A mole got out from the ground pile and signed sadly.
– Why do you sigh? – A falcon asked him sitting on the branch of an old oak.
– And why should I rejoice? You see how disgusting the world around us is. The darkness, dampness and dirt is everywhere … Everyone tries to dig your hole, kill you and drown you. Even the worms became some kind of thin and short. In the result of such life, I will die soon in my hole from cold or hunger.
Falcon was silent.
– You’d better not sit there on the tree, – the mole continued. It is dangerous to be in plain sight. If you want, I will dig a big hole under the oak for you. You can make a nest for you there. It is safe, warm and calm…
– Why do I need a nest? – The falcon said, jumping from branch and straightening his wings. – I’ve got the sky.
The mole didn’t hear the last words of the bird that flew away. “He is a naive fool,” – he thought about the falcon. – “He doesn’t know life at all.”
“Where does he see the darkness? – The falcon was thinking while flying higher and higher. – Such a beautiful world filled with light is around…”
On the missionary conference in Slavyansk I felt like a falcon. I had spread wings, the power, the courage and the fire in my eyes. But the conference ended. Sitting in the train on the way to Kiev, I said to myself:
“God … I don’t want to come back. It is too quiet there. People live like a year or two ago. They have their own concerns and cares. They do not understand us – the people from the Eastern Ukraine. They were not hiding in the cellars under fire. They didn’t see the bloody people on the sidewalk at the bus stop or at the door of the store who lived and breathed two or three minutes ago. They didn’t turn back to see their house and garden for the last time. They do not understand or feel everything what is happening in Ukraine now in reality. They don’t want to talk about it even in the church because they feel uncomfortable and embarrassing in such moments.
It is difficult for me to be among such happy and prosper and beautifully dressed people. I find it hard not to be upset … It’s hard not to judge the people in Kiev behind the windows of jeeps, boutiques and restaurants. I do not even try to tell them about an old woman who goes out the door of her half-burnt house in Peski or Maryinka and asks the soldiers to give her a piece of bread. I try not to think of the paralyzed, the blind and disabled people on the wheelchairs that sit or stay in their beds and cover their heads by the pillows under the whistling of the shells because they are not able to go down into the basement. They just can’t do that! Covering with cold sweat, they are looking at the ceiling and waiting for it to fall down any moment after being destroyed by the shell…
This winter, the people will freeze to death again in their apartments in the front-line towns. Someone will eat a full palm of sleeping pills and fall asleep for never to wake up and see all this horror. Someone will drink more and more alcohol for the heart to relax and release the song about happiness, love and blossoming cherry from the soul…
Why is it so, the Lord? Are there only in Slavyansk where Christians themselves have experienced the horror of war, there are people ready to give everything, to pull someone out of trouble, out of necessity, out of desperation? Is there so little love in the entire country?”
It was night outside the train. It gets dark early; it will still take me much time to ride through this darkness. I want to sweep away all thoughts. I want to fall asleep…
At this point, I heard my mobile phone ringing in my pocket. I looked at the screen. It was a colonel, my old friend. He is the former military commissar in Gorlovka. He was an eHeold, sick and weak man. He hardly walks with a cane, but feels young guy when he drives his old car. He loves to ride and serves by his car to anyone asking about that.
Their house in Gorlovka was seriously damaged by the shells. There were no windows, no doors and no roof. Viktor and his wife left the town in spring. We provided them with shelter in Nikolskoye village of Kirovograd region.
– Gena, don’t you sleep?
– No, it is too early …
– Imagine, Vasya delivered me the whole trailer of firewood!
– Which Vasya?
– The driver with whom you delivered potato to Krasnogorovka in spring. Remember?
– I remember. Did the head of the village provide him with firewood?
– No, the head of the village just promised that and then forgot about us after the elections. Vasya went to the forest and cut wood there. The firewood is very good!
– And how much does it cost?
– Nothing. He said: It is for you, elderly people. You are refugees and it is impossible to buy firewood for your pension now. He unloaded the firewood from the trailer and left. It is enough firewood for the whole winter! He just made us a gift! Understand? You have to remember him. You went to Krasnogorovka with him…
The connection was lost. I heard just the rattle of wheels. I still saw the light of the screen of my mobile phone. It was the weak light in the night. It was a small reproach for me for the fact that a few minutes ago I was complaining to God about indifferent Ukraine. I need to call Vasya and thank him when the phone connection appears
I closed my eyes and leaned back and head against the wall of the compartment … It happens so in life. Nobody was waiting for it, but the drop of good fell out from the night cloud. Somewhere in the village on the bank of the Dnieper River a man who had much to do, delivered the whole trailer of firewood to the elderly couple for free. He spent time, energy, diesel for the tractor and fuel for the chainsaw. What was the reason for him to do that?
My cell phone rang again. The fat guy on a nearby shelf tore his head from the pillow and swore. Translated into the half-normal language it would sound like this:
– Turn off your phone or put it in silent mode or go out of here together with it!
I came out of the compartment. The neighbor was right but could find words to tell me that. Olya Kosyachko called me. She is also from Nikolskoye village. She serves in the small local church. She is hard-working person and sings beautifully. I guessed why the people from Nikolskoye called me in one and the same evening?
– Hi, Gena!
– Are you not sleeping?
– Not yet. It is ok.
– We remembered you and Olya Buznitskaya at the church meeting today. We recalled the ways you provided the refugees with the shelter in our village and the way we collected potato for Krasnogorovka in spring together…
– Thank you for remembering us.
– Do you know why I’m calling? We want to gather potato again for the people of Krasnogorovka now. We want to gather potato, carrot, onion, beet and even bacon, various preserved fruits and vegetables, probably meat of hens, ducks or rabbits. We will collect a ton of food or even more. Vasya is ready to deliver it all by his bus. He only asks you to go with him. You are well-known at the check-points. They say, the attacks are going on there again. You understand what I mean…
– Olya, go on. I will go with him. I will certainly call you back in the morning. I’m in the train now. The connection is not good here.
Phone connection was really lost. But everything was already said. Forgive me, Lord! Forgive me that I don’t see out of my earthly hole everything You see in Ukraine. It is difficult for me and I see only darkness like a mole. But you, O Lord, look from the Heaven with the eyes better than a falcon has. You see not tens, not hundreds, not thousands but millions of Ukrainians that won’t pass by the disaster but will provide shelter, give warmth and feed, share a coat and a shirt, deliver a trailer of firewood, transport not only potato but their own hearts and lives to the front-line… Forgive me, Lord. Thank You for the lesson, for Your love …
I prayed, and the lights of a strange town flashed behind the window. It was snowing and the night no longer seemed hopeless. I went out to the platform at the station and called my wife.
– It seems I will have another trip to your native village – Nikolskoye – soon. The villagers are gathering food. They want to deliver it to Krasnogorovka. “Emmanuel” Association will certainly give money for the fuel for the sake of such deed.
– Whom will you ask for that?
– I do not know. I will probably tell Galina Kucher. She will settle everything for sure.
– Do not ask.
– A woman called me today. She thanked for Christian newspapers and magazines that we send out. She asked to meet her and brought money not for us personally but for good deed. So … God has paid for diesel fuel for the people of Krasnogorovka.
I couldn’t fall asleep till the dawn. I saw no night and no trouble outside the window. What can darkness do with us when God’s light is above the Earth? We will go through, survive and cope. And we will learn to love!
Gennady Novikov, the press center of “Emmanuel” Association.
The villagers from Nikolskoye are at the pictures.
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