My Wife, Hak Ja Han Moon
The first time I saw my wife, she was a young girl of 14 and had just graduated from elementary school. She was a quiet girl, rarely noticed, who never raised her voice and always took the same route to and from the church. One day, she was introduced to me as the daughter of one of our church members, Mrs. Soon Ae Hong. "What is your name?" I asked her.
"My name is Hak Ja Han," she answered with clear and correct pronunciation.
In that moment, before I knew what was happening, I said, "So Hak ja Han has been born in Korea!" I said this three times in repetition, and then prayed, saying, "God! Thank you for sending to Korea such a wonderful woman as Hak Ja Han."
I then looked at her, and said: "Hak Ja Han, I'm afraid you are going to have to do a lot of sacrificing."
All these words came out of my mouth spontaneously in the moment that I first met her. Later, Mrs. Hong told me that she thought it strange that day that I would say the same thing three times after seeing her daughter. My wife has told me that she also remembered that first, short meeting. She remembered everything that I said then as if were giving a monologue, and kept it in her heart. She said she felt as though she had received an important revelation about her future, and could not forget it.
Her mother, Mrs. Hong, was from a faithful Presbyterian family, and she was raised in the Christian faith. Her hometown was Jungju, which is my hometown as well, but she lived in Anju until coming to South Korea during the Korean War. When she first began attending our church, Mrs. Hong carried on a very faithful life in Chuncheon, and raised her daughter strictly. My wife attended a school for people studying nursing that was operated by the Catholic Church. The rules of this school were so strict that I am told it was as if she was living in a monastery for nuns. She had a mild character, and during the time she was raised by her mother, she only went back and forth between her home and her school. Other than school, coming to our church was the only time she would leave the house.
I was forty at the time, and I sensed that the time had come for me to marry. All I needed to do was to wait for God to tell me, "The time has come, so get married," and I would do as I was told. Beginning in October 1959, Mrs. Seung Do Ji, an old woman in our church, led an effort to prepare for my engagement, even though there was still no bride-to-be. One member who had been praying for my wife for seven years, without knowing who my wife would be, said to me one day that she had had a dream where she saw that Hak Ja Han was my wife. Also, Mrs. Ji one day told me about a strange dream she had had.
"What kind of dream is this?" she exclaimed. "I saw tens of cranes come flying. I tried to wave them away with my arms, but they kept coming and they finally covered Rev. Moon with their white feathers. Is this some kind of omen for the future?" The "Hak" in Hak Ja Han is the Chinese character for "crane."
Then, my wife had a dream in which I appeared and told her, "The day is near, so make preparations."
My wife later told me that In her dream she said to me in a humble tone, "I have been living until now in accordance with the will of God. In the future, as well, I will follow God's will as His servant, no matter what that will may be."
A few days after my wife to be had this dream, I asked Mrs. Hong to bring her daughter to me. This was our first meeting after I had been introduced to her at age 14. That day, I asked this young lady many questions. In every case, she responded with composure and spoke clearly.
I called Miss Han, Hak Ja again a few days later. She had no idea what I was going to say to her. When I told her, "Tomorrow morning, we will have a marriage ceremony," she responded, simply, "Is that so?" and did not ask any questions or try to speak in opposition. She seemed incapable of opposition. That was how pure and gentle she was. When it comes to the work of God, however, she has a strong determination.
We were engaged on March 27,1960, and had our marriage ceremony barely two weeks later on April 11.1 wore a samo-kwandae, the formal dress of court officials now commonly used in traditional wedding ceremonies, and she wore ajok-duri, the traditional bridal tiara.
During the ceremony, I told my bride that she was about to embark on a difficult course.
"I think you are already aware that marrying me will not be like any other marriage. We are becoming husband and wife to complete the mission given to us by God and become True Parents, and not to pursue the happiness of two individuals as is the case with other people in this world. God wants to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth
through a true family. You and I will travel a difficult path to become true parents who will open the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven for others. It is a path that no one else in history has traveled, so even I don't know all that it will involve. During the next seven years, you will experience many things that will be difficult to endure. Don't forget, even for a moment, that the life we live is different from others. Don't do anything, no matter how trivial, without first discussing it with me, and obey everything that I tell you."
She responded: "My heart is already set. Please do not worry."
I could see in her expression that she had made a strong determination. The experiences difficult for her to endure began the day after our marriage. The first difficulty she faced was that she could not see her mother. Her mother, grandmother and great grandmother had all maintained the family lineage as widows. So the relationship between mother and daughter was particularly strong. I told my mother-in-law, however, "Don't come here often to see your daughter. In fact, don't let me see you for the next three years." It wasn't just her mother. I also told her to cut herself off from her relatives as well. She was to be the mother of our church, and I felt that she would not be able to fulfill her responsibility if she were to be chatting with her relatives or allowing herself to become involved in private emotions. Even then, the strange rumors about me continued to circulate, and it must not have been easy for a young wife to endure.
At the time of our marriage, the Unification Church already had been established in 120 communities around Korea. Even in our church, however, there were those who were critical of our marriage. Some envied her and hated her, and many stories were circulating.
As if it were not enough that I was having her live by herself in someone else's home, I would have the old women of our church accompany me everywhere I went. Eventually, my cold treatment of my wife brought an end to all the criticism and envy against her. In fact, people began to sympathize with her and criticize my treatment of her.
"You're going too far, sir," I was told. "If you married her, you should live with her. What are you doing, making it difficult for her even to see your face?"
The people who had been criticizing my wife, one by one, began to take her side instead.
In spite of her young age, my wife received harsh training. During the time we lived together, she never had a free moment to herself. She constantly had to be on edge, as if she were walking on a thin layer of ice, wondering, "Will today be peaceful? Will tomorrow be peaceful?" She could be criticized by me for saying that she liked me, or for following me around everywhere I went. It was necessary for her to become a mother, but I am sure it caused her much grief in her heart.
I might say a word in passing and not think much of it. To her, though, she had to conform herself with each word, so I am sure her suffering was great It took us seven years to conform ourselves to each other. It let me realize once again that the most important thing in a marriage relationship is for two people to become as one in trust.