Ch 60. The Revolution
When the prisoners awoke in the morning, they awoke to an odd site that caused them to delay their typical cranky morning banter. Jesus Josephovich was sitting on the floor looking out the small barred window at the blue morning sky. His mouth was moving, but no sounds were coming out. His attention was so fully focused on what he was doing that the foreigner didn’t seem to notice that he was in a prison cell full of dangerous convicts.
The men knew instantly what he was doing, and those who were more religiously inclined began to say their own prayers silently to themselves in the morning lull. The foreigner’s presence filled the room with an electric spirit, as if anything could happen, and those who prayed felt an especially close connection to God that they hadn’t felt since they were children.
As Jesus finished praying, the door to the cell suddenly opened. The two large guards who had escorted Jesus Josephovich to the cell motioned for him to exit.
“Come with us. You are leaving.”
The other prisoners jumped off their bunks and gathered around Jesus Josephovich. They laughed and pat him on the back with congratulations.
“That was the fastest jail break I’ve ever seen,” the cell leader quipped.
Gennady took Jesus Josephovich’s hand and held it close to his heart. “You have powerful prayers my friend. Please say a prayer for this old man.”
“I already have,” Jesus Josephovich said with a smile.
“Pray for me too!” the other prisoners shouted as they laughed and bantered in amazement how this condemned man was suddenly free.
Jesus Josephovich left with the guards and was quickly taken to a small room where they handed him his civilian clothes. He was then rushed out to the front of the prison where a car was waiting. Inside the car was the Warden.
“Good morning Warden. To what do I owe this great pleasure?”
“Get in the car please,” the Warden ordered. “Something incredible has happened.”
“Every moment is filled with the miracles of God,” Jesus Josephovich declared.
“Perhaps,” the Warden acknowledged. “But this is on a different scale. This is something they will write about in the history books.”
Jesus Josephovich got into the old police vehicle and they sped off down the street towards the center of the city.
The Warden looked at the strange foreigner out of the corner of his eye, as if to test whether this was reality or a dream. He took a deep breath and turned to Jesus.
“Mr. Josephovich, sir, the election for Mayor of Kiev was yesterday.”
“Yes, I know,” Jesus Josephovich answered.
“You won,” the Warden said, not believing the words himself.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean you won! The people wrote your name on the ballets even though it wasn’t an option, and you got the most votes. In fact, you won by a landslide. You got 73% of the vote. And everyone knows the other candidates tried to cheat, so in reality it is probably even more.”
“I thought I couldn’t be elected Mayor because I am not a Ukrainian citizen,” Jesus Josephovich recalled.
“That’s what the authorities are trying to claim as well, but the people wouldn’t accept it. The people created their own solution.”
The car suddenly came to a halt at the end of Khreshatic boulevard, the main street that passed directly through the heart of the city. The Warden motioned for Jesus Josephovich to look out the window. An extraordinary image filled his vision.
There on the street, thousands upon thousands of people were marching towards Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Independence Square. They were shouting, singing, and thrusting homemade signs into the air in unison. The majority of them were wearing orange T-shirts that said, “Jesus is my Brother”.
“They are adopting you,” the Warden declared. “The government said that you could not be mayor because you are not a citizen of Ukraine, so the people came out to say that they are adopting you as their brother.”
Jesus Josephovich shook his head in blissful amazement.
“Some of them even made passports for you,” the Warden laughed. “You are one of us now. A Ukrainian citizen.”
The driver of the car turned to the back seat and shouted over the noise of the crowd. “We can’t go any further. The crowd is blocking the whole street.”
“Honk!” the Warden shouted, clearly not used to being told he couldn’t do something.
“It’s ok, I’ll walk,” Jesus Josephovich said. He opened the car door and started to step out.
The Warden grabbed him. “It’s not safe. You could be crushed by the crowd if the people recognize you.”
“I don’t fear my brothers and sisters,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Do you?”
Jesus Josephovich got out of the car and walked down the street towards the main gathering. The Warden nervously exited the vehicle, not sure what he should do. He was afraid of the crowd, but he didn’t know why. He took a deep breath and remembered what Jesus Josephovich had taught him. He tried to connect himself to these people, to stop judging them and to feel empathy towards them, to become one of them. The fear subsided like a fading mist, and as it dissipated he wondered if it had ever really been there at all. He gathered his strength and followed Jesus into the crowd.
As Jesus Josephovich joined the crowd people began to recognize him. A group of young men lifted their Mayor elect onto their shoulders and moved him through the crowd. The crowd soon became too thick to walk through, and they passed Jesus Josephovich over the top of the mass of people like a crowd-surfing rock star to help him get to the front of the protest.
Hundreds of thousands of shouting people filled Independence Square. An extraordinary energy was spreading amongst the people. They weren’t shouting out of anger or hatred. They were shouting out of love, peace, brotherhood, and hope. They were unified by something bigger and better than themselves.
That indescribable feeling of brotherhood that many had felt during the Orange Revolution was back, only it was even more powerful. This time the people weren’t merely putting their hopes and expectations in a political party or politician. This time the people put their hopes and dreams in their own hands. They were ready to change their country. They were ready to change themselves. They were that change.
When the protesters noticed Jesus Josephovich being carried across the crowd an ecstatic cry rose over the square. Jesus Josephovich managed to stand up and began walking over the top of the crowd. They had never seen anything like it before. No one knew if he was stepping on people’s shoulders or heads, or if he was miraculously floating above the crowd, but the sight of Jesus rising above the confluence sent the people into a near hysterical pitch. Nothing like it had ever been experienced before, not even during the Orange Revolution. The people were not merely witnessing a miracle, they were a part of it.
Jesus Josephovich walked all the way to the center of Independence Square where a large stage had been set up for the new mayor to make his speech. The stage was directly in front of the Maidan Nezalezhnosti statue, Beregenia, or as the people of Kiev affectionately referred to her, Baba, who overlooked the entire square from her perch on a magnificent white column a hundred feet above the ground. A flock of golden doves floated between her outstretched gilded wings sparkling in the afternoon light.
As he climbed onto the stage he saw Volodomir and his family standing next to the large curtain on the side.
“Jesus!” they shouted, as they ran to hug him.
“You’re free! How did this happen?” Volodomir shouted.
“Did you break out of prison?” Leosha wondered.
“I’ve been trying to call you all day but there was no answer. Why didn’t you text me that you got out of jail?” Katya questioned.
“Forgive me my dear Katya,” Jesus Josephovich said innocently. “The police took my phone and never gave it back.”
Katya sighed and then giggled. “That’s ok. I guess some people just aren’t meant to have a cell phone.”
Jesus smiled and looked out at the crowd spilling into Independence Square. It was completely packed with protesters from one end to the other, but people continued pushing forward to get a glimpse of their hero.
“How did this happen?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.
Katya held up her cell phone. “There are some good uses for these things. I called everyone I knew and told them to call everyone they knew and asked them to vote for you for Mayor.”
“Is this true?” Jesus Josephovich asked.
Volodomir nodded. “We contacted everyone we knew in Kiev and word about you spread like fire. Katya and Leosha contacted all their friends, I got everyone at my work to send out emails about you, Andre used his connections to tell everyone in the government about you, my boss got many of the major business leaders in the city to support you, Abraham gathered his people in the square and his friend Taiyewo made these shirts that your supporters are wearing. Everyone did their part.”
Jesus Josephovich looked out over the crowd and noticed many of the people he had met in the city. He nodded to the cab driver who had rallied all of the taxi drivers in the city to come to the square. He waved at Ivan and the homeless men who no longer drank alcohol, and whose group had expanded to hundreds of sober comrades. He smiled at Kolya the computer hacker who had created his Ukrainian passport and was now surrounded by a large group of programmers who he had told about his experience. They, and many others that he had touched, were shouting and raising their hands in victory.
The Politician whose son Jesus Josephovich had healed rushed onto the stage with Talia, the PR agent, and shook hands with the new mayor elect. They were both eager to get their photos taken with Kiev’s rising star.
“Congratulations. You turned the political world on it’s head,” the Politician announced as he vigorously shook his hand. “I want you to know that if this becomes official, my party is going to support you 100%.”
“And I’m already setting up interviews with magazines and news outlets from all over the world,” Talia said. “You’re going to be an international phenomenon.”
Jesus Josephovich thanked them and walked over to the Politician’s son, Sasha, who was enjoying the use of his legs by kicking a small soda can around at the side of the stage.
Jesus knelt before the boy. “Hello Sasha. How are you feeling?”
Sasha’s eyes lit up when he saw his hero. He wrapped his arms around Jesus Josephovich and gave him a heartfelt hug. “I feel great. This is so amazing! Are you really going to be our Mayor? Everyone is so happy!”
Jesus Josephovich pat the child on the head affectionately. “Well you know, my goal wasn’t to rule over the people of Kiev. My goal was to teach you how to rule yourselves. I have one more thing I need to teach you. Then I need to go.”
“Go? Go where?” Sasha cried out.
“Go home,” Jesus said.
The stage manager ran over to Jesus Josephovich and handed him a small microphone. “Put this on,” the man said. “So you can speak to the people.”
Jesus Josephovich tried to speak into the microphone, but only the piercing sounds of electronic feedback spat out of the speakers set up around the stage. They weren’t quite ready for such a monumental speech.
“I’m sorry,” the stage manager squeaked as he ran over to his side. “I’ll get you another one.”
“That’s ok,” Jesus Josephovich said, “I’ll just speak from my heart.” He winked at the stage manager, who had no idea what he meant, and walked off the stage disappearing behind the large curtain.
“Where is he going?” Talia shouted. Everyone simply shrugged their shoulders.
Suddenly, the large crane that had been used to assemble the stage moved up over the curtain with Jesus Josephovich standing on the rising platform. Talia screamed and the others shouted in surprise as Jesus Josephovich was lifted to the top of the massive white pillar on which the symbol of Ukraine’s independence stood.
He stepped off the crane onto the top of the pillar, sharing the space with the angelic statue. Directly across from him he could see the other angelic statue of Arch Angel Michael hovering over the masses at the other end of the square. He took a deep breath, marveling at the site of hundreds of thousands of people gathered together in unity and love. Thousands of “Jesus is my Brother” t-shirts stared up at him from the street below.
They were so close, he thought. So close to becoming a family. It was right there written over their hearts. He prayed that they would see it.
The crowd reached a fever pitch as Jesus Josephovich held his arms out over the crowd. The people chanted and cheered louder than had ever been heard in all of Ukraine. The sound of the crowd was so loud and powerful it became like a single voice, a deep resonating presence that each participant heard and felt, yet was a part of.
He raised his arms in the air once again and the crowd quieted down. He began to speak without a microphone, but to each person in the square it sounded like he was standing right next to them, speaking directly to them.
“I want to tell you a great secret,” Jesus Josephovich said. “I want to tell you a secret that no one else will tell you.”
A hush fell over the crowd. The square was instantly silent.
“Everything you assumed to be true as a child,” Jesus explained, “about love and happiness and truth and fairness… You are going to realize some day that you were right. You knew everything you needed to know as a child.”
The protesters smiled and laughed as the thought filled their consciousness.
“The great secret that I want to share with you is this: You are winning. Goodness is winning out over evil. The whole world is making progress. Slowly but surely, as water carves a path through the hardest stone, not merely religions or cities or even countries, but the whole world is advancing towards the final goal.
“I tell you, people of Kiev, you are winning. The problem is that you live like you are losing, needlessly entangling yourselves in destructive behavior as if it didn’t make any difference.
“It does make a difference. Everything you do makes a difference. Individually, you have far more power to recreate this world than you ever imagined, and together you have unlimited power. Even your thoughts have power.
“Humankind has reached such a stage in its development that even the things inside of our minds can become a reality. Now we can share these things that are in our minds. I can take my perspective, what I see, and through your technology I can turn it into a physical object, a photograph, a video, music. My thoughts, experiences, and perspective, the objects of my mind, become physical objects in the real world. These objects can be shared with other people, and my thoughts can be transferred directly into their minds. We can share each other’s thoughts and experiences. We can begin to understand each other, to shape our minds closer together towards a unity of all mankind.
“Life is simple,” Jesus Josephovich stated. “Truth is simple. Imagine that when you go home tonight you cannot take the money that is in your pockets, and you cannot keep the groceries in your car, or the cell phone in your hand. Imagine for a moment that you cannot take your possessions with you when you leave this place. Imagine that every thing that you own, even the clothes on your back, will be gone.
“What then, I ask you, is of real value?
“Imagine that nothing is yours. Imagine that everything on this planet is only in your possession temporarily. You have nothing connected to your name, no houses or apartments, no cars or bikes, not even a garden. Everything is a gift, and that gift is meant to be passed on and on, and if it is not passed on it will be taken from you.
“Imagine that there are no boundaries, no barriers between people. There are no laws or walls separating us. There are not even countries or nationalities. Imagine that when you leave this place you cannot take any physical distinctions home with you.
“What then, I ask you, do you have left?
“When everything temporal passes away, what remains from our lives? What carries on that did not exist before? Only one thing, that is: our relationships.
“The only thing that no one can ever take away from you, the only thing that will last beyond this fragile moment called our lives, is the relationships that we build with one another.
“Every relationship you forge, no matter how small, connects you to others in a way that can never be broken. Your influence on other people can change them and can influence their children, and their children’s children, forever. It is not with money that the world will be changed, it is not with science and discovery, it is not with political maneuvering, nor with military might.
“It is with a wave of love, of true relationships, that grows so swiftly and strongly that it cannot be stopped. Real relationships change the participants. Each person is strengthened and in turn molds and strengthens the other. The more relationships you add, the more each person’s position changes, and the stronger each person’s position becomes.
“The power of each man and woman will be lifted higher and higher through each relationship they build, and in turn lifts higher every person they touch until entire families, communities, and even nations are lifted to a position of such extraordinary power that no amount of money, no solitary philosophy, and no hardened army could ever break its ties. Nay, I tell you even death cannot break it.
“Therefore I tell you, seek out this one thing more than gold and silver, more than homes and jobs, more than knowledge and titles. Strive with all your heart not for things that pass away even while in your possession. Seek with everything in you the infinite power of a connection to your fellow man. It matters not who it is. May it be a mother, or a father, a brother or a sister, a son or a daughter, a wife or a husband. May it be a friend or foe, a master or slave, a king or a peasant.
“And one day you will realize that in building these relationships, you have built a relationship with God, a connection to the creative force in the Universe. As you learn to be connected to other people, you will learn to be connected directly to God. And in the end, your relationships will reveal to you the fact that we are already connected. It will reveal who you really are, not just your solitary self, but all of us together; that we are already intimately connected to God and that connection cannot ever be broken.
What you are building is not merely for yourself, or for your friends, or even your countrymen. What you are building is a structure that will change the entire Earth and the entire Universe. Build, simply build, and this eternal structure will never fall.”
The crowd applauded and a voice rose up from the center of the square. Someone was singing. More voices joined the song and within moments the entire square was in complete harmony.
As the people in the crowd looked at one another and searched for the source of the song, they soon realized that Jesus Josephovich was no longer standing on the statue in the center of Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The two angelic statues proudly stared at one another across the square, but Jesus was nowhere to be seen.
As softly as a whisper on the wind, Jesus’ voice sounded in their ears one final message of hope.
“One day all our minds will agree.
They will all agree about the same fundamental things.
They will take the same shape and they will sing the same song.
But it will not be a single voice.
No, it will be a choir.
There will be bases and tenors, altos and sopranos, brass instruments and winds, strings and percussion.
And when all minds are alike, the world’s voices will harmonize.
We will all sing together a glorious song that will sound like the great trumpet on the last day.
But it will not be the last day. It will be the first day.
The first day of a new world.
But not the physical world that we call our home. No, this new world will be a new inner world. The world inside each one of us.
Now it is splintered, then it will be whole. Now it is uncertain, then it will be unmistakable. Now we see only a small part of our reality, then we will see everything as it really is.”
As the voice faded away, Volodomir grabbed his family in a warm embrace. That feeling he had longed to feel ever since the Orange Revolution had returned and had filled his heart to a degree he had never known possible. But it had nothing to do with his city or his country. This was a feeling for everyone. There were no more boundaries in his mind. He knew he would never be the same. Ukraine would never be the same. The world would never be the same.
As the crowd continued its song, young Sasha tugged on his father’s coat sleeve. The old politician looked down with tear-filled eyes at his boy and grasped his hand tightly. “Yes son?”
“Daddy,” he said. “Who’s going to be Mayor if Jesus isn’t here?”