Yury Sipko “Father’s heart has a place for you too!”

“Hey, are you alive”? Someone yelled into Boris’s ear while tugging his sweatshirt sleeve. He didn’t have the strength to answer, and he didn’t want to answer. But maybe there was no one, I imagined. But the shouting continued. The jerks became more sudden, pain arose, so Boris involuntarily responded with a groan.

“Are you alive”? – Boris opened his eyes, saw the blurry outline of someone’s face. He moved his lips silently: “Alive.”

“Who are you, how did you get here?” this question was too difficult to answer on the first go.

“Give me a drink,” Boris moved his lips again, the stranger lifted the neck of the bottle, and moisture flowed onto his face and lips, refreshing his already parched mouth. More. The second attempt was more successful, Boris took a few sips so that the moisture penetrated deep into his body. He felt the liquid flow inward through his throat, refreshing and reviving his body. He smeared the wet drops on his face. He opened his eyes more confidently.

“Maybe a hundred grams of vodka, it would make me feel better,” Boris asked quietly, wanting the stranger to pity him. The man just shook his head, no. “Thanks for that too. But who are you? How did you get here?”

“I am Dima. I looked into the basement, it seemed like someone was here. I listened and it sounded like someone whistled. Well, I climbed into this basement. So hello.”

“Hello brother,” answered Boris and closed his eyes. “I was ready to say goodbye to life. What to do now?” He looked at the stranger. The man crouched down, studied Boris, was silent, waiting for a conversation or a request for help.

“Well, what do you want?” asked Boris. Dima crouched next to Boris. “Don’t you despise me? Look, I’m contagious. And tuberculosis and AIDS and scabies, everything.” Boris wanted to continue the list of terrible diseases, but suddenly he sneezed, coughed and fell silent.

“You know, Borya,” replied Dima in a friendly way, as if he were addressing Boris as an old acquaintance. “I understand you. I have been through this swamp myself. And tuberculosis, AIDS, and scabies, and I’ve been in death’s mouth more than once. Seen it all. A year ago, the boys found me in the same basement, I was already unconscious. They pulled me out and took me to their place. They gave me food. They were literally begging God for me. And you won’t believe it, but I no longer have tuberculosis, scabies or AIDS.”

Boris, who indifferently tried to get away from the annoying guest, tensed up. “You’re lying. It’s not possible.”

“It is possible, brother. I stand here before you. I’m telling you Boris, we’re all like that over there. Ex ones. Who was a scientist. Who was a mechanic. Who was an engineer. We even had teachers. Former ones. That’s our name. FIs. Former intellectuals. Broken people. Everyone has their own sadness. But the curse is the same for everyone. We started with a hundred grams of vodka. Then with a glass. Then came the robberies. Drugs. The robberies again. Prison. The entire set of infections. I’ve been down that path. I am an orphan. I started when my mother died when I was ten. Father left earlier. I started hooliganizing at the orphanage. I ran away countless times. Sometimes I wandered for months. I lived in basements. In the attics. I fought. I stole. I was caught. Was taken back to the orphanage. And as soon as I turned eighteen, I was happily thrown into the street, well, and there’s a way of life, you know. Narrow. The road is one-way. So there is no turning back from there. I have seen everything.”

Dima took a deep breath. He paused. “But now my brother, I am well. Free of charge. Just happy! These guys are angels. Not only did they wash and feed me. They taught me how to pray to God. And God gave me my life back. It’s a miracle. Imagine, I had never heard of God in my life. I had only learned to swear and listen to swearing. And they gave me a Bible. And a miracle happened. It turned out that God loves even people like me. And God loves you!”

Borya only gritted his teeth. “Loves. Yes. Keep your pocket wide open.” How many times his most loyal friends had betrayed him. And when he was swollen with hunger they beat him half to death, even if he only put out his hand. How many betrayals he experienced during his years of wandering. Boris, a cold and unfeeling cynic, had lost absolutely all faith in kindness. “I do know this love.”

Dima was silent. Didn’t object. He continued his story. “I agree brother. I’m aware of that. I was the dirtiest beast, that’s what they called me in the zone, I was cruel, I had so much evil in me, against my mother and father and the Creator, the authorities, the orphanage and the cops – I couldn’t even imagine that there could be anything other than evil and hatred like goodness, love and forgiveness. God did something to me. It seemed that I was looking at myself with different eyes. As if God pressed me against his chest, oh my brother, if you knew how I dreamed, since childhood of my father pressing me against his chest, calling me son affectionately, buying me a present, I wanted so much to go fishing with my father and because these dreams were not fulfilled, then I longed and cried, but then it seemed that it was fulfilled. I looked at myself. A beast is a beast. And as if God had spoken to me so gently: “Do you want to be free from this? Do you want to free yourself from drugs, evil and death?” I cried. You can’t imagine, but I literally cried, “Lord, I want to. How I want it. I ask for forgiveness from my mother, father, friends, and from You, Lord!” And that’s where the miracle happened. It was as if someone had washed my insides in some incredible milk. It was as if the blood had been replaced. Death is gone. The fear is gone. Evil is gone. You can imagine, I’m sitting on the sofa, crying and smiling from ear to ear, tears on my face and I’m happy. Good thing it’s dark here. Borja, I can’t control myself, I have tears in my eyes.”

Dima’s story about his passionate desire to be with his father, his thirst to be with his mother and father in the house, broke Boris’s heart. The memory cut mercilessly through his heart, causing such pain that Borya groaned. And father and mother suddenly appeared as if in reality. And the heart began to beat anxiously, passionately, causing an incredible, hitherto unknown desire to hug mommy, daddy and brother. He even struggled to get up from the couch, but then the realization of where he was, who he was, and the indecent state he was in came back.

“You know, I’m not fine. I lived in abundance, surrounded by maternal and paternal care. Our family is wealthy. Father gave everything for us, he didn’t refuse anything. And bicycles. And walks. And rest. I didn’t need anything. I don’t even know how it happened. I started to behave badly. I ran away from home. I made friends with the boys from the neighboring village. They were hooligans. We drank. So brave. Independent. They welcomed me into their company but kept their distance from me. And I wanted to prove that I am not worse than them. I’m not weak. And so the fateful moment arrived. My father started scolding me once, saying that you are already an adult, think about it, you should be doing your own business, but you are doing stupid things. Well, I exploded. Yes, I’m an adult. So give me my money and I’ll go take care of my business. I’m a villain. You get it, a bastard. My father told me that I had to earn my own money. But I told him, they say you give me my share of the inheritance, anyway you don’t have much left to live and I’ll carry on the business, it won’t rust after me. You imagine, father, instead of whipping me, took and gave me that money. And blessed. Saying, “Good luck, son!” So here I am. The road here is the same as your road. And narrow and swampy.” Borya wassilent.

“Come with me if you want,” suggested Dima. “We have bread. You can wash yourself. And I am sure that God will heal you and free you from all abominations.”

“You know, Dim, you broke my heart with your story. I only have one path now. I will go to my father as a hired laborer and work out my meanness until mylast breath. I don’t even have the right to be forgiven. I go, I ask for a paid job, I am ready for any job, at least I graze cows or clean manure, at least do something, but I will wash this shame off of me.”

Borya stood up, got on all fours and crawled towards the exit. “Hey Dim, will you give me some water? Otherwise I have nothing.” “I will, of course I will,” he handed Borya a bottle. “Here, have some crackers. Dear, where do you eat? Is it far to go?” “It is quite far away.” Dima stuffed crackers and a bottle of water into Borya’s breast pockets, and the man continued to move towards freedom.

The sun was at the zenith. The heat and the long journey exhausted Boris, taking away the last of his strength. Father’s mansion had been in sight for a long time. But the distance to the target was slowly decreasing. Weakened legs. A weakened spirit. Suddenly a thought occurred to him. Terrible. Poor Boris. “But if father doesn’t want to talk to you. Yes, he doesn’t even recognize you as his son. Look at yourself. In tatters. Homeless. Hairy like a savage. All this on top of the fact that you robbed him naked.” Boris fell to the ground and howled. He tore up the grass beneath him with his nails. “Lord,” came suddenly from Boris’s lips, “Forgive me, a vile scoundrel. God forgive me!”

Something happened. The fear disappeared. Boris stood up. Looked up at the sky and whispered: “God, I’m a scoundrel. But have mercy on me. Help me get to my father and ask for his forgiveness.” He got strength from somewhere. Went and walked confidently. Not with the thought, come what may, but in faith and wanting to redeem his guilt. “Here it is, the pasture. We loved playing here. Here is our pond. We went skating here. Swam. We fished here.” The feeling of home, this childlike purity, this forgotten peace, security, was like oil flowing over Boris, reviving his tired and aching body. He didn’t notice how the gray-haired man quickly walked towards him and suddenly hugged him. “My son!” Boris heard and knelt down weakly.

“My son!” the man murmured, “My son has been found! My son is alive. My son is back! I knew. I believed. I have been waiting for you, my son!”

Boris hugged his father’s legs, cried, pitifully, trying to say the prepared words of repentance, but only cried and shed tears, wiping his tears on the lapels of his father’s caftan. Finally, gathering his strength, he said. “Father! I have sinned against heaven and before you and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants: “Bring the best clothes and dress him and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it; let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and he is found.”

Author: Yury  Sipko / В сердце Отца, есть место и для тебя! , Eвангельские проповеди (ysipko.ru)

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