RSS

Tag Archives: where is jesus now

Chapter 60 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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…

Advertisements
 
Comments Off on Chapter 60 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…

 
Comments Off on Chapter 59 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chapter 57 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch57 The Last Supper

Ch 57. The Last Supper

Jesus Josephovich and Abraham entered Volodomir’s apartment carrying several large bags of groceries. They hauled the bags into the kitchen where Elena was already preparing things for the meal.

“Excellent,” she said when she saw the food. “I’ll be able to prepare enough for a dozen people,” she joked.

“Do you mind if I invite a few more guests?” Jesus asked.

“No, of course not,” Elena said. “Just tell me how many will be coming.”

“I think there will be about 12 people total.”

“Ok,” Elena replied apathetically. Normally such a request might cause her stress, but she had come to expect the unexpected with Jesus Josephovich in the house, and she found it easier to simply try and enjoy whatever came her way. “But I might need a miracle to have enough food for everyone to eat well.”

“There will be enough food,” Jesus Josephovich assured her.

Somehow she didn’t doubt him.

****

That evening the house was crowded with guests and the sweet smell of borsch, vegetables, and fried chicken cutlets filled the cozy apartment. Everyone sat around the large table that Elena had prepared. Volodomir, Elena, and their children sat around one end of the table next to Jesus Josephovich, Abraham, Andrey Bogdonovich and Volodomir’s boss Irina.

On the other side of the table sat the other guests that Jesus Josephovich had introduced. There was Kolya the computer hacker, Talia the PR Agent, The Politician that Jesus has healed, and Ivan the homeless man from Khreschatic. They all appeared to be slightly nervous eating dinner with Jesus Josephovich. They weren’t sure why they had been invited, and you never knew what was going to happen when he was around.

The food was served and wine was poured in each glass, plus some grape juice for the children and Ivan who had recently gone sober. Volodomir held up his glass at the head of the table and the others did the same.

“It is a tradition in Ukraine to make a toast,” Volodomir said. “First of course I would like to thank my beautiful wife Elena for this wonderful meal.” The guests agreed heartily.

“Na Zdorov’ye,” Elena replied. “To Your Health.”

“Na Zdorov’ye,” the guests repeated as they toasted their glasses and sipped the wine.

Volodomir raised his glass again. “I would also like to toast to our guest Jesus Josephovich,” he declared. Everyone around the table murmured their agreement. “I think everyone here can agree that he has, more than anyone else in recent memory, changed our lives for the better. And most importantly, he has reawakened something inside of me that I thought was dead. Something that I haven’t felt since the Orange Revolution. Here is to the Hope he has given us.”

“To Hope,” they cheered.

“Can I do the third toast, dad?” Katya interrupted.

The guests laughed at the girl’s youthful enthusiasm.

“Certainly,” Volodomir agreed.

“How many toasts are there?” Jesus Josephovich inquired.

Ivan, the homeless man raised his juice-filled glass. “Everyone must say a toast,” he answered. “This is why it can be dangerous to have large dinners in Ukraine,” he joked, “if you aren’t prepared.”

Jesus Josephovich looked at the wine bottles on the table and imagined that they might have to empty all of them to get through 12 toasts. No wonder Ukrainians drank so much.

“The third toast is always Za Lyubov, ‘To Love’,” Katya announced as she elegantly clanged her glass of juice against her father’s wine glass.

“To Love,” they shouted, and finished the third toast.

“Thank you Katya,” said Volodomir.

“Can I say one too dad?” Leosha asked.

“Of course.”

“Ok,” Leosha said as he composed himself. “Let’s raise glasses to Mr and Mrs. Santa Claus. They don’t get old, they don’t get sick and they always have money for lots of gifts! So let’s drink to us becoming more like them!”

“It’s not Christmas time,” Katya shouted as she elbowed her brother in the side.

“It’s the only big toast I know,” Leosha said.

The guests laughed at Leosha’s holiday toast, and clanged their glasses together.

“Ok, now it’s time for a serious toast,” Ivan said, raising his glass. The old homeless man cleared his throat and stood tall, as if presenting a speech to the President.

“There was an old man who lived alone, and one night his house burned down. He cursed God for his bad luck,” Ivan said in his deep rumbling voice. His eyes shined intensely as he gazed over the faces at the table. “Over time he rebuilt his house, and when it was finished, he realized that it was a better house and more beautiful than the one before. Now he praised God for his good fortune.”

Ivan took a deep breath. “I feel like that man is me. God destroyed my life so he could rebuilt it better. Now I finally understand it. I was a homeless man with no hope. Now I have a purpose for my life. I am able to help others, and everywhere I lay my head is home.” He looked at Jesus Josephovich and raised his glass of juice towards him. “Thank you,” he said sincerely.

The emotional guests raised their glasses in unison.

The meal continued and everyone enjoy it greatly. As they talked and laughed and reminisced, each of them would periodically raise a glass for another toast. Some told elaborate stories, while others mentioned a single phrase. Abraham toasted to brotherhood, Andrey toasted to knowledge, Tania toasted to success, Irina toasted to humility, and Kolya the hacker toasted to the spirit and energy that connects all things.

Finally it was the Politician’s turn. Feeling that he was the most important person present, he had waited to go last. He stood up and raised his glass towards Jesus Josephovich. “I remember the Orange Revolution, and what it was like to feel that we could change things for the better. That is how I feel around you,” he said to Jesus Josephovich. “That is the reason I got into politics. I wanted to change things for the better. I understand now that it is not simply politics that changes things. People must change. We must change ourselves.” He raised his glass higher. “To positive change,” he declared.

The guests toasted their glasses. The Politician touched Jesus Josephovich’s glass last and held his eyes.

“What do you say?” the Politician asked Jesus. “ Will you join our political party to help grow this change?”

Jesus Josephovich stood up from the table and held up his glass. He smiled and looked lovingly at each person who was present. “Do you know what the word ‘communion’ originally meant?” he asked.

The guests looked at each other and shook their heads.

“Churches have used the word for hundreds of years as a religious ritual, but the original word simply meant ‘fellowship’.”

Andrey and Volodomir exchanged a surprised glance, intrigued by the revelation. “This here,” Jesus said motioning to the meal, “is fellowship. Communing with one another. When we commune with one another, we commune with God.”

A wave of peace suddenly filled the hearts of everyone around the table. They felt connected to each other at a deep, yet fundamental level.

Jesus Josephovich continued. “Did you ever notice that when you are running, or exercising, or doing something difficult, that it is always easier when someone else is doing it with you? Running alone, a man will run out of energy much faster, but when running with a friend both runners will feel better, they will have more energy, they will be able to run longer and faster. Why do you think that is?”

“They don’t want to look bad to the other guy,” Leosha suggested.

“Perhaps it’s psychological,” Andrey suggested. “Maybe it’s our pride or our fear of failing that makes us work harder.”

“It is more than that,” Jesus Josephovich said. “When things join together for a common purpose they become more than themselves. Atoms become molecules, molecules become substances, substances become cells, and cells become living organisms. Men working together become something greater than men.”

“Cool,” said Leosha.

“It’s like an electrical circuit,” Jesus Josephovich continued. “The two parts by themselves can’t do anything extraordinary, but when they are connected energy flows through them. It is this energy that we feel when we are connected to other people. It is this energy, this spirit, that we feel when we love others and when we treat other people like our brothers and sisters. It is this energy that can start a real revolution.”

“I remember the revolution,” the hacker interrupted. “I remember a powerful feeling, something inside of me that I didn’t understand. It was like a fountain of emotion and energy. I felt like I could do anything.”

The other men nodded in agreement.

“And that was merely a political revolution,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Imagine what it would feel like to be a part of a spiritual revolution. A revolution to change not simply our laws, but our very hearts and minds. A chance to become the people that we always dreamed we could be.”

“How do you start a revolution like that?” the Politician inquired.

“You can’t do it alone,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “A single man can only change himself, but a group of men with a common purpose, a common spirit, can change the world. You need fellowship. You need to truly commune with each other, and with God. Fellowship is not meant to be just a moment together, like this supper, but a constant awareness of togetherness. Just as your cells come together to form a body, so your bodies and minds must come together to form something greater. The spirit of change.”

Jesus Josephovich raised his glass. “To true communion. To fellowship.”

“To fellowship,” they declared as they toasted their glasses.

When their glasses touched, a powerful feeling of energy surged through them and they understood that anything was possible. Their minds and spirits were in sync with the energy of the universe. They had become conduits of a higher power.

Suddenly there was a ring at the door. Jesus Josephovich’s 12th guest had arrived.

Lena opened the door to reveal the Oligarch standing with his body guards in the hallway. He handed his gloves to his bodyguard and entered the apartment alone.

“Thank you for your dinner invitation,” he politely announced to Elena. “I apologize for being late. I had many things to attend to.”

He looked at the group of gathered guests and frowned as he made eye contact with the hacker. Kolya quickly turned his eyes away from his boss.

The Oligarch walked over to the table and grabbed a piece of bread. He dipped it into the bowl of soup that Jesus Josephovich was dipping his bread into, and devoured the small snack.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have time to stay and eat with all of you. I only have time for one thing.” He glared at the foreigner.

“Do what you came to do, my friend,” Jesus replied.

“There are police waiting outside,” The Oligarch said. “They can either take you to prison as an illegal alien, or they can take you to the government office to get your new paperwork signed that will make you a Ukrainian citizen. The choice is yours.”

“Thank you,” Jesus Josephovich answered.

“The time has come for a decision to be made. Will you work with me and run this city together? What is your decision?” The Oligarch asked.

“Let me show you,” Jesus Josephovich said. He stood up from the table and walked into the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” the Oligarch asked.

“I’m going to wash my disciple’s dishes,” Jesus said.

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

 
Comments Off on Chapter 57 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chapter 56 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch56 MegaMart

Ch 56. Mega Mart

After fighting through traffic that was causing problems for thousands of motorists for no real reason at all, the green Volkswagon finally pulled into a massive parking lot with hundreds of other cars all spread out before a giant glowing sign that read “MEGA”. Waves of patrons moved in and out of a row of doors beneath the sign like ants carrying their day’s plunder.

“What is that building?” the Jesus Josephovich wondered as he stared at the warehouse sized structure.

“That’s the store,” Abraham said.

“That’s one store?” the foreigner replied.

“Yep,”Abraham answered.

“What do they sell there?”

“Just food,” Abraham replied.

“They only sell food? It is larger than most temples,” Jesus Josephovich noted.

“And it probably gets more visitors than most temples,” Abraham joked. “It certainly makes more money.”

They parked the car near the rear of the parking lot and had to walk half the length of a football field to reach the entrance. They joined a swarm of people pushing and shoving their way through the narrow set of double doors that flung open and shut with the wind.

Inside the building Jesus Josephovich paused in awe as he took in the size of the structure. The ceiling towered above them like a steel sky and the aisles appeared at first glance to extend forever.

As large as it was, the aisles were completely packed with shoppers. Many of them pushed carts in front of them that were the size of a small car, yet they still managed to load them with so much food that their items formed a mound that threatened to topple over the edges of the oversized baskets.

“What do people need so much food for?” Jesus Josephovich wondered as an older woman passed them pushing a particularly overloaded cart.

“I guess they like to stock up,” Abraham considered. “Or maybe they’re having a party.”

“You could feed five thousand people with less food,” Jesus noted as a cart filled with fresh bread and fish fillets squeaked by.

“Or my whole village in Africa,” Abraham added. “You should see the parties we have in Nigeria. Hundreds of people show up, and that’s just family.”

Abraham grabbed a giant shopping cart and headed down one of the large aisles that were filled with food products 15 feet high. They began grabbing large boxes of food off the shelves as Abraham directed. Jesus Josephovich was amazed at the size of the containers. Each box appeared to contain several items. Apparently it was not enough to just buy what you needed. You had to buy ten of everything.

The strange foods that he saw lining the aisles amazed the foreigner. Almost all of them seemed to be unnatural. Boxes and bags of chips and snacks or candies covered in plastic. The people who made these foods must have been more interested in covering the outside of their packages with beautiful designs, than with putting anything of actual value inside the containers.

They made their way aisle by aisle, piling the food higher and higher in their cart as they went down the list of things that Elena needed to make her big meal. The foreigner wondered if their cart would get piled as high as the others around them.

As they reached the end of the last aisle, Abraham heard a shout and stopped.

“Abraham!” A voice behind them called.

“Taiyewo!” he answered.

A young African man with a small beard hugged Abraham as the native shoppers walking past them observed the pair with interest.

“Let me introduce you to a friend of mine. This is Tai-ye-wo,” Abraham said with emphasis.

“Nice to meet you.” Jesus Josephovich hugged the young man, which brought even more odd looks from the surrounding shoppers.

“His name means ‘The First to Taste the World’,” Abraham said with a laugh.

“Haha, yes,” Taiyewo replied. “I am a twin,” he confessed. “In my tribe when a family has twins, they name the first child this. It is a tradition because there are many twins in our tribe.”

“More than in any other tribe in Africa,” Abraham added. “They like to have two of everything,” he joked.

“Haha, that’s right. One is not enough,” Taiyewo admitted. “We are ambitious people. We want it all.”

“Well, you should be able to find everything you need in this place,” Jesus Josephovich said glancing at the cavernous ceiling.

“Exactly,” Taiyewo said. “This is what I want. I want my life to be Mega. Bigger than life.”

“What are you looking for?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

Taiyewo showed them his basket. It will filled with chemicals and dyes. “You know, I am buying things to make some new designs. I am an artist.”

“Are these for your t-shirts?” Abraham wondered.

“Some of them, yes,” said Taiyewo. “I want to mark each of my creations with a special stamp. Something that people can only get from me. There are so many Nigerians selling clothes in the street markets that I want mine to be unique.”

“Taiyewo is an excellent artist,” Abraham said. “But of course, like all good artists at one point in their lives, he has no money. So now he sells t-shirts.”

“Yeah, but not like these other guys. Most people just buy a bunch of clothes from China and sell them on the street. Not me,” said Taiyewo. “I use my clothes as creative inspiration.”

“Truth cannot be hidden,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Your creativity is a part of your true being. It cannot be silent for long.”

“You’re exactly right man!” Taiyewo said enthusiastically. “If I didn’t let my creativity out, I would go crazy. I just wish I had more money so I could be more creative. I’ve got so much in here that wants to get out,” he said pointing to his head, “but I just don’t have the time and money to be as creative as I want to be.”

“Be careful not to confuse financial success with artistic success,” Jesus Josephovich advised. “Many people think that they have not fulfilled their purpose in life if they have not made a lot of money, and they miss the blessings that God has given them. God is the ultimate creative being. It is possible that he created you simply to create one t-shirt.”

Taiyewo laughed. “That would be great, eh? I design the perfect t-shirt and then my life’s purpose has been fulfilled. But I don’t just want to create these things for myself. I want the whole world to see my creations.”

“Why?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “Why is it necessary to be big?”

“Because if you’re big, it means you did something right,” Taiyewo answered. “It means you really are a good artist.”

“Are you sure about that?” Jesus Josephovich questioned.

Abraham and Taiyewo looked at each other. “I think so,” Taiyewo argued. “If you are successful, then your art connects with a lot of people.”

“But does that mean that what you created is of the highest quality?” Jesus Josephovich inquired. “Look around you. Look at the products in this store. This place is enormous and it has everything that you could ever need in it. But is this what you really want in your life?”

“What do you mean?” Taiyewo asked.

Jesus Josephovich grabbed a box of fruity candy off the shelf next to him. “Look at this food. Man has spent an enormous amount of time and money trying to create something that tastes sweet. But nature grows fruit out of the ground that is sweeter and healthier than this without any input from man. The simplest farmer can grow things that are better than all of this.”

“You’re probably right,” Taiyewo admitted. “I try not to eat those processed foods anyways.”

“Good, but that’s not the point,” Jesus Josephovich said. “The point is that nature’s creation provides the farmer with everything that he needs. It fulfills him. And if he has extra, he gives it to his neighbors and fulfills them as well. In this way, everyone’s needs are met. No one is hungry. Nature is abundant.”

“Ok,” Taiyewo replied. “But I can’t eat my art. I need to sell it. I need money.”

“You don’t need money,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Money is simply a form of energy. There are many other forms as well. What you need is a source of abundance.”

“Abundance. Isn’t that money?” Taiyewo asked.

“Those who seek only money never find abundance,” Jesus said. “When you create, you are creating out of abundance. But it does not come out of the abundance that your physical being has accumulated in this life. No, that kind of wealth is merely temporary and has no creative force. When you create, you are drawing from the abundance of the creative spirit that gives life to all things, and this is an infinite and eternal abundance that can never diminish.”

“You know it’s interesting,” Taiyewo replied after a moment of consideration, “when I am creating something beautiful, I am not thinking,” he said. “It feels like I am channeling something greater. A power that is outside of myself. That’s why I became an artist. I didn’t want to lose that feeling of connection with something bigger.”

Jesus Josephovich smiled. “The nature of the entire universe is abundance. There is more pure energy in a handful of stones than in all the efforts you will make in your entire life. You must tap into that abundance, but in order to find it you must stop looking without. The true source of abundance is within.”

“What does that mean, it’s within me?” Taiyewo asked.

“That is the secret of who you really are,” Jesus Josephovich told him as he touched his shoulder. “You spirit is connected to God, the creative source of all things. Your spirit can channel the infinitely creative force in the universe. Your spirit is also connected to your fellow man. Let the creativity of God flow through you in all things. Not merely your shirts and art, but in everything you do, every minute aspect of life. Live every moment inspired. Then you will truly fulfill God’s purposes and you will yourself be filled to overflowing.”

Taiyewo was transfixed at the thought of infinite abundance flowing through him. The moment Jesus touched his shoulder he felt that familiar feeling of creative intensity that he always felt when he was making art. It began to flow through his mind and into his heart and suddenly it seemed to fill his whole being. Energy was flowing through every cell of his body and even beyond his body. An extraordinary amount of energy pulsed through him, and as he traced it back to its source within himself, he realized that it spread out from him like a web into the ground and sky and the air around him.

The energy was flowing in and out from all directions at once. He was at one moment the conduit through which the energy flowed and at another moment the source of the flow. It was a connection to everything in the universe and he understood for the first time that he was not alone and he had nothing to fear. There was a source of infinite power that he could draw from and of which he was an eternal part.

“Who is this guy?” Taiyewo asked Abraham, amazed by what he had just experienced.

Abraham laughed. “He is a man who makes every moment as full as possible.”

“I believe it,” Taiyewo replied. He pointed to the nearly full shopping basket. “It looks like he’s going to make a lot of people full for supper tonight.”

Jesus Josephovich smiled. “He who eats this food will be hungry again. He who consumes truth will be filled to overflowing.”

“I like that,” Taiyewo said. “Maybe I’ll put that on a t-shirt.”

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

 
Comments Off on Chapter 56 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Posted by on October 2, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chapter 55 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch55 Turning

Ch 55. Turning

Elena was planning a big dinner that night, so she asked Jesus Jospehovich to help pick up groceries for the meal. Abraham, the medical student from Nigeria, was coming to eat with them and he was already on his way to pick up Jesus Josephovich.

Abraham pulled up in an old green Volkswagon, the brakes squeaking loudly as he stopped next to the curb.

“You have a car?” Jesus asked.

“No,” Abraham laughed. “My friend let me borrow it to run some errands. Elena wants us to pick up food at the Mega Mart on the other side of the city, but I swear, it’s faster to take the metro than drive a car in this crazy place. There is so much traffic.”

Jesus Josephovich entered the vehicle. Abraham stared at him, but didn’t move the car.

“Your seat belt,” Abraham said.

“My what?” the foreigner replied confused.

Abraham pulled his seat belt away from his chest to illustrate what it was and how to put it on.

“Oh,” Jesus said as he fiddled with the strap, trying to untangle it from the strap behind it. “No one’s ever asked me to use one of these before.”

“I know,” Abraham laughed. “People in this country don’t use those things. Sometimes they’re even insulted when I put it on, like they think I don’t trust their driving.”

“Do you trust their driving?”

“Never, man,” Abraham joked. “They are crazy. There are no rules.”

Abraham pulled the car out of the alleyway and into the crowded street where they immediately stopped fast in a long line of cars. The line stretched as far as Abraham could see.

He sighed angrily. “You see. There’s always traffic like this.”

They both watched with interest as an equally frustrated driver who had just reached the traffic jam began to drive backwards. The car flew the opposite direction up the street towards the oncoming traffic, apparently assuming that they would stop for him. The car finally reached a small street and turned down it away from the traffic.

“Hey, maybe that’s a shortcut,” Abraham thought.

He changed gears with a grinding screech and the little Volkswagon lurched backwards towards the oncoming cars.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Jesus wondered aloud as they drove the wrong way up the street.

“I’m in Ukraine. I should drive like a Ukrainian.” Abraham winked.

Cars weaved around them honking aggressively as their car made its way back to the small side street. They received a few angry looks, but to Jesus Josephovich’s surprise, many people began following their lead, hoping that they knew a shortcut. Car after car began driving backwards up the road, causing confused pedestrians to jump out of the crosswalk.

Abraham drove the car up and over the curb to avoid a car that had stopped just at the entrance to the side street. Jesus Josephovich’s head bounced off the top of the car as they crashed down off the curb. The gears grumbled once more as Abraham put the car into drive and sped off down the small alleyway.

They drove a few blocks down to the next intersection where they were forced to turn onto a larger street. They wound their way around over several hills until they came to the next main street, but their gamble had not paid off. There was a line of cars waiting to turn onto the main road, but traffic was so slow that none of them could turn. The cars on the main road made sure to follow inches behind the next car so that no one could merge in front of them.

Abraham slammed his steering wheel with his fist.

“This is even worse,” he shouted.

“What do you want to do?” Jesus Josephovich asked unassumingly.

“I know what I’m going to do,” Abraham said as he lurched the car backwards again and turned the car around. “I know one other way we can go,” he said. “Maybe we can avoid some of this.”

Abraham sped the little Volkswagon through a maze of twisting turns and back alleys, driving the wrong way up a few of them, until he ended up near another major road. He drove with a kind of reckless precision that left his passenger unsure of the practicality of their “short cut”.

As they approached the intersection, they could see cars moving by. It appeared not to be gridlocked.

“Alright!” Abraham declared enthusiastically as they turned the corner onto the main street. He glanced over at Jesus Josephovich with a big smile on his face and gave his foreign friend another proud wink. But as soon as he turned his head back to the road he slammed on the breaks and the Volkswagon came to a screeching halt.

More traffic.

“I can’t get away from it!” Abraham stated with frustration.

“That’s ok,” Jesus Josephovich said calmly. “There are some problems that can’t be fixed with action. Some problems require inaction.”

Abraham ruffled his brow and stared at his odd friend.

“Patience,” Jesus clarified. “Some problems can only be solved with patience.”

“By doing nothing?” Abraham expanded.

“Sometimes it is more difficult to do nothing, than to try to force a solution out of a problem,” Jesus continued. “But often that is exactly what is needed. Patience. Self control. Presence.”

Abraham rolled his eyes and sighed as the car moved forward a few feet and stopped again. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll be patient.”

Jesus looked intently at his friend. “Your wishes and desires are like doves. They can only fly if you let them go.”

The young man squinted his eyes, trying in vain to understand what the foreigner was telling him. He thought he understood for a moment, then lost his train of thought as the cars in front of him lurched forward. He exhaled fiercely as the cars once again came to a sudden halt.

Jesus Josephovich smiled pleasantly. “How have you been my friend?”

“Ok,” Abraham said. “School is good, but things are not getting better in this city. The crime is getting worse. Yesterday a friend of mine from Nigeria was punched on the metro. And two weeks ago a man’s wife was murdered in the park. She was African.” Abraham sighed a painful, hopeless sigh and looked straight ahead.

Jesus Josephovich glanced at the cars around them and noticed that many people were staring coldly at the black skinned driver. He looked at his friend’s hard face. “Are you afraid?”

Abraham nodded. “Of course I’m afraid. “It still isn’t safe for us to be alone or to go out at night. Just because we are black. I try to stick with friends and travel in groups, but the constant worry wears you down. I’m tired of being afraid. What can I do?”

“Do you want to change your skin color?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“No,” Abraham laughed.

“Then there is nothing you can do.”

“Maybe I should move,” Abraham said. “I’ve been thinking about it.”

“You can move,” Jesus agreed. “But then there will simply be new problems.”

“Maybe I will get a gun.” Abraham looked at his friend out of the corner of his eye.

“You want to kill them?” Jesus wondered. “The people who hate you?”

“If they try to kill me – yes,” Abraham admitted.

“Then what makes you different from them?” his passenger asked.

“What makes me different?” Abraham shouted. “What makes me different? Everything is different. They hate me for no reason. Because I am from another country. Because I look different from them. They are stupid, evil people.”

Jesus nodded and looked out of the window at the line of cars leading into the distance. “Do you hate them?”

Abraham thought about this for a moment. He knew not to answer too quickly when talking to Jesus Josephovich. “If someone tries to kill me, then yes, I would hate them.”

“Why?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“Why?” Abraham shouted again. “Because they want to kill me. They hate me.”

“You hate them because they hate you?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” the student said, shrugging his shoulders and pulling the car a few feet closer.

“But you believe that your hatred is justified, because you hate them for a better reason than they hate you?” the foreigner questioned.

Abraham shook his head in confusion. “I don’t know. But I don’t feel like hating them would be wrong if they attacked me.”

“I understand,” Jesus Josephovich acknowledged. He looked back out the window at the traffic jam as several cars were trying to squeeze out of a lane that was ending. “What do you think caused the traffic jam?”

Abraham took a deep breath and looked out the side window. “I don’t know. It could be anything. Everything seems to cause a traffic jam in this place. And when there’s an accident, they don’t move the cars out of the way until the police get there. They just sit there blocking traffic for hours. It’s terrible.”

Jesus raised an eyebrow. “It’s interesting to think that this whole traffic jam might have been caused by a single car.”

Abraham snickered. “Ha, yeah. He probably doesn’t even know that he’s stopped up every road in Kiev. Some guy probably double parked to go buy some beer.”

The foreigner grinned. “Have you ever noticed that getting angry makes other people angry as well? Almost like it’s contagious.”

“Yeah, I’ve felt that before,” the driver admitted.

“And when someone hates you, you automatically hate them.”

“Yes. That’s how it seems,” Abraham agreed. “It’s not like I’m choosing to hate them. I just do it to protect myself.”

“Then it’s amazing to think that all of mankind’s hatred could have been caused by a single man hating another man,” Jesus suggested.

Abraham hit the breaks again and pondered what his companion had just said. It was almost too big an idea to fit in his head.

“Imagine,” Jesus Josephovich continued, “if a single man got so angry that he hated someone, and maybe he killed that person, and that anger and hatred got passed down to other people and it kept getting passed down again and again, making others angry and hateful, everyone hating someone for hating them, but not really knowing why or where it all came from.”

“That’s interesting, but how does that help me? I mean, what if these guys want to kill me?” Abraham wondered.

“You know the answer,” Jesus Josephovich said. “But I cannot tell you. You are not ready to hear it.”

“What do you mean I’m not ready?” Abraham exclaimed. “I listened to your crazy theory, and I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t understand what you think I should do. What do you do in a situation like that?”

The foreigner smiled and put his hand on Abraham’s shoulder. “You are not ready, but because you asked I will tell you.” He paused. “You want to know what you should do? Start with this idea: It is never right to kill another man for any reason.”

Abraham’s eyes opened wide and he slammed on the breaks again. “That’s crazy. I understand the idea, but it’s not possible.” He gripped the steering wheel tightly as a wave of emotion passed over him.

“I told you it would be difficult to believe.”

“It is. I don’t believe it. I don’t agree,” Abraham confessed. “I think there are times when you have to kill in order to survive, and to protect others, to protect your family.”

“Of course,” Jesus Josephovich agreed. “That is the belief, the feeling, the instinct that allows all animals on this earth to survive. It is the basis of conscious life. Survival.”

“Then how can it be wrong?”

“It’s not wrong,” Jesus Josephovich admitted. “Unless you are more than an animal.”

Abraham froze like a deer in headlights, his heart halting momentarily like the cars before him. That is how he had always thought that the racists treated him, like an animal. “But it doesn’t make sense,” Abraham argued.

“If you did not have a soul, if a part of you did not live on beyond this physical body, then you would be correct,” Jesus Josephovich agreed. “A lion must kill.”

“And if I believe I have a soul?” Abraham asked.

“Then you have reached the deepest of mysteries. The most difficult of all realizations.”

“That I can’t kill another being with a soul?”

Jesus shook his head kindly. “That killing another human being does not help you survive.”

Abraham considered this. “I don’t understand. I still think I should protect myself.”

“You can protect the body, but you cannot protect the soul by killing, “ the foreigner explained. “It may help your body survive, but not your soul.”

“Why?” Abraham wondered.

“This is the unexplainable mystery. You cannot see it. Few can feel it. Fewer can believe it.”

“Believe what?”

“That death is not a failure. Death is not the end,” Jesus said.

“What is death?” Abraham asked, not sure he wanted to hear the answer.

“It is a rebirth,” Jesus Josephovich claimed. “The caterpillar must give up its old self to become a new creation. Death is a necessary step for the growth and survival of the soul.”

“So I can’t kill others, but I need to die?” Abraham tried to comprehend. “Should I just kill myself then, if death is the next step?”

“No. Never,” Jesus answered. “To kill oneself is the darkest of deeds. It blinds you to all truths. Death gives birth to us all at the proper time. A baby born too early will not survive.”

“But how is killing myself different from letting someone else kill me?”

“Killing yourself consciously destroys your connection to all other things. Allowing someone to kill you, without resistance or complaint, connects you in the strongest way possible to the world around you,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “But these are deep truths. Who can understand them?”

“Not me,” the student admitted.

Abraham pondered these things in his heart. After a moment he found another loophole and shouted it out almost joyfully.

“But what about my family? What if I have children? I have to protect them. I don’t care if something bad happens to me or even to my soul, but I can’t let anything bad happen to my family,” Abraham declared selflessly.

“This is the second mystery, and for many the most difficult,” the foreigner replied. “You will never be separated from those you love.”

“That sounds great, but why is that difficult to believe?”

“It sounds simple, but consider the implications,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Think about how all of your decisions impact this circumstance. Understand that your actions are eternal.”

“What do you mean?” Abraham wondered. “They never go away? They can’t be changed?”

“The tiniest of stones will send a ripple across a lake. Your love, and lack of love, will echo through infinite time. Even beyond time, where it stands forever motionless.”

Abraham was amazed. He tried to fit this idea into his head, but it wouldn’t fit. He felt as if the whole universe were trying to pour itself into his mind, but it was overflowing right out the top and nothing was staying inside. He felt his whole being slipping away into nothingness – into something so much bigger than himself that it felt empty even though it was full in every way it is possible to be full.

“Are you beginning to see how important your life is here?” Jesus Josephovich asked him. “What you build here will never be broken.”

“My actions are eternal?” Abraham asked.

“Exactly,” Jesus said encouragingly. “Now do you think it’s possible that one man’s hatred could get passed down for generations? Can you see how that one action could have eternal repercussions?”

“I don’t know,” Abraham admitted, “but it seems possible. There are entire countries that hate each other for things that happened to their great great grandparents.”

Jesus nodded. “Indeed there are. So if that is possible, then do you also think it is possible that one man’s love could get passed down in the same way? That a single act of pure love could change the world?”

Abraham considered this. “I do,” he answered.

Jesus Josephovich smiled. “Then you must choose,” he said. “Will you choose to pass on the hatred of your fellow man, or love?”

Abraham swallowed nervously as the implications of such a love expanded before his consciousness. He slowed down his car and allowed the car to his right to merge in front of him. “I see,” he said, fully aware of the depth of his choice, but not ready to declare his answer.

The weathered car pushed through the traffic and past an intersection where two cars were blocking the right side of the road and causing the traffic jam. As they passed the two cars they noticed that there didn’t seem to be any major damage to either car.

“Hey look. It was just a small accident,” Abraham pointed out. “All that mess for nothing.”

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

 
Comments Off on Chapter 55 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Posted by on October 2, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chapter 54 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch54 Prayer

Ch 54. Prayer

When Jesus Josephovich came out of the hacker’s apartment, the Oligarch was waiting for him in his private car listening to whatever noise passing for pop-music had been released on the radio that week. The driver opened the door for Jesus and he took a seat next to the intrigued Oligarch.

“So,” the Oligarch said. “What did you think of the capabilities of our friend?”

Jesus Josephovich smiled kindly. “Kolya is a wonderful young man. He is going to be of great benefit to his family and to the community.”

The Oligarch squinted his eyes in confusion. “I mean, what do you think of our offer. We can make you a Ukrainian citizen. We can make you Mayor of Kiev!” He spread his arms wide encompassing the entire back of the car. “Or we can turn you over to the authorities as an illegal immigrant with no identification. The choice is yours.”

The foreigner merely grinned. “Come to dinner with us tomorrow night, and I will tell you what I am going to do.”

The Oligarch smiled and directed the driver to take them back to Volodomir’s apartment. He assumed that the foreigner’s calm attitude was evidence that he had decided to join the Oligarch and his political machine.

Jesus Josephovich and the Oligarch parted ways with two very similar, yet very different things on their minds:

As he left the car Jesus Josephovich thought about all the good characteristics of his new friend and about how those positive things in his life, his tireless work ethic, business cunning, and substantial financial success, could help thousands of people around him if only he would get rid of the few blemishes in his character and ego that were holding him back from his real purpose in life. Jesus could honestly say that he loved him, especially when he considered his true potential.

The Oligarch also considered the many positive things about the strange foreigner he had met, but he could only think about how he could use this man’s popularity to his own benefit, regardless of what might happen to the foreigner or to the larger community. He loved the idea of controlling a powerful ally. He really loved the idea of being in control.

Jesus Josephovich headed upstairs to Volodomir’s apartment. He knocked on the heavy metal door and Volodomir’s wife Elena quickly opened it. She looked surprised to see Jesus Josephovich at the door, as if she had forgotten about their guest.

“Oh, hello,” she said, letting him through the door, then quickly shutting it behind her to keep too much cold air from coming in. Compared to the wintery cold outside, their apartment was a sauna.

“Are you alright?” Jesus Josephovich asked her, noticing her tenseness.

“Oh, I’m fine,” she answered instinctively. “Just a lot on my mind.”

“You know what helps me when I have a lot on my mind?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “Singing.”

She smiled meekly, and the foreigner began whistling a cheery tune.

Suddenly her face turned grim and she almost grabbed the thin foreigner by the arm. “What are you doing?” she yelled.

Jesus Josephovich paused and stared at Elena’s frantic face, which appeared to be twisted in pain. “You don’t like my song?”

“You’re whistling!” she announced, as if it were an act of pure evil. “You can’t whistle indoors! It’s a curse!” she explained.

“Oh yes,” he replied, remembering the Oligarch’s similar response. “That wealthy businessman told me the same thing.” The foreigner was amused that the wealthiest man in the country and a typical Ukrainian housewife would react the same way to the superstition about money.

“If you whistle indoors, your money will fly out the window,” Elena declared with complete gravity. The fear in her voice told Jesus Josephovich that this was more than just an old Slavic superstition. It was connected to something that she was worried about right now.

“Really?” Jesus said. “And why are you so worried about money? Do you think that God will not provide what you need?”

Elena sighed and sat down at the kitchen table. “Volodomir is not making as much money at his job as he hoped, and we just have so many things to think about. Sometimes I think God cares about us, but he doesn’t pay much attention to all the details happening in our lives.”

Jesus smiled at the wisdom hidden within her remark. “And why do you think that is?”

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head in defeat. “I pray to God every day, but sometimes I don’t think he’s listening. I’ve tried everything that the priests tell us to do. I always wear a shawl over my head and dress humbly when I go to church, I bow three times and make the sign of the cross at every door and every icon, I buy candles from the sisters and light them on each of the altars for Mary, John and…” she cleared her throat, “Jesus.” She grinned nervously. “ And I never miss a church service.”

The foreigner looked impressed. “Sounds like prayer is hard work.”

“It is!” she admitted. “If I can’t go to the church building I put on my shawl and kneel on the ground in front of our icon of Mary to pray.”

She pointed to a small gilded Orthodox painting of Mary holding her baby on the mantel. The style of painting was very old, and the images looked barely human, like a photograph that has aged so much it no longer resembles its original subject.

“I kiss the icon and kiss the cross around my neck,” she continued, “and I say the Lord’s prayer. Then I add specific requests, usually about Volodomir and the children.”

“And about money?” Jesus inquired.

“Yes,” she blushed. “I pray about money. I pray about it a lot.”

Elena lowered her head in shame at her admitted selfishness, then grabbed Jesus’ hands.

“You are a holy man. Teach me to pray!” she begged. “I know God will answer me if you teach me to pray.”

“When you were a child, did your parents give you everything that you asked for?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“No,” she admitted. “But we were poor.”

“Could there have been any other reasons that your parents might not have given you something you asked for? Do you ever ignore your children’s requests?”

Elena took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes. Sometimes my children ask me for things that I know won’t be good for them. Like candy or when they want to play outside without a hat or gloves.”

“Maybe you were actually better off not getting some of the things you asked for as well,” the foreigner suggested.

“Well, maybe I didn’t really need all the things I wanted,” she conceded.

“You know everybody prays for money,” Jesus Josephovich said. “We all think that money is going to solve our problems, but rich people have more problems than anyone I know. I just spent time with an Oligarch, and I saw that he was a man who is never at peace. His only peace is pleasure, and pleasure lasts but an instant.”

Elena opened her eyes wide. It was difficult to imagine that millions of dollars wouldn’t bring some sense of peace to her life.

“What you’re really looking for is a sense of security,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “You hope that more money will give you that security.” He looked her straight in the eye. “It won’t,” he promised.

Elena sighed. “I know,” she said. “Somehow I’ve always known that money would not bring me peace. But I thought it would at least make the problems in life easier to deal with. I thought it might bring us a little more pleasure.”

“Money is not going to work,” her guest told her. “Pleasure simply creates a desire for more pleasure. It does not lead to peace. Security cannot come from a physical object outside of yourself. It can only come from something within.”

“What is that?” Elena asked.

“God,” he said simply.

“But how can God give me more peace?” she asked humbly.

“More prayer,” Jesus answered.

“But I told you, I pray every day and it doesn’t work!”

Jesus Josephovich nodded in agreement. “Why do you think that is the case?”

Elena raised her hands in frustration. “I don’t know. Maybe I don’t know how to pray correctly.”

“You know how to pray,” Jesus said. “But you are confused about when to pray.”

Elena stared at the foreigner for a long moment, trying to understand what he was saying. “Should we pray in the morning? Before we sleep? Should we pray before we eat anything, or just large meals? What about at celebrations? What am I missing?” she pleaded.

Jesus Josephovich put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “You think that when you say, “Father, Hallowed be your name”, that you are starting a prayer. You believe that you should end your prayers with the phrase “Amen”. And you imagine that the words between those phrases are the only things that God considers prayer.”

Elena paused to consider this. “What is prayer then?” she wondered.

“Prayer is talking to God,” Jesus Josephovich answered plainly. “It is when we bring our requests, concerns, and questions to our Heavenly Father. It is when God listens to us… and he is always listening.”

“Always?” she asked with trepidation.

“Always,” Jesus said with a knowing grin. “You believe, and often hope I’m sure, that the words you speak during times not designated as “prayer” are not being listened to by the Creator of the Universe.”

Elena nodded shyly in agreement.

“But I tell you this: every word you speak is prayer. Every thought is meditation. Every breath breathes the spirit of heaven. God hears all. God knows all. God is with you at every moment of every day. He hears your words, righteous and wicked. So beware your sinful words and thoughts. Be careful that you do not wish more wickedness into this world than you pray for good things. For the wickedness you wish upon others will come, and it will come into your own life.”

“Are you sure?” she questioned with fear in her voice. “He listens to everything we say? Even our thoughts?”

“Do you think you are so far from Heaven that God cannot hear you?” Jesus Josephovich walked over to the window and opened it, letting in the freezing winter air. He looked up into the massive gray clouds hovering over the city.

“God sees the same sky as you,” he said as he looked up into the clouds. “Only, when he looks at the sky it is filled with Angels.” He paused and smiled at the clouds as if greeting an old friend. “So it is with your sky, yet only those with eyes to see can see it.”

“I’m not sure I want to see that,” Elena confessed.

“You don’t need to see it,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Believing is enough. Just remember this: Every word is a prayer. Therefore, let your words be holy, for God is listening, and not only God, but every Angel in Heaven as well.”

Elena thought deeply about what the wild-haired foreigner had said. It challenged everything she had ever thought about the separation between her life and her religion. She slowly walked over to the window and looked up at the clouds. Not seeing any angels, she closed the window shut tight, double checking to make sure no cold air was coming through.

She walked back to the kitchen table and sat down silently. She stared at Jesus Josephovich as he analyzed her expression.

“Are you okay?” he asked once again.

Elena smiled. “Yes, I’m just being careful. If every word is a prayer, I don’t want to mess up!”

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

 
Comments Off on Chapter 54 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Posted by on October 1, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,