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“Whoa there, Anava! It’s just us!” Kuyani said, taking a step back. Joshua stood next to him and broke out a smile, obviously amused. “Calm down. Perfect love casts out all fear.”
“We have been talking with Chief Hiamovi this morning,” Joshua explained. “He wanted us to give you this bag of blessed salt.” With that, Joshua held out a small bag and put it into my hand.
“What is its purpose?” I asked.
“We do not know,” Kuyani said. “The Chief only said that he saw you in a dream last night, wherein he made a salt covenant 200 with you. He said that you would know what to do with it, and so he asked us to give it to you when we saw you.”
“Thank-you,” I replied. “I know that salt represents peace and reconciliation. In ancient times it was added to every sacrifice. 201 It is written that we are to have salt in ourselves and be at peace with one another. 202 It is somewhat difficult to be fully at peace, though, with the stench of this fountain abusing my nose.”
“Perhaps,” said Joshua, “this salt may be the solution to your nose problem and to the problem of this entire town.”
“I believe you are right,” I said. I untied the string on the cloth bag and looked at the salt inside. “What do you think, Sipp?” Glancing toward my wife, she nodded in silent agreement. I looked at Joshua and Kuyani, and they nodded as well. Jubilee began to vibrate in my hand, and I heard it say, “Me first.”
I stepped toward the rocky perimeter of the fountain and placed one end of the staff into the bitter water from the heart of Cosmos. From deep in the ground we heard a groan, and the fountain heaved as a healing crisis began to take place. I cast the salt into the water, and the water boiled momentarily. A breeze then picked up the stink and removed it from our presence. A sense of peace settled over the fountain, as the cursed water found rest in a covenant of peace with its Creator.
Sipporah 203 reached her hand into the water and put it to her lips. “It is sweet,” she said. Offering some to Sippore as well, she responded, “It is healed.” 204 We all anxiously reached down into the flowing water and brought a few sparkling drops to our mouths. It was indeed sweet, and we could feel it imparting strength to our bodies and enlightenment to our eyes, much like the living water from Revelation Mountain.
“The waters are reunited,” Joshua said presently. “The living water has been flowing toward Cosmos for the past few days, and it seems that the staff and the salt have allowed it to break through the final barrier separating the river from the ground water. This will now spread, and the earth will now heal. Great things will come of this.”
After a moment of silence, Sippore whispered into my wife’s ear, “My time has now come.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“For this I was called,” the dove explained. “It is time for me to fly high and to spread the good news of living water, so that all might be blessed.”
“Will you leave me so soon?”
“No, I will always be with you and you with me,” the bird chirped happily. “What I do, you do. When I fly, you may see the world through my eyes and perceive the hearts of men from afar. Now give me to Joshua.”
Sipporah then took the bird from her shoulder, holding her in both hands. Joshua took a sharp knife out of its sheath. “You’re not going to hurt her, are you?” my wife asked, looking apprehensive.
“No, I will not hurt her,” Joshua said reassuringly. “Kuyani, assist me, please.”
Joshua gave Kuyani the knife and then held out his hands. Kuyani sensed what he was to do, and with quick moves, he cut a covenant in both of Joshua’s hands, drawing blood from each. As blood dripped from his hands, he reached toward the dove, and my wife placed the dove gently into his bleeding hands. 205
Joshua then spoke with a clear and commanding voice: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting sun, let His Kingdom come.” 206
Then with a quick upward motion, he tossed the blood-stained dove into the fragrant morning breeze. The dove burst into prayerful song as she flew away: “Heal our body, heal our mind, heal our heart, and heal our land, Yahweh…” 207
The song faded from our hearing, but then we heard a rumble deep within the earth, and soon the whole town was jolted by an earthquake. Trees swayed, buildings stepped off their foundations, the ground rolled around us, but strangely, we were unaffected and stood on firm ground as though a solid rock lay beneath our feet. No doubt it was an aftershock from the earthquake that was felt a few days earlier. We knew that great healing had begun which no force on earth or under the earth could stop.
Suddenly, a loud cry came from a park bench just out of earshot. An old man had been sitting there in silence. We had scarcely noticed him earlier. But now he stood with hands raised, holding a white stick. “I was blind, but now I see!” he shouted. Seeing us for the first time, he ran awkwardly toward us, shouting ecstatically.
“Bless you! Bless you!” he shouted jubilantly. When he finally stood near us, he asked wide-eyed, “What did you do? How did you do it?” We told him briefly what we had done, and he said, “You have fulfilled an ancient prophecy of the fountain here in Moon Plaza!” 208
“What prophecy is that?” I asked.
“Did you not read it? It is on the other side of the fountain,” he said. “I have never seen it with my eyes, but I found it with my hands many years ago as I sat at the fountain begging.” We followed him to the other side of the fountain, where he knelt down and reverently ran his fingers across roughly chiseled lettering at the base of the stone perimeter. We knelt down and read this:
When comes humility
And two agree
With salt and tree,
The blind will see.
Will set men free,
For it is the key
By now the earthquake had sent scores of fear-laden people running from the shops and from their houses. Those nearby had heard the old blind beggar shouting, and soon a small crowd, still frightened, but curious, was gathering around us. More could be seen hurrying toward the park to see what was happening. They stared in awe at the beggar, whose name (as we learned later) was Timaeus. 209
“How did you regain your sight?” someone asked.
“I was sitting on a park bench,” he replied, “and while all was quiet, I prayed to the Creator for mercy. Suddenly, my eyes began to tingle, and the darkness lifted. I saw the light and looked around the plaza for the first time. I saw these four standing near the fountain and heard one of them speak in a loud voice that seemed to come from the Creator’s throne. Then I saw the ground shake and the entire plaza rolling around me. It was plain to me that they had done something to open my eyes.”
The crowd looked at us, not knowing what to think and certainly not understanding any of this. But then a stately figure made his way out from behind the crowd.
“Joseph!” we exclaimed. “It’s good to see you! Where have you been? Are you okay? We came here to search for you!”
“Yes, I am fine. I was kidnapped and was being held in the local jail,” he said, pointing across the street. “The earthquake broke the bars of the prison, and the guards ran away in panic. So I walked over here to see why the crowd had gathered.”
Joshua answered, “I overheard the Town Council in Newkirk talking about you and learned that they had conspired against you and sent you to Cosmos. That is why we came here to look for you. The Creator equipped us in an unusual way to set you free—and not just you, but our friend here who has just been healed of blindness.
Joseph looked at him intently and extended his hand toward him. “This is indeed good news, Timaeus,” he said, speaking directly to him. “Your time has finally come, and many other blind men will see. I know you have waited long for this day.”
“I have indeed,” Timaeus replied, looking over Joseph’s shoulder, “but not all are happy. I see some unhappy people descending upon us.”
Town officials flanked by law-enforcement officers were closing in on us. The townspeople moved aside to make a path for them. As they approached, one of them pointed to Joseph and spoke loudly, “There he is! Arrest him!”
The officers grabbed Joseph roughly, who made no effort to escape or to resist arrest. As they dragged him away, one officer could be heard asking, “Sir, where shall we take him? The prison bars are broken.”
“Gather the Council,” he ordered. “We will have to meet in the street, but we must decide now what to do with this troublemaker.”
Somewhat perplexed, we looked at each other, wondering what to do next. The Creator had set Joseph free, only to be arrested once again. Finally, Sipporah spoke up. “They cannot hold him for long. We need not worry about him. The mayor and the Town Council are fighting a battle that they have already lost. They are to be pitied, rather than feared.”
“Yes, that is so,” Joshua responded. “Let us continue our business here. The people have gathered to hear the good news, so let us share it with them.”