This is an excerpt from the 2006 September Monthly Service Sermon by Honbu-in Toshimi Imamura (All have I done here is post the excerpt here. I have no knowledge of who did the actual translation of this sermon.)
74. Source of an Abdominal Pain
One cold winter day, the Honseki was awkwardly plowing one of the fields that had been returned to the Nakayama family after being mortgaged. While taking a short break and leaning on the plow, all of a sudden he experienced a sharp pain in his abdomen. While ruminating on possible causes as well as possible repentances to make, one thing came to his mind. During that time, people visiting the Residence were few and far between, and the circumstances made it impossible to provide financial assistance for those dedicating themselves at the Residence. Although Izo’s family ate their meals with the Nakayamas, they had trouble getting by without any money of their own. Yoshie Nagao reportedly commented, “There were times when we children asked for allowances, and our parents did not even have a two sen coin.” Therefore, Osato griped about the family’s hardships on more than a few occasions. On one of those occasions, she said: “Considering our present difficulties, we would be so much better off if you went back to carpentry; that way, instead of filling our minds with complaints day after day, we could joyously make financial contributions to God the Parent.”
Hearing such comments on a routine basis, the Honseki thought for a moment that what Osato was saying actually contained a grain of truth. Although the members of his family were devoting themselves at the Residence in order to bring joy to Oyasama, the fact that it was causing his wife to harbor complaints in her mind appeared to be disrespectful and unfilial to Oyasama instead. Such was the thought that crossed his mind. And this was followed by the sudden abdominal pain. He repented his mistaken use of mind, immediately went to the Kanrodai to worship, and offered an apology. At that very moment, the abdominal pain disappeared.
- Next installment in this series: 75. At the Garden of Koriyama Followers Dormitory
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.