44. A Snowy Day
After Rin Masui entered the faith, she diligently visited the Residence during the years 1875 and 1876.
One of her visits was on January 10th. It had been snowing heavily since the morning. Rin was on the way to the Residence from Kawachi. When she entered Yamato Province the snow began to fall in a whirl as a storm gathered. She was crossing Taka Bridge of Nukatabe. The bridge at that time was less than one meter wide and there was no railing on it. She was afraid that she might fall so she crawled barefoot on the snow-covered bridge.
She had struggled along to the middle, when a sudden blast of wind struck her, causing her to sway dangerously, almost falling off the bridge. This happened many times. Each time she clung to the bridge, pressed against the snow, and crawled like an ant, praying earnestly, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto, Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto.” She was just barely able to cross the bridge. Then, going through Miyando and Nikaido, she arrived at the Residence around four o’clock in the afternoon. When she slid open the door and entered the Place for the Service, Iye Murata told her, “Just this moment Oyasama was looking out of the window, and said:
‘Well, well. Someone is coming on this stormy day. How sincere she is! She must be having a hard time of it.’ “
Rin was overjoyed with her safe return to the Residence, saying, “Ah, thank God!” Her hands and feet were numb after walking about thirty kilometers from Kawachi to the Residence in the snowstorm. Those people who happened to be there helped her take off her traveling attire, took good care of her in many ways and warmed her with three braziers until warmth returned to her body. Then she went into the presence of Oyasama to pay her respects, and Oyasama said to her:
“Oh, I am so glad to see you have come. God the Parent lent a hand to bring you home. You had a hard time, slipping at many places. However, you were joyful. Sah, sah, God the Parent accepts fully, fully. Whatever you ask, it is accepted. God protects you. Enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it!”
So saying, Oyasama grasped Rin’s cold hands with both Her own. It was something more than warming them over the brazier. Rin was moved with gratitude and awe at the inexpressible warmth of Oyasama.