145. Always in a Comfortable Place to Live (itsumo sumi-yoi tokoro e)
Shobei Masuno’s wife, Ito, visited her intimate friend, Cho, daughter of Yazaemon Koyama of Sannomiya in Kobe, in February 1884. She received the teachings through Cho, who taught her, “Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto is truly the all-powerful God of wonders.”
Ito had been suffering for three years from an eye disease. Several famous doctors had treated her, but they could not help her. All she could do was to resign herself to the fact that she was destined to be blind. Shobei also had been afflicted with beriberi for many years and medical treatment did not help him at all, so he too was always in a gloomy mood.
The couple decided to try and listen to the teachings of God the Parent. A messenger was sent to Koyama immediately to ask him to teach them. Thus they heard the teachings for the first time on February 15th. They had an altar built at once and God was enshrined. The couple listened together to the talk: “Illness of the body is a manifestation of the eight dusts. By repentance, one’s illness will be cured without fail. Become of a sincere mind and rely on God.” Also, it was said that, “Foods are all gifts of God; there is not a single one that will poison you.” At these words, Shobei, who had quit drinking sake because of his illness, tried drinking the sake which had been offered to God on that day. The next day, he felt invigorated. Similarly, after just one night, Ito’s sight had improved to the point where she could distinguish between black and white.
Together the couple offered their thanks to God. They also went to Koyama’s home to share their joy with him. But when they returned home, Ito was again almost blind even before nightfall.
The couple discussed the matter together. “We were blessed with God’s providence in just one night. God will surely save us if we make a firm resolution to unite our hearts and serve God for the rest of our lives,” they concluded. So the couple united their hearts and prayed for God’s blessing, zealously performing the morning and evening services. Shobei recovered in fifteen days and Ito received God’s blessing in thirty days. Her eye disease was cured and she was able to see.
With joyful hearts, they returned to Jiba for the first time on April 6th. Oyasama was to leave Nara Prison and return home that day. The couple went to Nara to greet Her and accompany Her home. They stayed till the ninth. Oyasama spoke to Shobei gently:
“Shobei, thank you for coming. You were destined to come to the Residence sooner or later.”
He was so deeply moved by these words that he devoted himself to spreading the fragrance of the teachings of God and saving others, traveling back and forth between Kobe and Jiba and neglecting his business. But whenever he was away from Jiba his health was not as good as usual, so he asked Oyasama for instructions. She told him:
“You should always live in a place that is always comfortable.”
Upon receiving these words, Shobei made a firm resolution to live at the Residence.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 117-118