Testimonial by Kokei Ishibashi, Assistant Minister, Hokkaido
I would like to write of the way I experienced God’s blessing through the spiritual guidance I gave to Mr. H, who is a member of our church.
Mr. H. owns an agricultural machinery store. He also does service and repair on machines. His business is quite extensive in our area.
It was around the middle of February 1962, that he came to the church to pray, his face pale and his body in quite an emaciated condition. He told us at that time that because of failure of crops, many stores in the same business as his had gone into bankruptcy, one after another, including the largest, Y., which had 260 employees. The cold weather, which had been continuously bad for three years, had damaged the crops. The money-tightening policy of the government had also been ruinous to these businesses.
Mr. H. said, “My business is privately owned, and I have tried hard every year to manage somehow against the cold weather damage. Now I have finally reached the limit; I can’t go any further, with over 20 million yen (about $60,000) in uncollected bills on my books. So, I have made up my mind to liquidate my business and leave this area. I have received so many blessings from God as a member of your church I deeply regret that I have to leave here without having given enough service for God’s cause. I do not want to do so, but the time has come for me to say goodbye to you, reverend. I am here to say a special prayer of appreciation and also to pray for God’s protection and guidance during the procedure of liquidation.”
He began to cry bitterly.
Until he was driven to this point, Mr. H. must have endured a great deal of suffering and mental struggle. His eyes were sunken and his pale face was covered with a bushy beard; he was too spiritless even to shave. Since he had joined us two years before, we had shared both the pleasures and the problems of our church, so his suffering strongly affected me.
Mr. H. had gone to the front in Soviet Russia during the second world war, had been captured and had spent four years as a prisoner of war in Siberia, where he had had a narrow escape from death before returning home. He had then started from practically nothing and had worked hard for 18 years, until finally he had succeeded in buying a store and expanding into a higher level of income. Just when he had reached the point where he could make a good profit, he was having to give up.
He must be tasting the bitterest disappointment, was my first thought. Then I thought of his clients’ feelings, of the attitude of the townspeople toward him, of the future of his employees and of his own family. I could not find any words of consolation.
This must have been Mr. H’s destiny, I knew, but I felt so sorry that I could not do anything to help him. I felt as if it were partly my own predicament and shedding tears of regret, I bowed my head before the altar.
When Mr. H. went home, I believed the decision had been made from the human point of view, but I felt that perhaps God might have another plan for him and might open a way, so I began to pray again. I prayed in this manner, “Dear God, he is a useful instrument for Thy Divine Light Program. We would like to keep him in this area if it is at all possible. Please open a way for him if it is Thy Will. I will do my best to help him accomplish his mission.” After that, I read from Meishu-sama’s teachings. (Footnote 1)
I received the most spiritual encouragement and strength from the teachings on “Awareness of Spiritual Relationship and Mission” and “Importance of Prayer.” After reading these several times, I came to the realization that the only way for Mr. H. to be blessed with miraculous help was through his dedicating himself totally to the Divine Light Program. I said to myself, “Now, I must help him realize that it is God’s will and his mission to dedicate his life to the Divine Light Program.”
With this conviction, I asked him to come to me the next day and I talked to him in real earnest, trying as best I could to build the right attitude within him for receiving miraculous help from God.
It was not easy for Mr. H., who had lost all self-confidence, to accept the idea. But I did my best to convey to him that he should realize the mission given him to help God as His instrument in His work of transforming this world into a paradise, and I encouraged him to know that the past was finished and that he now had a new life given to him by God. I told him to make up his mind to dedicate himself completely to the Divine Light Program and that from now on he should live, not for himself, but for the welfare of others, that he should grow to be a man who could pray for others from the bottom of his heart.
As a result, he came to realize his predetermined mission and together we gave a special prayer for him as one spirit. After this, the happiness came back into Mr. H’s expression, a brightness we had not seen for a long time.
The next day, Mr. H. prepared all the necessary papers for liquidation and took them to the company with which he was dealing. I think he had some uneasiness, not knowing what God had in store for him, but God worked something out for him that amazed everybody.
Under such circumstances as Mr. H’s, the other company would ordinarily begin to scramble for the most valuable articles in his business. However, the attitude of his main creditor, who had been so unkind, changed completely. They said, “We have checked the records of your profit rate up to date, as well as your business records and your general attitude toward business, and we have found them very satisfactory. We do not want you to give up your store. If you need funds, we will furnish them for you. If you are short of help, we will send you some of our employees.”
Mr. H. could not believe his ears. It was like a dream.
Now that his financial problem was solved, he began to wonder how he could solve the marketing problem, for sales had come to a standstill. Suddenly, word came from a number of agricultural organizations, “Your machines have a good reputation, so let us help you sell them. Don’t worry about collections, for we will assist you with those, too. We want you to do all the repairing you can get, and we will finance that part of your business.” These people, who had previously been hostile toward him, had suddenly become cooperative and were approaching him in a positive manner. Money began to come in; many of the farmers started paying their bills because the crop prospects for the coming autumn were very good. Everything began to roll smoothly. The weather was excellent and machine sales gradually picked up, until Mr. H’s income was higher than that of an average year. His business became so prosperous everyone realized God must be helping him.
After a little while, Mr. H. realized the weaknesses of private enterprise, so, with a company he had done business with before, he founded a joint stock corporation. This became a successful organization immediately. Today the president and all the staff are working in it cheerfully and gratefully.
Mr. H. is now the representative of the members of our church and is dedicating himself to the work of guiding them in their spiritual growth, according to his promise to God. When he makes out his schedule for each month, he first writes down the times and dates that are to be devoted to the Divine Light Program and then he makes plans for his business and personal affairs, in accord with the law of the spiritual preceding the physical. He is building his business so it will expand automatically, so he will be able to spend most of his time serving the Divine Light Program.
With conviction he stresses the importance of an individual’s realizing his mission in the Divine Light Program and doing his best for spiritual growth and for the furthering of God’s work. He tells everyone he meets that in the most difficult situations God always opens ways for true servers in the Divine Light Program. He says that by living with this attitude anyone can receive God’s guidance, protection and abundant blessings always, even in the midst of severe purification, which can happen any day to anybody.
From the above experience of Mr. H., I learned especially that we can truly receive miraculous help by putting Meishu-sama’s teachings into action. (Footnote 2)
I realize that all those who are in a position to give spiritual guidance to others (a) should have ample knowledge of Meishu-sama’s teachings; (b) should understand them and accept them with the heart and convey them from that heart.
I have reflected on my past attitude of thinking too little about Meishu-sama’s teachings, the source of real help and guidance, under the cloak of being busy. I am now determined to do my very best to read and absorb Meishu-sama’s teachings so I will be able to give the right guidance to those in need of it in any situation.
1 When confronted with deadlocks, if we approach the problems calmly and prayerfully, we usually find the causes of our difficulties. Should we fail to discover in what respect we are not conforming to Law, it may be because our spiritual bodies are excessively clouded and our discernment thus dulled.
As the Divine Light received through Johrei and the reading of the revelations dispel the clouds and lift the spiritual vibration, we will come to understand the deeper meanings, and the cause of any deadlock will be seen. As soon as we are in accord with the Law, the procedure will be smooth. It is important to know the Law in any given situation and how to comply with it, to be alert and able to make adjustments.
Wisdom is gained through an extended awareness. It is when we attain this awareness that we can proceed more nearly in accord with Divine Law and accomplish whatever we undertake with comparative ease, greater efficiency and, eventually, perfection.
2 “I speak frankly, without reserve. Things will go smoothly if you put into action what I teach.” ~ Meishu-sama