Hello, everyone! Thank you very much for attending today's first monthly service for September 2011. I wish you a beautiful brand new day & happy new week! I hope you are all enjoying good health and excellent spirits.
As most of you know I had Hydrocelectomy surgery on Wednesday, Aug. 24th. Luckily it was not a complicated procedure. I didn't have to stay at the hospital overnight, & was able to return home around 3:00 pm the same day.
Actually, this is one of several surgeries I have had since my family & I moved to Chicago. We human beings have learned a lot about medicine. But it's still a human activity which is limited by the bewildering variety of human beings & uniqueness of their disorders. Two years ago I had hernia surgery which did not heal corectly. Hydrocelectomy is a corrective procedure used to correct a hernia operation which leaks fluid through the abdominal wall. Without going into a lot of detail the surgery closes up the ring of muscle which stops the fluid from flowing out of the lower abdominal cavity & then drains the fluid that has already collected where it shouldn't be.
No doubt you remember that in July, just before Masae Ogawa-san's 50th Day Unification Service I went to visit my mother in Japan who appeared to my brother & sister-in-law to be gravely ill. By the time I arrived she had improved greatly. That was very reassuring & gave me a chance to visit my home church of Airaku with a relieved conscience. Among other things I mentioned my hydrocele medical problem & upcoming surgery. My brother-in-law, Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo, 2nd son of my mentor, Rev. Soichiro Otsubo, told me what had occurred to me was that hydrocele might represent for me that I migh have a great leak of faith. Or to up it another way, my faith was lacking. If so, it might mean I have failed to deepen my peaceful and joyful heart so many times.
Throughout my surgery I prayed to Kami the entire time, directing my heart toward Kami. In the pre-op hospital bed I intensely examined my life of faith up to that present moment. It was a shock at that "moment of truth" to discover how fragile the peace and joy in my heart really was. It was amaizing to confront this fragility and see how easily it could be torn down.
All my life I had a strong desire to be of great service in establishing an era of peace & joy in the hearts of all people in the world. I belived I'd been born to be part of accomplishing it in this world.
In Chicago, as I clung to Kami in bed, I pray that I would renew myself to manifest Kami's will in this world with all my heart and mind and strength. When I became conscious, my surgery was over & though I had still pains my heart is filled with this powerfull new intention.
All people around me, especially my family were very anxious about me, but I am determined to accept this surgery as affording me spiritual nourishment again. To my surprise, this time I received many calls to worry about me. I was pleased very much to know how much I had been prayed by people around me.
The thing that amaized me the most however were all the phone calls & expression of concern I received from so many friends, associates & aquaintances. It was overwhelming & very humbling to realize how quickly the word of my medical condition had spread & how many, MANY people were supporting me with prayers & good wishes for a full recovery. As I sat down to work on this sermon the thought flashed through my mind that both the title & the most perfect expression of everything I wanted to convay could be expressed in two words, "Thank You!"
This time I couldn't help being much more aware of the support & strength which surounded me. But I didn't stop there. I extended my appreciation with the tireless effort to our predecessors. I remembered that the person who discovered anesthesia in Japan was Dr. Seishu Hanaoka in the Edo period. His wife supported her husband's work so selflessly that she let him test it in her body and became blind in the process. Without their pioneering spirit there would have been no anesthesia & no one could bear & survive the pains of surgery. After the surgery I expressed my gratitude for this great blessing of comfort in my mind; from the bottom of my heart.
To thank you very much for all your prayers for me I really would like to deepen my peaceful and joyful heart by accepting everything that happens like the Heavenly, Earthly, Orderly Nature of the Universe... regardless of the circumstances. I want to give my life to being a more & more perfect reflection of this nature to every person I get to know by polishing the gem of my heart. I will do my best to focus on looking deep in my heart, constantly renewing myself in order to do so. Please pray for my success in more perfectly shining forth the glory of Kami's blessings in Chicago and to all that is beyond. And I promise I will CONSTANTLY return the favor by praying for you who have chosen this wonderful Way of Faith.
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