christianity established the spiritual foundation. But since only the spiritual foundation was won, the Second Coming was necessary. Only because the spiritual foundation was successfully laid could the Second Coming happen.
We should think about what indemnity should be paid, what conditions to set up, for the time will repeat very similarly, with relationships between the providential nations of today resembling Israel and the Roman Empire two thousand years ago.
Christians in Korea failed to support Father, and the Christian foundation was substantially lost, with Christianity gradually coming to oppose Father by 1976, when all nations — especially the Christian nation of America — persecuted him. Father had to take the position of attacking America in order to restore the situation where Israel and Rome failed to support Jesus. The One World Crusade from 1975 was like an army against misguided Christianity.
Father is speaking many things about the immigration situation and trials in America. There’s lots of laughter, but I cannot quite pick up what is funny. It seems to be the Orientals who are laughing most quickly. Anyway, it seems to be jokes about the C.I.A. or Immigration Service telling Father they have to leave him alone, now. The trial and appeal are now being called by Father “The Last Indemnity Mountain.” Victories will come as Father’s name is cleared. And from then, Father will go on to visit the world. The entire audience applauds in happy gratitude and anticipation.
Father stands at the point of having indemnified 6,000 years during these 21 years.
The significance of this Blessing means that the Feast of the Lamb which Jesus was meant to hold is now being carried out by us. The 10,000 couples will take this Blessing back to their countries — not just one couple, Jesus and his bride — but 10,000 couples going out all over the world.
Here in the Little Angels’ Auditorium, Father says, we are all the little angels! But you have to make the evolution from angels to Adam and Eve! Do not feel that you are all from some nationality; you are from heaven. We are citizens of the Kingdom of heaven here on earth.
Father asked first for those brothers who wished to be matched with Western sisters, and women who wanted to be matched with Orientals. Of the sisters, he asked who preferred Koreans, and most raised their hands; other brothers and sisters applauded. About 15 Korean brothers were called to stand in the central aisle, and then carefully matched to sisters — some German, some English, some American.
The remaining Western sisters were matched to Japanese — except for a few. Father kindly placed his hands upon their shoulders, said a few personal words, and dismissed them until later.
Now Western brothers are taking matches with Oriental sisters. Father is matching rather quickly, and we can feel his high confidence in Japanese sisters. Father called for Africans, and Westerners who wanted to be matched with African members. The room took on an especially serious and concerned atmosphere. Father continued, matching African brothers with African sisters, but it became evident that men outnumbered African women. On the stage, our European missionary to Gabon, Dr. David Schweitzer, stood proudly beside his slender black Zairean wife-to-be, and waved to the audience a sweeping salute of victory.
Father called for Korean men who especially requested Japanese wives. This matching was especially lively, with murmurs and quiet cheers from Japanese and Koreans still seated, craning their necks and squirming to get a better view. These couples lightheartedly trotted from the main floor, up the four steps, along the low-rise balcony, toward a quiet place to gaze upon the face of their potential mate and discuss together. Happy applause accompanied their hasty exits.
One more day has arrived, and again we are awaiting Father’s arrival. Rev. Kwak is here, Byung Ho Kim is here, also President Lee and his wife, Mrs. Won Pok Choi, Mrs. Durst, and from London is the lovely Mrs. Im Ko Marshall. I see Rev. Yo Han Lee, president of the Korean church. Of course many other leaders were in attendance, but there’s an advantage to being known in America — one is more likely to be mentioned by name. As I observe these “Koreans in action,” I can see how much they are like mother hens. For all their long history, they were isolated from the doings of the world — turning inward — deepening their culture of family relationships, closing the Chosun nation off from interference from the outside world. Now since 1945, under God’s command they are newly turned towards the world — expansionists, some would say expansionists-of-heart. Mr. Oyamada is here, Mr. Kuboki, and someone points out Mr. Chang from Taiwan.
The deepening of trust
Father begins, asking members what language he should speak. Korean? Japanese? English? Only those members who are as yet unmatched are allowed into the room, making the environment much more intimate than before. All remaining fit easily into the central floor, encircled by gold-tone lotus petal medallions and rich walnut wood frames of the low-rise balcony area. Near the stage are Koreans. Beside them is a large bloc of Japanese. The French-speaking African brothers sit close together in order to hear their translator, as Father first begins speaking Korean with Mr. David Kim translating into English.
We have five colors in the Unification Church, and many cultures and lifestyles within those five colors. You must understand Father is going to unite you from those different colors, nations and civilizations into one new culture — Unification. This will be the heavenly kingdom.
We have to make new habits and begin a new lifestyle. (Father speaks now in clear English).
We need a new culture — new life and new customs! This is the Unification Movement — making a new culture in the world.
An overcoming spirit and much endurance are necessary in bringing a new lifestyle. How will we unite all these differences? Leaving people alone will not work — we need some method.
It’s the same with a man and a woman: they cannot remain separated for their lifetime, but they must join in holy matrimony and become one.
When Father marries two cultures together, they must become one. Many difficulties arise when we marry black and white cultures together.
Father is speaking about the necessity of leaving the old habits behind — how he sent missionaries to Africa to bring discipline, to bring the word of Principle, and especially to bring spiritual power through spiritual love. Now as Moonies, we all have two strong points; we could say it’s spiritual power with two directions:
First is spiritual power beginning with the family and then spreading to the world. Second is spiritual love. Spirit and love — with these two we must overcome every barrier.
Father is speaking of the high-flying crane as the symbol of high spirituality, standing on one leg and always looking up. Proudly Father points out the exquisite red-capped cranes on the stage curtain, and mentions their popularity in both China and Korea.
Korea — that’s the Asian nation with four clear seasons of summer, autumn, winter, spring, making it natural that Koreans can adjust to all climates of the world.
Mr. Kim and Father stand one smiling African brother up front — Father tells him he must be the one to go to the North Pole, even. And learn to adjust! Laughter ripples around the room. The brother gives his consent.
Father continues. We must be the ones to transmit our culture to the new generation — we marry to make a new race. By marriage, you will have a family.
Father warns African brothers that the white culture was very oppressive and persecuting to blacks. But the purpose of marrying is not to take revenge. Our marriages must not be based on past resentments. There’s a warning from Father that when a black person marries a white person, all these past resentments are very likely to come forward and rise to the surface of our emotions.
So, you must overcome this with your love.
It’s a possibility that some marriages might fail, even when Father gives the Blessing, if we don’t keep our responsibility. The audience is very quiet and listening so closely to these tender words of concern from our Father.
A Lesson in indemnity
In speaking about indemnity and overcoming resentment, Father goes over to the young Korean men and switches to the Korean language. It isn’t immediately understandable to those of us not fluent in Korean. But suddenly Father offers a demonstration on the application of personal indemnity, and one young Korean brother in the front row is visibly moved. Brothers and sisters can instantly feel his situation. From across the aisle, we can see that even the Korean brothers were not exactly sure of Father’s purpose either, for the moment.
Then Father, with Mr. Kim in attendance, quickly strides to the other end of the room and gives a similar demonstration to a handsome African brother. And Father’s very kind and embracing voice is heard saying something like this, “If you receive indemnity from Father you might have resentment, so that’s why Father teaches the Korean first — so, no resentment!” Everyone responds, like ripples against the sand, returning to their source, and the African brother is deeply touched by Father’s words. Other brothers behind and beside him reach out to pat his back and tap his shoulders in a spontaneous action of good-natured support. Trickles of soft sound indicate understanding as Father’s heart fills the room. Everyone laughs again as the atmosphere lifts, like fog under the rays of morning sun.
Father speaks of parents. If some members’ parents oppose too strongly, then Father would decline to match and marry them, black with white. The same holds true for the Japanese; but Father adds one strong point, that it is the nature of the parents of Japanese, if they do not oppose their child’s international marriage, to want to visit the nation of their child’s spouse. It will be very special, a very beautiful way for international harmony, when Japanese sisters marry African brothers, and the Japanese parents make the long journey to visit their home in Africa.
Visions of Japanese mothers in colorful kimonos, bowing politely to Africans in the marketplace… placing fresh flowers on tables in African homes… suddenly come to us as in dreams. Japanese Eves may be able to touch the heart of Africa in ways whites wouldn’t be able to imagine! Now Father’s larger vision of world peace is becoming clear. International Blessing will bring parents in the providence of God.
Mr. Kim’s tone indicates that Father is now ready to switch to a deeper level of his message to us. And Father begins.
If you have no connection to Heavenly Father, then such an international marriage makes no sense.
Indemnity means the “left side” must go to the “right side,” or, as we call this, the transformation of Cain side by crossing over to Abel side. The more highly developed nations must exchange places with the lower, underdeveloped nations. This crossing is done through indemnity. Simply marrying a man and a woman from these two cultures just does not work; only by beginning at the individual level and beginning within the Unification family, does restoration occur. For each of you, restoration must begin within your family.
Our final goal is the exchange of Cain and Abel on the worldwide level. Without passing through this process, there is no reaching Heavenly Father.
If African brothers came to the matching to receive an international match because they have decided that they don’t like African women, then that is the wrong reason.
Then Father turns to the Western women, and it seems he is especially addressing the American sisters: If you are here because you don’t like American men, then it is the wrong thinking! Father is speaking to one American sister very directly. (On her way into the matching room this day, she had spoken of her concern, saying she wanted a Korean husband. “Why?” her friend asked. “Because I don’t like American men,” she replied honestly. But how could Father have known?!)
This American sister then nodded very vigorously, when Father asked her if she really could understand the level of heart he was now teaching. A rippling went through the sisters, and maybe more than one of us needed to understand this very point.
Father has continued on, switching from American to Japanese sisters, now speaking in Japanese. Mr. Kim explains that Father is giving them a synopsis of all the points which have been covered today. We sit quietly while all the sequences of emotions triggered by Father, stimulating responses in Japanese minds, now slosh back and forth like waves on a sunny beach beside us in the wind- chime language called Japanese. It’s fascinating how the lights play upon the shiny black Oriental hair, casting blue highlights which glimmer as rows of sisters tip and bow their heads.
As I glance more around this beautiful room, I am beginning to understand what I missed before. The religiosity of this decor is not Western, but more like Chinese Buddhist. I’m simply out of my element. Chinese, the Koreans, and probably also the Japanese certainly respond to different environmental cues than Westerners do, and if we tune our spirituality to a different key, then we’ll be able to pick up more finely this Buddhist peaceful vibration. The spirituality of this room speaks of having arrived — at the time and place of universal harmony.
Father thunks a Japanese sister — and then he wanders over to the brothers — an African brother ducks, so Father reaches to thunk the white (red- faced) brother behind him. Mr. Kim is encouraging them to say, “Thank you, Father.”
Father continues his message in English. When you love the persons representing your nation, then you may be qualified to come to this international matching. First you must love the people of your country; this is the Principled process of thinking.
Loving one person first, then pushing up to loving the whole nation and being willing to accept any marriage, any match, first. When you have accomplished this in your heart, then you may tell Father if you have a preference. Father has spoken these things to clear up these concepts in your thinking.
The Authority of Love
Father is almost ready to start the matching, now, for this third and final day. One thing has become very clear during this precious time of speaking and demonstration which our Father has given: Father, under God’s great and masterful hand, is truly the authority over these wondrous international matchings.
Father has taken responsibility for the lives of these members. He is now taking responsibility for their love, their family life, and consequently for their descendants. And from these nuclear centers of love — husband and wife — it will ultimately be that Sun Myung Moon is taking responsibility for our nations, too. In Sun Myung Moon lies the authority for taking care of the future of the world.
Father addresses the Koreans directly and speaks in Korean, very rapidly, very strongly, with Mr. Kim still standing attentively at his side. Silence and a serious attitude fall over the entire room. So fast are the words coming, words… of what? The necessity of setting the standard, I would believe.
I glance from time to time to interpret Rev. Kwak’s face — he has been silently watching from the floor — but Rev. Kwak’s countenance is a study in practiced inscrutability, but less so than the faces close beside him. David Kim softly tells us that Father was speaking of the significance of this Blessing: it is not just an international marriage — it is the Unification Church Blessing.
First stage of world peace
This is the first stage of world peace. In the church you must cross the family level first before crossing into the international level. The first stage in the Unification Church is marriage. Then you must influence your nation, as the second stage.
I believe that Father is explaining how our Unification Church membership really begins with our Holy Marriage.
Speaking in Japanese, Father stands before the young Japanese sisters, a bit to my left, and he’s gesturing while he speaks. His voice is softer than I have ever heard him speak in America. Only in prayer have I heard him use this tone. His voice gives a kind of quality to the words — even though I cannot understand a single one — that I will never, never be able to forget.
These sisters are young. Most do not speak English or any language other than Japanese. One cries silently, dropping her face in a gesture of utter humility. In unison, they answer Father’s series of questions with, “Heih!” which is Japanese for “Yes.”
Short black hair over a sea of pastel — blue, pink and white dresses. Yellows. They’re sitting in orderly rows on their folded knees. Like regimented flowers or black-capped Easter eggs.
In contrast are Western sisters with multi-colored heads of hair, sitting in a patternless random collection. Rather than the straight and vertical impression of students in a classroom, there is a leaning — forwards, back, left or right, giving an impression of friends watching a softball game at a picnic.
Now that Korean sisters are standing in the central aisle, I can clearly see their clothes: mostly two-piece suits in dark colors — grays, blues, browns, maroon, a few whites scattered in. They look like they came for serious business. They too seem young — 23 or 24 years old.
Father asks the Korean sisters if they would prefer a Korean even though this is an international Blessing? Most readily indicate, “Yes.”
Father then turns to the non-Oriental brothers who indicated they would like a Korean wife, and speaks, in Korean. The faltering translation comes out, twice in confusion, before a moment of silence — and then Father speaks again, with perfectly clear translation following: “Can you Western men really love these Korean girls, with the same love as a Korean man would give them?”
Father emphasizes that in international marriage every difference will be a problem, but in English Mr. Kim has translated it to say, “Every difference will be difficult.” Instantly, Father corrects this, saying, “Problem!” All the elements of lifestyle will be serious causes for problems. Even chopsticks will be a problem.
We have continued after lunch.
Father went and spoke Korean to the Koreans, grabbing one young man with too-shaggy hair, brushing it off his forehead and making him stand up. He was caught between a tear and a grin.
Then Father took a small Korean sister with a very shaggy permanent and demonstrated her curls in front of everyone, with gestures which did not need any explanation. Members were caught between silence out of consideration for her feelings, and irrepressible snickers at Father’s style. This is our Father, educating his children, so no offense was taken, and it became clear that everyone was entertained.
Father pointed out how all the Japanese sisters sat on their knees, and suddenly he ordered all the European, American and African brothers onto their knees! Unwrapping their long legs, unfolding themselves from long hours on the floor, we could feel their knees creaking in protest clear around the room. Wave after wave they rolled from backsides onto knees at Father’s insistence, and the entire room was shaken in laughter.
Father began speaking in English about the strict, disciplined way.
On the foundation of trust
It seems Father has taken a long time — as if he was delaying this final day of matching. Why? There are still many brothers and sisters to match. The Wine Ceremony is to be the same day as the rehearsal, the 13th. Will he begin matching very quickly now? There’s a lot of concern felt in the air, and it’s easy to see what Father is doing. He’s building a climate of trust, because so many brothers and sisters have never met our Father before. They’ve come from so far away, joined the movement out of faith, and now they have met our father of faith.
I remember meeting Father for the first time, that weekend in early May of 1976. Father had started off on a valiant sermon… gearing for the victory of Yankee Stadium; but about 20 minutes into his speech he stopped abruptly, asking how many of us had never seen him before. More than half of us new recruits raised our hands… and Father cast a long, soft, penetrating, and all-knowing gaze over the eager and young American family. Internally, he lowered the gears of his heart about five notches and began all over again, a completely new sermon, which we, as babies, could receive, that lovely Sunday in May.
That first experience of meeting Father was six and one half years ago. And now I was witnessing Father again, again before an audience where many had never seen him before, and this time he stood as True Father, the Matchmaker who would select their eternal mate for them. History will testify that “Matchmaker” is truly Father’s grandest role of all!