There was one more person from the Church whom I mildly, desperately, wanted to find. I’d Googled. I’d searched Facebook and LinkedIn. I’d looked. But nothing.
And then my mom went to what seemed to be a Moonie reunion of sorts. And ran into him. And texted me a picture.
As life it would have it, that was a Sunday, and the following Tuesday I was heading to D.C. As was my long-lost friend. So we got together.
The pieces are falling into place.
As we reminisced over a drink (well, I had wine and he had nonalcoholic beer – my how times have changed) I could feel the pieces falling into place. As I blurted out my memories and some of what had happened since we’d last seen each other, decades ago, I could feel them snapping in.
I’d so needed, and wanted, to see this person again. The universe had provided – even putting us in the same city two days after he’d stumbled upon my mom.
I’ve tried to explain my longing to reconnect with people and places of the Church. I’ve tried to explain how it makes what was so real, and then so unreal, real again. And how healing that is. How healing it is to own all of me, all that happened. All the people and places I’d walked away from. All the pain and joy that had been, and was, wrapped up into my experiences and my life in, and away from, the Church.
It healed me. It wholed me even more. It reinforced and reaffirmed the love in my heart and the love that drives me and fuels me. I remembered painful times with this friend. He apologized. I acknowledged that our friendship – and his love and care – probably helped save my life. Helped save me. I cried.
I told my high school friends about my seeing my Church friend. They sent me “wow’s” and love. I told them how I told him that his love helped save me. They told me I saved myself. They were there. They would know.
A sixteen-year-old reached out to me on Twitter. She asked about my childhood, my experiences, my pain. She told me of her suffering, her trauma. I told her that my suffering and pain has helped me have more appreciation of my life today and, I think, more love in my heart. It doesn’t make the suffering less so; it doesn’t negate the ache and unfairness of all that’s happened to her.
But we survive. We thrive. The universe provides, and the pieces fall into place.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!
Great blog. So many times I’ve wanted to find people from my past but just never do. You did! Bravo! xo
Yeah I did. It was so cool. Thank you! xo
Hi Lisa, I read an article on your upcoming book in the Daily Mail, and then found your blog. I was a member of the UC from 1970 to 1980, originally joining in London England. Life was very intense, like military boot camp. Under the leadership of Dennis and Doris Orme, we took the UK by storm. I was on the Samson team, we travelled the length and breadth of the country in a converted 10 ton truck, campaigning from dawn to dusk on the streets. Then in January 1973 I was in the first group of Europeans to go to the Barrytown training center. What an experience. After about a month’s stay at Barrytown everyone was assigned to an area in the US. I ended up in region 4, which included Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas, under the leadership of Philip Burley. I spent about a year in Albuquerque, which was full of struggles, although it was a beautiful and interesting setting. Lots of “second chapter” problems. I started getting disillusioned here and felt quite lonely and isolated. Our leader was gay and I found out he was molesting the brothers. He asked me to sleep with him one night and “show him how to do it” and I ended up sleeping in the backyard under the stars. We hosted Moon on the national tour during 1974, and shortly after that the New Mexico center was temporarily closed, and we all moved to Boulder Colorado, where a large building had been purchased near the university campus. At Christmas 1974 I flew to Cleveland to visit my parents and decided at that point to leave the church. Since my visa for staying in the US had almost expired, I returned to Toronto with $50 in my pocket, to spend a hellish winter trying to support myself. I did return to the Toronto church for a period of about a year but found street witnessing and fundraising extremely difficult. Old friends thought I had lost my mind, old friends I knew from school as I spent my teenage years in Toronto. By 1980 I made the final break fom the church, right after Rev Martin Porter was sent to take over the Canadian church, and he put me to work on the renovation on and old house just purchased in one of Toronto’s exclusive neighbourhoods. Me and another brother completely re-wired the house saving the church many thousands of dollars in labour costs. Anyway, I knuckled down and found steady employment in heavy trucking, while delving into an in-depth study of all things spiritual metaphysical and philosophical. In the 90s I studied Chinese acupuncture, shiatsu and energy healing.
I’m now a senior living on the west coast, semi-retired and very active in photography and writing. I look back and wonder what the hell that was all about! I too have searched out old members, friends from way back when. Some went on missions around the world. Some disappeared. It was a very interesting time.
Hi Michael, SO great to hear from you and to hear your story! Thank you so much for reaching out!