Hello, everyone! Happy New Day! Thank you very much for attending today's service & I hope you are all enjoying good health and excellent spirits. This is the first monthly service in March, 2011.
As I told you in my previous sermon, our new granddaughter Katelyn Yui Chon was born with kidney problems called hydronephrosis & is the accumulation of urine in the kidney, usually caused by an obstruction in the ureter. Katelyn's left kidney has not worked well even before birth. The doctors told her mother, Hiroko that it was possible for Katelyn to have corrective surgery in utero before she was born.
Human can survive with a single kidney without any problems. But the doctors prefer her to have both kidneys healthy. However the doctor wanted Hiroko to deliver Katelyn earlier than her due date because this kidney problem could be better corrected after she was outside, in this world. We knew the doctor scheduled to labor on Thu, Dec. 23rd. It was a great blessing for us.
During morning prayers from 4:00 am that day, I kept seeing the image of one particular Japanese character in my inner eye. It appeared so often that I thought Kami might be giving this Japanese character to be the middle name of our new granddaughter who might be born that day.
In Japanese the word "Wedding" is written with two characters. The first one was the character I kept seeing with my inner eye. The character is pronounced "Yui," & means "connection."
Katelyn was born on the 23rd. When Hiroko's son was born, her husband, Donghoon kindly asked me to choose the baby's middle name. In my sermon at the time I told the story about how his middle name had been chosen as "Koji." Although Donghoon did not ask me to name Katelyn's middle name this time, I had received such a clear image that Kami wanted her middle name to be "Yui."
I was sure Kami wanted her middle name to be "Yui." That was why I had received the image of the Japanese character "Yui" during my morning prayers. I have come to believe Kami never does anything without a reason, so I couldn't get the question of why Katelyn was born with kidney problem out of my mind. Our Founder taught us, "Faith is real when the follower and Kami become close. Faith fades if you stand in fear of Kami. Stay close to Kami."
My senior minister, Rev. Soichiro Otsubo said of this teaching, "Difficulties are the go-between for Kami and us. That is where communication with Kami begins. When you realize that troubles are divine love, then by even cutting the bond with Kami, you cannot cut the relationship, which has already been created. When you receive Kami's work, accept it as it is and accept it completely, the blessed world of the very workings of Kami will come into being."
I believe that in dealing with Katelyn's kidney problem Hiroko's family has to develop stronger connection with Kami.
In my last sermon I told you how Kami so wonderfully arranged it so we could drive Katelyn to Children's Memorial Hospital to have a series of tests on Friday, Feb. 3 in spite of the appointment coming just one day after the third biggest snowfalls in Chicago's history. Before these tests the doctor thought Katelyn probably might need corrective surgery to reverse her hydronephrosis.
I believe Kami's blessing came after the tests. As the result of those tests the possibility of her needing surgery dropped from "likely" to 50 - 50. So I told Hiroko that a 50 % chance of surgery seemed to me to be just great, because Kami is leaving us a room to deepen our peaceful and joyful heart. After a lifetime of Faith Training by depending on Kami for everything, I believe that whether Katelyn will need surgery or not depends on how sincerely & successfully we polish the gem of our hearts and deepen our faith.
This may be a special reminder for us, but for any believer each & every dawn is an opportunity to face the day with the decision, "Now is the time to do our best to emulate the heavenly, earthly and orderly nature of the universe."
In order to succeed in perfecting a heart that reflects the Divine Heart of the Universe, we need to leave everything up to Kami and direct our hearts toward Kami in all things... all the time. Thank you!
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