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Chapter 60 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

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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?”

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

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Chapter 59 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch59 Tears

Ch 59. Tears

The next day Jesus Josephovich’s cell mate was abruptly awakened by the slamming of their prison cell door. Instinctively he leapt to his feet, almost falling off the tiny cot. He was surprised to see that the foreigner was not in his bed. Turning around he saw that the foreigner was on his knees looking at the sky through the small crack in the wall that they called a window.

Three guards stepped into the cell like landlords about to expel an unwanted resident.

“Jesus Josephovich,” one of the guards said.

The foreigner calmly arose and turned to greet several large guards with grizzled faces.

“Good morning comrades,” he said.

The guards did not look like they were having a good morning.

The largest of the guards stepped forward and looked at the odd prisoner. He was a relic of the Soviet era with a huge head and thick neck supported by a massive torso that was made even more intimidating by the wide uniform covering his square shoulders. His fists were the size of a large grapefruit and his fingers were mottled with scars. He was a man that time had petrified into a living stone.

“Go with them,” the muscular guard barked.

The other two guards grabbed the foreign prisoner by the arms and led him out of the cell. They lead him down the hall and placed him in an empty cell. The imposing guard entered the cell behind them. He nodded to the two guards and they left without a word leaving the intimidating guard alone in the cell with Jesus. The cell locked behind them with an ominous clank.

Jesus Josephovich smiled at the old guard. The man did not smile back. He looked around the room as if he were searching for something and suddenly, as if a great weight had fallen from from his shoulders, he sighed and sat on the cot in front of the prisoner.

He looked Jesus Josephovich in the eye for the first time. “Do you know who I am?”

“Of course,” Jesus Josephovich answered. “You are my brother.”

The guard laughed. “If only it was that simple.”

“It isn’t?” Jesus questioned.

“Not for everyone,” the guard grumbled. “Maybe I am your brother. Maybe we are all brothers, as you say, but around here I am the boss. I am the Warden.”

Jesus nodded his head and bowed slightly, politely acknowledging the man as if the Warden’s position were of no consequence to his current state.

The Warden cleared his throat. “I believe in God,” he stated, implying much more than he said.

“I see,” Jesus Josephovich replied.

His heavy, iron voice continued. “When I was a boy I went to church with my mother. We went to church every Sunday. We never missed. No matter how cold it was, no matter how bad the weather, we always went to church.”

Jesus Josephovich nodded with a grin and the Warden cleared his throat again.

“I was a very disciplined child. My father was a police officer. He was very strict. I had to run and exercise every day, and I had to do many chores. Much more than other school children. My mother was strict as well, but it was different with her. My mother was happy when I did my chores, but most of all she wanted me to obey the Bible. She was very strict about the Bible. I had to memorize all the books, and the Ten Commandments, and the sins, and the fruits of the spirit, and she made me promise every day that I would not commit any of the sinful acts.

“I thought she was a little bit crazy, like all moms, until I grew older and I saw that my father was doing strange things. He would sometimes come home very late, and he would speak very strangely and sometimes yell for no reason. I realized later that he was a drunk. He was a very disciplined man, but after work he liked to drink with the other policemen, as most men did. But he began to drink too much. My mother hated it and got very angry with him. One day he came home and they argued, and he hit her. I tried to stop him, but I was too young. He knocked me over and he kept hitting her. He kept hitting her until he killed her.”

He looked up into the foreigner’s eyes. He saw something more than compassion. It was a deep understanding in Jesus’ eyes, as if he had been there himself. A tear cascaded down Jesus Josephovich’s left cheek.

The Warden’s gruff speech continued. “My father went to prison and I helped bury my mother. After that day, I understood what my mother had been telling me, and why she did not want me to sin. I understood the scripture, “Sin gives birth to death.” So from that day I vowed not to sin. I vowed to follow every law of the Bible. I did not lie, I did not steal, I was always faithful to my wife, even before marriage. And I never drank any alcohol.”

“You are a rare man,” Jesus Josephovich declared. “Many priests live lives not nearly as holy as yours. What can you possibly want from me?”

The Warden chuckled deeply. “That is the question. I’m not sure what is wrong with me, but I am certain something is wrong. I became a cop. I wanted to do what my father could not. I wanted to be an honest policeman. I was very good at catching criminals and punishing them for their sins. I soon became the Warden of this prison.

“People think that Soviet prisons are corrupt, but I have always been just and fair. I did not put them here, but as long as they are in my prison I treat every man only as he deserves. I have never killed any man, and I have never harmed another man unless it was for my own safety, and I expect the same from every man that works under me. I have no regrets and no remorse.”

“You are the law,” Jesus Josephovich said.

“In here, I am,” the Warden said with a grin.

“And how do you feel?” the foreigner inquired.

The Warden took a deep breath and scratched his half-shaven neck. “I feel clean. My conscious is clear. But… I am not a happy man. It is strange… I understand that this is not a happy world, there is much pain and suffering caused by these criminals and others, but I thought that if I did everything right it would bring me some… happiness.”

“When are you happy?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“When I am with my children,” he answered, as if it were too simple an answer to be correct.

“Tell me,” Jesus Josephovich wondered. “Do you punish your children when they do something wrong?”

“Of course,” the Warden said. “I want them to be good children, good Christians.”

“Do you punish them as hard as you punish these criminals?”

The Warden squinted his eyes, clearly confused. “No, of course not. Well, they do not do such bad things, but I am not as hard on them as I would be on a criminal. I am their father.”

“You are their father,” the foreigner repeated. “Now imagine that your children did something very bad. If they committed a terrible sin and they were sent to prison, how would you want them to be treated? Justly, or with love?”

The Warden furled his heavy brow. “Are you saying that I should go easy on these criminals? These are dangerous men. I could treat them much worse than I do and be completely justified.”

“I believe you,” Jesus Josephovich replied. “But that is not what I’m saying. I am saying that you are correct. You are missing something in your life.”

“And what is it?” the Warden wondered.

“When was the last time you cried?”

The Warden leaned back against the wall, stunned at the question. It took him a long time to answer. It was not something a man like him ever considered.

“At my mother’s funeral,” he realized. Something uncomfortably deep began to tug at his heart.

“You have obeyed the Commandments. You have followed all the rules. And for this you are commended,” Jesus Josephovich stated. “However, you have failed to learn one of life’s highest lessons.”

The Warden suddenly stood up, towering over the skinny foreigner. He was insulted by the allegation that he had missed such an important lesson in life. He was certain he already knew what it was.

“Let me guess,” he shouted. “Love. You want me to love these men. You think that if I go and give these criminals a hug that they are going to change. You think that the words “I love you” mean anything to a murderer?”

Jesus Josephovich shook his head sadly. “No,” he said compassionately. “You don’t need to learn how to help them. You need to learn how to help yourself.”

The Warden folded his bulging arms in front of him. “So what am I missing?” he asked with contempt.

“You haven’t learned how to cry.”

Another tear cascaded down Jesus’ opposite cheek.

The Warden lurched back onto the cot and sat with his back against the wall. His face turned red as thoughts whirled through his mind. Crying went against everything he stood for. It went against his job, his hatred of sin, and even against his very ideals of manhood. He had built such a strong wall of strength and stability within himself to protect him from the outside world that he didn’t think it was possible to teach himself to cry. He didn’t have sympathy for himself, how could he have it for others?

“You have only cried for yourself, and this was so long ago that you probably don’t remember how to even do that,” Jesus Josephovich said. “But I say you must learn to cry, not for yourself, but for others. For those that you cannot ever hope to help.”

“I don’t understand,” the Warden admitted with great frustration.

“The law is meant to protect you, but the scriptures are meant to help you be like God,” Jesus Josephovich advised. “God has immeasurable compassion on his children. He feels our pain. To be like God, you must feel their pain.”

“Their pain?” he asked in shock as he indicated to the other prisoners.

Jesus nodded. “Do you want me to show you?”

The Warden took a deep breath, unafraid. “Show me.”

Jesus Josephovich stepped forward and placed his hand over the Warden’s head. He paused for a moment, as if to make sure that this beast of a man could endure what he was about to show him. Then his fingers touched the man’s forehead.

A feeling of rapid expansion overwhelmed the Warden’s senses as his consciousness suddenly enveloped the entire prison. Lifetimes of thoughts, feelings, and suffering flowed through his shattered mind. His own body evaporated in the ocean of feelings and experiences from hundreds of criminals who he had learned to hate with the calm certitude of religious righteousness, and for a brief eternal moment he was each of them. He saw the abuse that had been done to them, he felt the confusion in their minds, and he experienced the agonizing decisions that had led to their criminal acts. More than anything else, he was overwhelmed by their utter hopelessness.

Without warning he was jerked awake from the dreamlike vision, and his body inhaled as if it had been under water. He fell to the floor on his hands and knees trying to catch his breath. Then sobs and wails uttered from his bowed head and tears splashed onto the concrete. Jesus Josephovich knelt on the ground before him, held his hands and cried with him.

The Warden wept as he had never wept before. Decades of emotions flooded through his body and mind. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t even open his eyes. There was no action that could be taken. He could only cry.

The Warden’s powerful back and chest heaved in rolling waves of anguish, expressing a sorrow that few men had ever known. And yet, as the tears subsided, he was filled with an immeasurable joy. He had emptied himself, and something new had filled him. Peace.

His face and hands were soaking wet, baptized with his tears, and as he stood he hugged the foreigner in an embrace that would crush a bear. He kissed Jesus Josephovich on either cheek, as if greeting a long lost brother, and as they looked each other in the eye after that extraordinary bout of wailing, they both began laughing through the last few tears.

“Do you think you can cry now?” Jesus Josephovich inquired.

The Warden grinned. “I don’t think I can ever stop.”

“Good,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Then you should remember this: when you cry for another, you are spiritually connected to that person. When no physical action will help, you must give them your spirit. You must give them your tears.”

“I will,” he promised. “You have given me more than I ever imagined. What can I give you? Let me set you free,” he said pointing to the iron door.

“I am free,” Jesus said. “Let me set you free.”

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

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Chapter 58 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch58 Imprisoned

Ch 58. Imprisoned

The lights from a thousand cameras lit up the night air like a volley of rifle fire as the police opened the car door and pulled Jesus Josephovich, Kiev’s most popular man, out of the car.

The police handled him roughly, as if trying to break the serene calm on his face, but the foreigner never even blinked as he was dragged into the prison. He didn’t seem the least bit worried. It was as if he had suffered through such injustice before.

After the Oligarch showed up at Volodomir and Elena’s for supper and demanded that Jesus Josephovich choose imprisonment or partnership, the foreigner had proceeded to wash the dishes while explaining to the Oligarch the importance of servant-hood to any great leader. Unfortunately for the Oligarch, this did not mean that Jesus Josephovich would serve him. Jesus was not a part of any political party. The choice had been made.

The crowds around the prison were very upset, and shouted unmentionable insults at the police and politicians who were leading Jesus Josephovich through the massive faded yellow walls covered with rusted barbed wire. It was clear from the outside that this was not a place where a man got a second chance. This was a place where men went to die. Even if a man’s body escaped this dark place intact, his sanity would not.

The police pushed Jesus Josephovich through several gates and stopped him in front of a fat man behind a soviet era desk proudly wearing a uniform that appeared equally dated. The man looked at them with blank eyes that didn’t seem to see what they were actually looking at.

“Documents,” the guard said.

“I don’t have any,” Jesus Josephovich replied.

The man behind the desk looked into the foreigner’s face for the first time as if to discover what strange creature they had brought him. “What is your name?”

“Jesus Josephovich,” he answered.

The man behind the desk took a deep breath and started slowly writing the obviously fake name. “Possessions?”

Jesus Josephovich emptied his pockets. The only thing he had with him was the new cell phone that Katya had given him. They took it from him and checked his pockets again to make sure that nothing else was hidden there.

When the signing in was finished, the guards pushed him through several more gates and long decrepit hallways until they reached the cells. When they opened the door, the foreigner could hardly believe his eyes.

The holding cell was only 10 feet by 5 feet, and there were 6 men inside. Bunks lined the walls where 4 men were sitting, and a few prisoners were sitting in tiny chairs at the front of the room. They all stared guardedly at the long haired, bearded foreigner as he stepped into the room.

The guards pushed Jesus Josephovich all the way into the cell. He stumbled and the prisoners laughed. This one was weak. He would be easily broken.

The guards sneered at him as they shut the gate. The main guard shouted one last insult at the prisoner as they walked away. “I hope you like your cellmates. You’re going to be with them a very long time.”

Jesus Josephovich turned to the other prisoners and smiled at them. The prisoners were confused by their new cellmate. A smile was a sign of weakness, but his calm demeanor showed that he was not weak. They guessed that he was probably insane.

The eldest of the group, a ragged and wrinkled old man, walked over to Jesus Josephovich and introduced himself as Gennady.

“Hello Gennady,” Jesus Josephovich said. “It is nice to meet you.”

The others acknowledged the new prisoner with a nod without looking into his eyes. Their faces wore apathetic stares, as if to protect them from any and all emotions that they might occasionally be inclined to feel. They looked like the living dead.

All the prisoners had shaved heads and most were shirtless. They were covered with ornate tattoos on their chests, shoulders, backs, and even hands. The ink on the tattoos was not like that of ordinary tattoos. The ink was thick, faded and bluish, and the designs had clearly been drawn by hand without any guidance.

The leader of the cell was leaning in a chair against the back wall. To illustrate his power he addressed the foreigner with a squinting half grin, like a man about to sell a customer a broken watch.

“You can sit on the floor,” the cell leader ordered.

“Thank you,” Jesus Josephovich said pleasantly, as if he had been offered something special. He sat cross legged on the cold concrete in a meditative position. His cell mates couldn’t help but stare at his odd behavior.

“Your tattoos are quite striking,” Jesus Josephovich complimented.

The cell leader chuckled smugly.

Gennady, the old man, scooted his tiny chair closer to the foreigner to show off the only part of his body that still had any aesthetic value. His skin was so wrinkled that he had to pull it tight to reveal his tattoos. Even then they were so old that one could barely make out the faded details. The homemade ink had bled into the surrounding skin.

The old man pointed proudly to his heart. Over his heart was a crudely drawn bust of Lenin. He saw that the foreigner recognized it and smiled.

“Look at this one,” Gennady said turning his back with excitement. “Can you see it?”

On his lower back were two rough drawings of Stalin. The one on the right side appeared to be an idyllic drawing from a propaganda poster of Stalin’s younger days, and the one on the left showed the dictator in full military fatigues.

“You see?” he asked enthusiastically. “I made these tattoos so the guards would not hit me in the heart or kidneys,” he explained. “It worked. No soviet officers ever wanted to deface a picture of Stalin or Lenin.” He laughed the whispered laugh of a man whose only pleasure was recollecting the past.

“But now there is no more Soviet Union, and the tattoos don’t work so well to protect me.” He slowly slid his shirt back over his frail frame.

“Gennady is a coward,” the cell leader spat. The brawny inmate stood up to reveal his entire chest, stomach, arms, and back covered in detailed symbolism.

He pointed to two stars on his shoulders. “This means I am in the mafia. The stars on my knees mean I bow to no one.”

He turned around and revealed an intricate tattoo that covered nearly his entire back. Jesus Josephovich was amazed to see that it included the virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in front of a church with several towers.

“Are you a religious man?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The cell leader laughed. “The virgin Mary means that I have been a criminal since childhood. The church towers represent every prison sentence I have served. The bells mean that I am going to serve this prison sentence for the rest of my life.”

“What was your crime?”the foreigner wondered.

“It doesn’t matter,” the cell leader spat. “They catch you for whatever they want.” He turned and pointed at a young man in the back of the cell. “Do you see him? He was put in here for stealing a cell phone.”

“Almost all of the younger men in here were put in prison for stealing a cell phone,” Gennady interrupted. “Put in prison, can you believe it? The judges always give the full sentence. They get paid more that way. There is no way to stop it.”

“Years in prison for such a small crime,” the cell leader added. “Now he is one of us. A real criminal. This is what they do.”

The young man’s forearms were covered in tattoos as well. He had clearly changed since being put in the prison.

“So your tattoos let you communicate with each other?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “You can see who is the strongest without speaking.”

The cell leader acknowledged the foreigner’s correct answer with a disinterested grin.

“Do you have any tattoos, foreigner?” the young thief asked jokingly. “It’s probably against your religion to have tattoos.”

The inmates laughed as they examined the odd looking Middle Easterner.

“Take off your shirt,” the cell leader ordered. “We will give you your first tattoo.”

Two large inmates walked over to the skinny foreigner, grabbed his arms and lifted him to his feet. The rest of the cellmates laughed as they pulled his shirt off and tossed it to the ground. Suddenly their faces fell and they moved away from him towards the back of the room. The entire cell went silent.

Scared flesh trailed all the way down and across Jesus Josephovich’s back like a mountain range on a topical map. The scars were several centimeters thick and they wrapped around his entire upper torso; a twisted tapestry of pain. Some of them curled over his shoulders and lower back onto his stomach and chest like the claw of a beast.

The inmates were afraid to speak. They could only imagine what might have caused such wounds. This was a man who had experienced inhuman suffering.

“What makes a man strong?” Jesus Josephovich asked the stunned inmates. “Is it the amount of pain he can inflict on another man, or is the the amount of pain that he himself can endure?”

The inmates didn’t dare answer.

“May I suggest to you a new definition of a strong man?” Jesus Josephovich suggested. “Strength is not reacting to the insults and pain of this world. You think it is tough to be angry at the world and to hurt others, but a true man of strength will not be bothered by anything. The problems and insults of this world bounce off his shoulders and he pays them no heed. He is able to accomplish anything he puts his mind to, because he is not distracted by the scattered thoughts and emotions of the mind and body. He does not succumb to emotional and physical pain. He completely controls his actions, and therefore his destiny.”

The inmates looked around the room uncomfortably. Gennady nodded in agreement. The old man understood that many of his worst decisions in life had been made out of a reaction towards something else. They were actions he would have never considered taking under normal circumstances.

Jesus Josephovich continued. “There is no honor in harming others. Your tattoos add only to your shame. These scars are the ultimate honor,” he said as he showed his back. “They were acquired bearing the pain of others. That is what a real man does. That is what a real man was made for. God made men able to fight in order to protect the weak. God gave men anger so you would not tolerate evil. God made men strong to carry the burdens of others. The greatest shame is left for the man who cannot even carry his own burden of life.”

The young man imprisoned for stealing a cell phone began to cry. The other inmates looked away from him for fear of seeing their true selves.

The young man walked over to Jesus Josephovich and showed him another tattoo on his shoulder. It was a sunset with a flock of birds flying across it. “This one means freedom,” the young man said. “How can I free myself in a place like this?”

Jesus Josephovich touched the young man on the shoulder. “Freedom is not here,” he said motioning his arms to the cell. “True freedom is here,” he said pointing to his head, “and here,” pointing to his heart.

The young man nodded as if he understood.

“Freedom is the ability do to do what you know you must do without being tricked by your thoughts and emotions. Freedom is the ability to be content in any and every situation. If you are always content, no matter what is happening to you, then you are always free.”

“Doesn’t freedom mean that I can do whatever I want?” the young man asked. “You are not free when you get angry and harm others or steal someone’s property. No, for then you become a slave to your own selfish desires. Slavery is the opposite of freedom, which is why you are all in this prison. You have become slaves to yourselves.”

The inmates looked at the markings on their skin and realized for the first time that they had created these images. They had chosen them and designed them and drawn them. They had created who they were.

The guilt of their entire lives flooded into their minds and they realized the responsibility that they had for themselves. Most of them had always believed that other people were responsible for who they had become. The knowledge that it had been their decisions and their own reactions that created their current circumstances was almost too much to bear.

However, there was a glimmer of hope that shined from this gnarly haired foreigner into the consciousness of each prisoner. If they had created their current state of being, then they could change it. They could become whoever they wanted to be. That thought swelled in their minds, as if whispered to them by a ghost.

Gennady walked over the Jesus Josephovich and grasped his hand. “Why are you in this prison?” he asked.

Jesus answered him, “For you.”

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

 
Comments Off on Chapter 58 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Posted by on October 3, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

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