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We drove in a convoy to Chief Hiamovi’s house in the Indian village across the river and were welcomed graciously. The Chief was especially glad to see Joseph, his chief steward, alive and well, though his face darkened when he heard Paul’s confession, felt Maggie’s grief, and saw the scars on Joseph’s back.
“These scars were inflicted unjustly,” the Chief said, “but they prove the unworthiness of the Town Council. Their rejection and mistreatment of you gives me legal cause to remove them from their positions of authority and to replace them with others. 225 The time has come to act.”
“We must also go to Newkirk,” Joseph replied, “and see what should be done with its Town Council. They have always expressed respect for you, although it seems that they were the ones who induced Cosmos to kidnap me. We need to investigate the matter further. There is still much that we do not know.”
“Yes,” the Chief agreed. “The leaders of the two towns are obviously working together and may be conspiring together against us and against the Creator Himself.”
“Usurpers always live in fear,” I added. “Fear motivates them to act aggressively to defend themselves and to protect that which they have unlawfully usurped. I suspect that these Town Councilmen are no different. I do not expect them to repent but to fight, and I think we should prepare ourselves accordingly.”
“The New Covenant,” Joshua interjected, “guarantees that even these usurpers will be subdued and will come into agreement with the Creator in the end. However, it is not likely that this is the time that they will repent. Their hearts are yet hardened. They must first be brought to judgment, and when they have lost everything, they will then be in a position to learn righteousness.”
“Yes, I agree,” the Chief said thoughtfully. “The only way to restore these men will be through judgment. So we must bring judgment and upset their kingdom. It is the only way to liberate the townspeople. If we do nothing, the people will continue to be deceived and ruled by evil men.”
At that point I heard a slight tapping at the window. Turning, I saw the little dove pecking lightly at the window pane. The dove had flown away when we drove to the Chief’s house, but it had now returned. Sipporah immediately got up and walked outside. The dove flew up, and soon my wife returned to the room with the dove on her shoulder.
“We have some news,” Sipporah announced. “Sippore has the eyes of God, and she has flown to and fro throughout the town of Newkirk to see what she might see.” As the dove whispered into her ear, Sipporah related the message to the rest of us.
“I saw a blustering mayor and a frightened Town Council in a state of panic when they learned that one of their number—the Executioner—had joined the fellowship. They now plot his death, because he knows too many of their secrets. But they are unnerved by the fact that Joseph’s wounds have been so quickly healed, and they do not know how to account for this. At the present time, they believe that the only solution that will save themselves is to kill Paul, Joseph, and perhaps even the entire fellowship. They know that a simple beating will only make matters worse, now that they see that such wounds are easily healed.”
“So they have declared war,” the Chief said solemnly. “In their blindness they think they are fighting flesh and blood, not knowing that to fight us is to fight the Creator Himself. Man’s ability to deceive himself knows no bounds. But I perceive that the Creator has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts in order to expose their hearts to the people and to give us lawful cause to bring judgment upon them. The day of deliverance is at hand. We have no reason to fear the evil plans and devices of men.”
“How shall we proceed, then?” Joshua asked.
“Sleep tonight and go to Newkirk tomorrow,” the Chief said. “Go to Moon Plaza at mid-morning and declare the truth in public. Let us bring this situation to a head. Since the Rhodomon Society controls not only the Town Council but also the court system, we will have to go over their heads and appeal directly to the people. Let the people decide what to do with their elected officials. Speak the truth in love, 226 and know that your word will be confirmed by signs following. 227 You will not need to fight this battle, because the battle belongs to God.” 228
“We go, then,” I said. “May the light shine brightly from many dark mountains soon.”
With that, we departed. Sippore, the blood-stained dove, flew again to search the hearts of men and to prepare the way before us. As we crossed the river, we felt an energetic surge from the river, and we knew that the hearts and minds of all who were living in the valley were being altered with each cup of water that they now drank. Most of them did not yet understand what was happening to them, for their paths looked the same as always. But an imperceptible renewal had begun, hidden in simple and basic things long taken for granted.
I stopped and parked the truck on the other side of the bridge. Turning to my wife, I suggested that we walk down to the river’s edge. Getting out of the truck, we made our way down to the river, which flowed gently and sparkled in the day’s remaining sunlight. Sipporah knelt down, scooped up some water, and washed her face.
Then she looked up at me with a puzzled look. “My eyes are clearer than they used to be,” she said. “Something is happening to my eyes. They feel sharper now, renewed in some way.”
“If you see better than before, then it must be due to the changes taking place,” I said. “Now that the water from Revelation Mountain is flowing into the river, we should expect many good things to happen. Perhaps you won’t need reading glasses anymore.”
We soon continued our short journey back to the lodge, arriving just as the sun set in the western sky. Joseph arrived shortly after we did, and we shared the evening meal at the lodge cafeteria. As we ate, Joseph looked at Sipporah oddly and said, “Have your eyes changed color? There is something different about your eyes.”
“I can’t see my eye color,” she replied, “but they should be dark brown unless they have changed.”
“Well, that isn’t it,” Joseph said. “They are still brown. But I perceive that something is different.”
Sipporah then told him of the strange sensation at the edge of the river and how the water seemed to heal her eyes and clarify her vision in a subtle way.
“Yes, the river of life has imparted some gift to you,” he said confidently. “No doubt you will learn what this means soon enough. The Creator’s gifts come when we need them.”
I then changed the topic. “The Chief told me that your father’s name was Joseph and that my father Thomas was his friend. My father used to tell me stories about Yaqui Joe, as he called him.”
“Was that your father?” he said with surprise. “Yes, I was much younger then, but I knew him. The two were great friends and used to camp in the mountains. They both loved nature, and nature provided them with many interesting adventures.”
We then shared many stories from past days, and I was able to verify and clarify many exciting incidents that my father had related to me when I was young. By the time we parted to retire for the night, I felt like I had known Joseph all of my life. Indeed, I had. But the hour was late, and we needed sleep. It was not long before we were descending dreamily into other dimensions of reality that were largely inaccessible except through sleep.
Then somewhere from the far recesses of inner space, I heard my name called, and I was awakened from a deep sleep as my wife’s hand touched my shoulder.
“Are you awake?” Sipporah asked me.
“Almost,” I slurred.
“I had a dream,” she said.
“Don’t we all?” I replied without opening my eyes.
“No, I mean it,” she insisted. “It was too real to be just a dream.”
“What did you see?” By this time I realized that this was important to her and could not wait. Too often dreams are lost in the fog of night or washed away by lesser dreams that follow. If this was truly important, then it should be spoken or written down immediately so that it was not lost.
“I was flying high in the night sky, looking down at the town of Cosmos. Then I saw a car drive from Newkirk to Cosmos, and it stopped between the Town Hall and the Rhodomon Society building. A dark figure got out of the car and knocked on the door of the Society building, and another dark figure opened the door to let him in.”
“I then flew low and met the Town Hall mouse, who seemed to know me. I asked him to investigate and to tell me what was happening. He slid through a tiny crack in the building, and after a long while, he returned to tell me that the two mayors had met in the temple.”
“Temple?” I interrupted.
“Yes, he called the Society building a temple,” she said. “He said that the mayor of Newkirk was angry with the mayor of Cosmos and was berating him fiercely. My impression was that the mayor of Newkirk was the one in authority. Anyway, they began to discuss plans to call forth false witnesses against us, so that they would have an excuse to put us in jail as conspirators and perhaps even to do worse things to us.”
“Do you think the dream was somehow connected to reality?” I asked her.
“Well, that is the strange part. In the dream I was a dove—Sippore, to be precise—and I was seeing things through her eyes. We were one. Her thoughts were my thoughts.”
“You could also understand and speak with a mouse,” I reminded her with all seriousness. “It sounds like we are being given understanding of all languages, even that of animals. It seems that we are coming more and more into harmony with nature.”
“I have more to say,” she continued. “After getting the field report from the house mouse, I flew high into the dark sky once again and then looked toward the river. There I saw a disturbance, as if a great earthquake had struck under it. I saw large waves hit the shore, and in the dim light, I saw another figure walking along the shore. I could not see the man’s face, for he wore a hood. At that point, I flew here to the lodge and suddenly awoke from my dream.”
“I hardly know what to say,” I said slowly, “but I suspect that Sippore has been busy tonight, and that you have truly become one with her in a new way. You were seeing what she was seeing, but the mystery man coming from the river is unclear. Perhaps we will find out more later, perhaps even tomorrow when we go to Cosmos.”
With that we settled back down and slept again until we were awakened by the light shining through a crack on one side of the window curtain.