To The Mythical Land

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Four born-again believers go on a double date to Wisconsin's north country to a place where prayers are answered.
Flanders Nickels calls this place "The Mythical Land," a rustic utopia where dreams surely come true. With Flanders is his prom gown girlfriend Kyrie and his best friend Proffery and his best friend's girlfriend Carolina. With the Holy
Spirit of God in the air of this Mythical Land, that which the four born-again Christians most want from God, God does give them.

Submitted: April 06, 2019

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Submitted: April 06, 2019

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TO THE MYTHICAL LAND

(By Mr. Morgan P. McCarthy)

 

“Amen!”

“Praise the Lord!”

“Glory!”

“Hallelujah!”

And they sang a hymn for all the world to hear. They were four born-again believers in Christ

riding horses, and they were on a journey to the north country to behold fall in northern Wisconsin. And he was Flanders Nickels with his best friend and his best friend’s girlfriend and his own girlfriend.

The group of four were riding two in front and two in back. And Flanders was in the back to the left,

his horse a brown horse. In the midst of his fellowship family, Flanders reflected with thanksgiving upon all that God had given him since having become a Christian: a prayer site in a corner of his

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bedroom in the peaceful dark of night, two Bible-reading tables at which to study and memorize Scripture (one table in his dining room and the other table in his living room), a good fundamental Baptist church that taught and preached and believed only the King James Bible, a new song in his heart (either in his head as he did chores or with the hymnbook open before him as he sat up in bed), and a precious witness life wherein God used him to lead lost souls unto salvation. In this group of four in the back to the right was pretty Kyrie. She was his girlfriend-in-the-Lord and she was once again faithfully at his right-hand side. Her pretty name was a pretty alliteration--”Kyrie K. Kendricks.”

Kyrie, ever fair, and riding a black horse, had pretty, straight brown hair that reached down her back, was tall for a young gal, and was dressed for a prom when there was no prom to go to this day once again. Her prom gown was black, like her horse, and it was made of lustrous elegant acetate top to bottom. Covering her top portion of this prom dress was a black prom dress jacket with padded shoulders and with long sleeves and with a bottom that reached down to her midriff. And the rest of her prom gown had strings that climbed up and over her shoulders, a bodice of sleek black that covered

her top portion modestly, a Basque waistline, and a skirt portion of black acetate and black lace that reached down to her ankles. In the back was a long zipper and a bow tie of black just above the rump.

This was his girlfriend riding her black horse at his side on this pilgrimage. She was his elegant lady in an elegant dress. In front of Flanders in this left of the group of four was Flanders’s best friend Proffery Laud, riding a white horse. Proffery, most unique, was not only best friend and roommate and fellow worker, but also faithful brother-in-the-Lord. In sum, Proffery was in Flanders’s eyes a master Christian. Proffery was a meek and gentle man; his words were even-tempered; his spirit of forgiveness was unerring; and his love for Christ was rife with reverence. In addition, Proffery’s sense

of humor was one of wit and spontaneity. To Proffery’s right-hand side, in front and to the right in this group of four, was Proffery’s Christian girlfriend Carolina. She was riding a spotted horse. Proffery first discovered this Carolina Student in English class. She was the classmate with a compelling

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English class savvy that drew him to her. And the way her hair did cover one of her eyes beguiled him into asking her out. And they became boyfriend-and-girlfriend-in-Christ at once. And they did grow in the Lord mightily together since.

Proffery spoke up now and asked Flanders, “Where are we going, Brother?”

And Flanders answered, “I’m not sure yet. But we’ll know when we get there.”

Carolina said, “It’ll probably be some land or something.”

“A strange new land, maybe,” surmised Proffery.

Kyrie said, “I’ll bet that it will be a land where prayers are answered,” Dream was upon her comely countenance.

“A mythical land,” conjectured Carolina.

“The Mythical Land, capitals included,” suggested Flanders. “We can call it ‘The Mythical Land.’”

“Where are we going, guys and gals?” asked Kyrie in prompt.

“To the Mythical Land!” cheered the four born-again Christians. Then all was silent.

Some time later, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the four travelers turned off of the county trunk road and on to a little country road. After another while, the Holy Spirit had then turn off of the little country road and onto a gravel road. After another while, the Holy Spirit bade them turn off of the gravel road and onto a two-rutted road. And after another while upon this two-rutted road, the Holy

Spirit said, “Turn off onto this narrow path.” And they did so. After a short while, Flanders Nickels stopped his horse, looked off to his left and said, “I think that we are there.” Then he affirmed, “Yes, we are here.” All four looked to their left.

“It’s a field,” said Kyrie.

“I see no Holy Spirit here,” said Carolina.

“Our God can use this field,” said Proffery.

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Filled with the Holy Ghost, Flanders declared with great zeal, “Behold the Mythical Land!” And he leaped off of his horse, ran out into this mythical field, and hopped and skipped about in joy of the Lord. The other three went and did likewise.

“It is peaceful here, Flanders,” said Carolina.

“God is here in this land, Flanders,” agreed Kyrie.

“You brought us to a good place, Flanders,” said Proffery.

“Shall we start out with a prayer meeting?” asked Flanders.

“Yes. Let’s,” said Kyrie. “God can hear us even in this tall grass.” And the four Christians knelt down in the field grass in a prayer circle and they prayed to Heaven, “Thy will be done for us here in the Mythical Land where Thou hast brought us this day.”

 

Later this day, around noon, Flanders was on a walk on a gravel road alone with his alluring Kyrie. Before too long, she spoke up and said, “Your girlfriend is tired, Flanders. Could you give her a ride?”

“My girlfriend has been riding all this morning,” he reminded her.

“That is why she is tired, Flanders,” she teased him right back. Flanders Nickels was beguiled by this young woman’s strange logic. Giving in to the girl, he asked her, “Would my girlfriend prefer that I give her a horsey-back ride or a piggyback ride?”

In clever gaiety, Kyrie Kendricks replied, “Your girlfriend has already seen plenty of horses today. She prefers a pig now. She wants her boyfriend to give her a piggyback ride right now.”

“I heard that, Miss Kendricks,” he said in mirth.

“My boyfriend: the appetite of behemoth and the frame of a toothpick.,” said Kyrie, laughing through her nose.

“Your boyfriend: still man enough to carry you around as easily as he does his Holy Bible,”

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replied Flanders, himself laughing through his teeth. He took his Bible out of his pocket in show before her, and he put it back into his pocket.

“Is my boyfriend going to talk, or is he going to carry his damsel in distress already?” asked Kyrie.

He now proffered attractive Miss Kendricks his lowered back. “Get up now on my back, Kyrie,” he said. She mounted his back. He continued with instructions, “Try not to squeeze your arms tightly around my neck, Kyrie. I need to be able to breathe. And try to keep your knees bent. I don’t want my sides to hurt, Kyrie. And try to hold up your head high. I don’t want long brown hair in my eyes, Kyrie.”

“Anything else, boyfriend?”she asked in flirt.

“Yes,” he said. “Try not to fall off of me.”

“I did that only that one time,” she said. Young man and young woman laughed heartily in the Lord.

And Flanders proceeded to give Kyrie K. Kendricks a piggyback ride here in the Mythical Land up north.

After a long while of this romance, Kyrie spoke up and quoted her favorite Bible verse, “’Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.’ II Timothy 4:8.”

“That great crown of righteousness verse, Kyrie,” said Flanders Nickels.

“That great crown of righteousness, Flanders,” said the prom gown woman.

“The crown you love and the crown you do not have yet,” said Flanders.

“The crown that I want more than anything else to give back to Him in Heaven, and yet the crown that my heart does not have, because I am not yet ready for the rapture of the saints,” summed

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up the young Christian woman. Man and woman continued this piggyback frolic down the isolated road in the silence of thoughts and prayers. Flanders Nickels well knew the life dream and unanswered prayer of his girlfriend. She wanted and needed to learn to love the Lord’s appearing. She had to love the imminent rapture in order to earn that mysterious crown. In short, Kyrie’s heart was not yet whole with her Lord and Saviour; the Lord did not yet have all of her heart. She loved the crown, yes, but she did not love that which gave her the crown, no. In their dating years, Miss Kendricks, despite her lack of spiritual wisdom thus, often asked him questions about the Lord’s appearing: “What will Jesus look like?” “What will I say to Him?” “What will I do with Him?” “What will He say to me?” “What will

He do with me?” even “How tall is He?”

Here in her prom gown as her boyfriend carried her, Kyrie K. Kendricks found first hopes for her crown of righteousness. She said, “Flanders, I can feel the myth in this land. It is in the air about us. Do you feel it, too?”

“I do, Kyrie. I surely do,” he said. “It is as the truth of the Holy Spirit.”

“What a beautiful and peaceful and joyous world this Mythical Land is,” said Kyrie. “Here surely dreams come true and prayers find answers.”

“Aye, Kyrie,” he said. “Dreams and prayers.”

Kyrie spoke quietly in prayer: “I wish to wish to be with You. I want to want to be with You.”

Flanders knew that his girlfriend could not yet pray instead, “I wish to be with You. I want to be with You.” The world’s greatest mystery—What does the Lord look like?--was necessarily yet sealed in mystique from her searching soul and spirit. And that was her main stumbling block to getting that dear crown. Right now, this prom dress lady on his back again prayed what she called “her first prayer

of her heart,” a petition that stretched back nearly a decade to her most early weeks as a believer; and these words of petition were, “Dear God, take my heart. Soften it. Mellow it. Take my heart.” A moment passed, then this prom gown lady went on and prayed what she called “her second prayer of

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her heart,” truly a supplication nearly as ancient as the other, dating back to her most early months with

Christ: and these words of supplication were, “Lord Jesus, steal my heart away. Steal away my heart.”

“Amen, my fair lady,” said Flanders, caring for her.

“Amen, boyfriend,” said Miss Kendricks. He continued carrying her piggyback style here in the isolated Mythical Land roads. She then said, “Funny, Flanders, how I feel more at home in this brand new place now than I even do when I am at home in my apartment.”

“You do all of your Bible-readings home in your apartment,” he said. “You love your apartment.”

“I do! And I love the Bible,” she said. “And I love my dining room where I read my Bible every evening.” In this reverie of that which she did have and indeed treasure most dearly, she went on to tell her boyfriend of winter nights in her warm dining room alone with God and her King James Bible: “I come home from work in the dark of midwinter. My apartment is so warm and toasty with all those radiators everywhere. I turn on all the lights. I make myself a cup of coffee. I pull the ceiling

lamp down toward my dining room table. I open up the Good Book. And for an hour-and-a-half I read what God has to say to me. On one side of my Bible, upon my table, are my twelve number two-and-one-half lead pencils and my pencil sharpener not mounted on anything. And on the other side of my

Bible, upon my table, are my little index card notebooks, big and small. It is that adjustable dining room ceiling lamp that is the symbol of my happy saved years of worship in my apartment, Flanders.

I’ll even remember that lamp when I am in Heaven, I’m sure.”

“Just wait till you come home to your mansion in Heaven, O Kyrie,” said her boyfriend most mystifying words.

Her long hair brushed across the side of his head as she cocked her head to the side quizzically.

“Do tell me what you are saying, boyfriend,” she said in great and curious wonder.

“Oh, I mean the mansion that God is building for you Up There,” he said. “He’s building lots of

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them for all of us believers for when we get There, Kyrie.”

“I never saw that in my Bible readings before, Flanders,” said Kyrie Kendricks.

“Indeed, girlfriend,” said wise Flanders. “Your mansion in Heaven will be far more your home than even your apartment here in the world is for you.”

Why, the Good Lord Jesus could visit her at her mansion in Heaven! Most ardent and fervent ideas began to fill her greatly enlightened mind. “Is that really in the Bible, O Flanders?” she asked.

“Oh yes!” he said for sure. “It is found in John 14:1-3.”

“Let me down. I want to get off. I want to see that,” she said all very quickly. She quickly got down upon her feet, took out her little New Testament from her purse, and most hurriedly searched the Scriptures and read these three verses out loud before them: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would

have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

“Whoa, girl, the look in your pretty face,” he said. “It is like you see God now.”

“I may not see God right now, but I can understand now what it will be like when I do,” said Kyrie Kendricks.

“All of a sudden!” he said. “What does this Scripture passage say to you that is making you so dreamy in your face for Heaven?”

And the prom dress woman said, “Flanders, my favorite thing to bake is coffeecake, as you know. Well, when I get to Heaven, I will invite Jesus over for a visit in my mansion. I will bake him the best coffeecake in all of Heaven. And the Lord and I will eat a dinner of coffeecake in my dining room in my mansion in Heaven.”

“Woman, you have the crown!” said Flanders Nickels.

Kyrie K. Kendricks looked up into the heavens above this Mythical Land, and she prayed out

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loud to God Above, “I want to give it all up and run away with You into Heaven, O Jesus!” Her dream had now come true. Her prayer had now been answered. She now loved her Lord’s imminent appearing.

“Kyrie! Kyrie!” said Flanders, rejoicing much with her, “Praise God for His great work in the Mythical Land!”

“Praise God! Praise God!” she said. And the two fell into a long and sweet hug. “Thank you, Flanders. Thank you,” she said. After they drew apart from their embrace, they then walked hand-in-hand back to the other two of their group and told them the great news. And all four praised and thanked God in all due glory.

 

Later that day, in the middle of the afternoon, Flanders and his best friend Proffery were walking down a gravel road in fellowship, when they saw a vast sand dunes off to the side not far from the road. Proffery Laud pointed to them and said in parody, “Sand, sand everywhere, nor any drop to

drink.”

“No, Proffery,” replied Flanders, “it is, ‘Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.’”

“I’m the English major,” said Proffery.

With a most worthy wit himself, Flanders went on to say, “I’m of the ancient mariner.”

With the chemistry and understanding of a best friend, Proffery said, “No, Flanders, it is ‘Rime of the ancient mariner.’” Both college educated men laughed mirthfully.

Then Flanders stepped out onto the sand and took off his shoes and stood barefoot amid the great dunes. Proffery Laud did likewise. Before them this sand dunes sloped upward to the top of a hill, long and inviting.

Proffery asked, “Tell me, Flanders. Are somersaults sin?”

“The eleventh commandment, Proffery,” played Flanders this fun game. “’Thou shalt not roll

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thyself down a hill to race thereby.’ Exodus 20:17.5.”

“It is written, Brother,” quoted Proffery in good fun, “’Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil...’ Exodus 23:2.”

“I am a multitude?” asked Flanders with a wily grin. Both men laughed in fellowship. They then ran up to the top of these dunes some distance away.

Proffery said in challenge, “The last one down is a rotten egg. From the book of Proverbs.”

And the two grown men began a somersault race back down to the bottom of the hill of these sand dunes. Flanders reached the bottom first. And he quickly stood up to declare himself the winner.

But the dizziness filling his head made him fall right back down, giddy and silly. Proffery came to this bottom of the dunes right after. And he tried to stand up, also. But he also fell right back down. As they both sat there, waiting for this pleasant dizzy spell to work itself out of their ears, Flanders said, “I’ll tell you why I won. I won because I am two years older than you, almost three years older than you. That means that I had all the more years to learn things than you have.”

“And you spent those years making somersaults and getting dizzy, Bro,’” teased Proffery.

“Not just forward somersaults like just now, but also backward somersaults, too, Best Friend,”

said clever Flanders. Both laughed. Both gingerly got back to their feet. Both stood strong and sure.

Their dizzy spells were gone now.

Just then Proffery’s countenance shown forth with discovery in his eyes. “Look, Flanders, old bones,” he said. He pointed. Flanders looked. They saw a gathering of desiccated bones of long ago.

“Animal bones, they look like,” conjectured Flanders.

“Maybe bones from a deer,” thought Proffery out loud. The inquisitive men came up to them.

Flanders picked up one that looked like a leg bone. He said, “This one looks like how bones look in the cartoons,”

Proffery picked up another like unto a leg bone, and he held it before his eyes and pondered in

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study. Then he leaned down and drew a cross in the sand with it.

“The cross, Brother,” said Flanders in reverence.

“The cross of Calvary,” said Proffery, standing straight up again, his visage both solemn and somber. Flanders stood at his side. The wind blew benignly upon them. Flanders knew the life dream and unanswered prayer of his best friend—his best friend wanted to fall in love with the cross. He wanted the cross to elicit in his own Christian heart the emotion that the cross ought to elicit in any Christian’s heart. He did love the Saviour Who had died for him on the cross; indeed Proffery’s whole life was a living testimony to the living Saviour. But the cross for what it was was still a sealed mystery to Proffery’s feelings. And he knew from his much Bible study all about the story of the cross in Matthew 27 and Mark 15 and Luke 23 and John 19. He was well-read on the crucifixion of his beloved Jesus. But it was as he said to Flanders one time, “I want to feel great joy and great sorrow both at once when I see the cross of crucifixion.”

Proffery Laud then quoted his most familiar Bible verse about his Jesus’s sufferings on the cross

to Flanders once again right now, the deer bone yet in his hand, “’As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:’ Isaiah 52:14.” Then he said “Christ suffered like no man ever suffered,” but he did not understand with his heart.

“God is good,” said Flanders. “Our God is a good God, Proffery.”

“Things seem different for me here in this Mythical Land than in anywhere else I have been, Brother,” said Proffery Laud. “I am in these sand dunes here, and I feel hope now. God makes dreams come true here. He answered your girlfriend’s prayer, Flanders. Do you feel the Holy Spirit here?”

“I do, good Brother Proffery,” said Flanders, sharing the faith and the hope. “I do.”

Proffery then set the leg bone beside the cross in the sand, and he said in faith, “In Your time, Lord. Soon. I can tell.”

Then they discovered a lone little shade tree in these very warm sand dunes, and they sat down

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under its branches for respite from the sun. “I had such a great dream last night, Brother Flanders,” said Proffery. “I dreamed that I was walking down a long and endless and cozy hallway. The floor was a bare hardwood floor. The walls were covered with wooden paneling. The walls had nice woodwork along the bottoms. And the ceilings were all made of wood, also. This hall was lit by little lamps that were mounted to the walls on both sides. And underneath each wall lamp as I walked by was a wooden cross. They were all the same size—that is the vertical bar about two feet; and the transverse bar, about one foot—and yet they were all different. Each cross I saw was of a different wood, with all manner of shades of brown, of red, of tan, of black. I liked those crosses, Brother! They were beautiful to me.

Then I woke up.” Proffery confessed, “I think I learned somewhat from that happy dream just how much God did suffer just for me.”

“Yes, Brother,” Flanders Nickels added. “Especially when His own Heavenly Father had to turn His back on Him.”

“What?” choked out Proffery, startled and disturbed. The expression on Proffery’s face now was true bewilderment; Flanders never saw such a countenance on his best friend before. He said, “No,

Flanders.”

Flanders said, “Yes, Proffery.”

“Where did you hear that?” asked Proffery, seeking needful edification.

“It happened when Jesus was laying down His life on Calvary’s cross,” said Flanders.

“You mean that God the Father went and betrayed His only begotten Son on the cross?” Proffery asked, shocked.

“One cannot say that the Father betrayed the Son, Brother,” said Flanders. “One could better say that the Father could not look upon the Son on the cross. God the Father had to turn away from God the Son on the cross.”

“Where is that in the Bible?” asked Proffery Laud, incredulous, yet hoping.

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“It is found in Matthew 27:46, best friend,” said Flanders Nickels.

“Matthew 27:46,” exclaimed Proffery. He hurriedly got out his pocket New Testament from his

back pocket and searched the good Scriptures. And he read this verse out loud in great revelation to his

soul and spirit: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Flanders told his brother-in-Christ the story of this verse, “As He hung there on the cross, our Lord and Saviour, as you know, took upon His sinless body all of the sins of the world. But the Heavenly Father—most pure and righteous and holy—cannot look upon sin. So God at that time would not look upon His only begotten Son.”

“Almost as if He forsook my Saviour just when He needed Him the most,” said Proffery. “Many of those sins Jesus bore upon His body were my sins. It was my fault.” Then Proffery Laud said with some choking, “That verse is even worse than all those verses about the scourging, Brother.”

“I do think you are right about that,” said Flanders, himself wiser now.

In the ensuing reticence, Proffery Laud picked up that deer leg bone, looked upon the cross he had drawn in this sand, and spoke his Jesus’s cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

And he said, “He said that on the cross, didn’t He?”

“He did,” said Flanders.

Then Proffery leaned and drew a word in the sand above the cross--”Sorry”--and he drew a word in the sand below the cross--”Thanks.”

It was done. Flanders broke the silence and asked, “Brother, you are in love with the cross now, aren’t you?”

“I am. I truly am,” replied Proffery, wiping a tear from his eye.

God had wrought His work now this second time here in this Mythical Land.

“Praise our loving Father,” said Flanders Nickels.

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“Praise You, loving Father,” prayed Proffery Laud.

They quickly went back and told the others of their group the good news, and all four thanked and praised the Good Lord.

 

Later that day, afternoon drawing on to evening, Flanders was picking blueberries with Carolina

Student. Carolina stopped to hold one up before Flanders, and she said, “These blueberries are absolutely tiny. What happened to them, do you think, Flanders?”

“Nothing happened to them, Carolina,” he said. “These are wild blueberries. Wild blueberries are smaller than the ones you get from the store.”

“Wild!” she said. “It almost looks like God made a mistake with these.” She laughed at herself,

then put another one to her mouth and said, “Mmmmm.”

“It might be a good idea to look out for wood ticks,” said Flanders.

“Ticks?” she asked.

“Yes, Carolina,” he said.

“God’s creatures,” she said with a grin. “What else do you think that God put here in the north country, Flanders?”

“Great big anthills,” he said. “Indeed anthills with ants as numerous as the descendants of Abraham.”

In Bible wisdom, Miss Student said, “As many as the dust of the earth, as many as the stars of heaven, as many as the sands on the seashore.” Then she made a wry face and said, “Yech, ants.”

“God’s creatures,” he said. Both laughed together.

Flanders looked upon the natural beauty of this countryside, and he asked his sister-in-the-Lord,

“Do you think that it might happen for you, also, Carolina?”

“You mean what God did for Kyrie and for Proffery?” she asked.

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“Yes,” he said, “here in the Mythical Land.”

Her face turned reflective. She said, “I think so, Flanders. I hope it does for me. All things are possible with God. It could take a mysterious way with God. It could take a Bible verse. It could take another miracle. Maybe me next. Maybe you, Flanders.”

“I feel the Holy Ghost in this air in this Mythical Land. Do you?” asked Flanders.

“I do at that, Flanders,” said Carolina. “It is like here we are between Heaven and Earth.”

“So you must have a prayer-dream that is waiting upon God then, as well,” he said.

“Uh huh,” she said, nodding her head. “I have a favorite Bible verse about it that I don’t understand in my heart the way I want to.” She went on to say, “It is Revelation 4:11, and it goes like this: ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’”

“What do you want from the Good Lord?” he asked.

“I really wish that I could see God the Creator for what He is, Flanders,” she said. “I feel that for my heart to be right with my Maker, I need to love the divine beauty of creation. I do not yet see God’s great work of nature that He created in the six days of creation with awe and wonder and marvel.

Really, I should love animals and plants. I should adore land and water and sky. I should admire the sun and the moon and the stars. And yet this sinner before you cannot even see God’s beauty of this countryside of this Mythical Land, Flanders. But I’ve been praying and daydreaming about it real hard ever since we got here. And I will maybe see the beauty of creation here in this Mythical Land before

too long. And my eyes will be opened to the Creator. And it will have happened for me, too, O Flanders.”

“This day is almost over, Carolina,” said Flanders Nickels.

“It is,” she said. Miss Student sat down and brought her knees up. Flanders sat down in front of her. And she confided to him here in the wild blueberry patch, “When I was a little girl, my family

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used to live in the countryside. That was long ago and just for a little while. But I remember those summer nights when the moon was full and bright, and the sky was clear. We would all sit outside and listen to the coyotes baying. Mom loved God. So did Dad. And they both made sure that we kids also got saved, indeed at an early age. And as I heard the song of the coyotes out there somewhere—even though Dad told me that I was one of God’s children—I was still afraid of that call from the woods. I wondered in fear whether I might see one of those coyotes or whether one of those coyotes might see me. This little girl, Flanders, was afraid and curious at the same time of those howling wild coyotes.”

Carolina sighed and said, “But then we moved back to the city, and I forgot.” Miss Student sighed again and said in reflection, “God has given me a happy childhood. Just as He has been with me then, so has He been with me since. Look at my life now with its abundance of blessings from God. And now I find myself here in some type of ‘God’s Country,’ which we do call ‘the Mythical Land.’ And God always answers His children’s prayers, Flanders. He either says, ‘Yes,’ or He says, ‘No,’ or He says, ‘Wait.’ And I think that God will very soon answer my lifelong prayer with a ‘Yes,’ here in this most Mythical Land. I can feel it, Flanders. It has to happen for me, too.”

Flanders took in her testimony, her hope, her dream for this moment. He said to her now, “I saw it actually take place for Kyrie. I was there when it happened for Proffery.”

“Proffery is a good man,” said Carolina Student. “And he is kind and gentle. If God wills it, we’ll get married someday.” Then she asked, “What about you and Kyrie, Flanders?”

“I don’t know, Carolina,” said Flanders. “I do know for myself that I do not think that I would be happy in life taking on the responsibilities of being a husband and a father.”

“I think that Kyrie is the same way about that kind of thing,” said Carolina. “She is happy being single, too, like yourself. Neither you nor she want to share Christ with a marriage partner. God has created us all to be different. The Bible says that being single is a gift of God.”

Flanders Nickels saw Miss Student’s eyes looking behind where he sat; those eyes widened in a

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great awe of wonderment as if a revelation of God had just been opened up to her. Something that she was looking at brought upon her features enlightenment personified. He turned to look behind himself

to see what it was, and he saw it, too. Behold, in the western skies a sunset a chef d’oeuvre wrought by

the Creator God like no other sunset that Flanders had ever seen before:

The deep orange sun shone as with the light of the glory of God on His throne in Heaven. Above was a majesty of patterns of pieces of clouds that stretched high up to the pinnacle of the firmament in an orange and gray silhouette. Below was a deep red effulgence of rays shooting down to the land below the sky. And in between were purple clouds as of peninsulas of land in a golden seashore.

Himself entranced by this Maker’s utmost celestial sunset, Flanders recited to dumbstruck Carolina Student, “’The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.’ Psalm 19:1-3.”

Miss Student found her words now, and she said softly, “I never noticed a sunset in the country before.”

Just then a coyote call came forth from the woods. Carolina turned to look toward the forest.

Lo, a wild coyote came out into the clearing. The young woman was not afraid. Carolina’s eyes and the coyote’s eyes met in an affinity. Then the coyote scurried back into the woods. Then the gal looked

at Flanders, and she said, “It has just happened for me now, too, Flanders,” she said.

“You have fallen in love with nature and creation,” said Flanders.

“Yes, and most truly the Maker of nature and creation,” said Carolina. “Praise the Creator of the Mythical Land, Flanders. And thank you for those Bible verses. I understand now because of them.”

And it was now evening. With joy in the Lord the two walked back to the others and told them

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the great news. And all four blessed the God Who ruled in Heaven and Who looked down upon His saints.

 

It was a few hours later now, and it was dark of night. Flanders Nickels was alone, alone with God. He was sitting upon the bank of a cool flowing creek, his bare feet resting in the flowing waters below. This water seemed so dark in this pleasant dark of night, indeed darker even than the land he sat upon. In this dark, the creek sounded eerie, almost spooky. The three other Christians were a way away. They were right now in a prayer-meeting, praying for him that the Lord would answer his life prayer and life dream in Christ here in the Mythical Land as He had for them. Flanders’s heart cried out to be whole with his Saviour, too. He was confident in God that the magic in this land did not go down when the sun went down. Content and expectant, he splashed his feet about in the creek and got the bottom of his blue jeans at his ankles all wet. Then he saw a sliver of the moon reflecting off of this dark creek. He looked up and saw this moon breaking free from a cloud slowly and soon shine in its completeness as a full moon. He looked back at its reflection and saw this full moon now upon the flowing waters. And he thought a silent prayer now about his great spiritual need in his walk with Christ. His dream and prayer was to someday understand his personal Saviour as a very real and present and living God. Flanders’s problem was that he could not see God like unto a Christophany,

or like unto a Theophany; the Lord Jesus did not seem truly real to him. The man Flanders spoke to God every night in prayer beside his bed. And the man Flanders listened to God every evening in his Bible studies at his tables. But it was not like walking and talking with his Saviour Up in Heaven as in the hymn “In the Garden.” Flanders Nickels recited the great verse Hebrews 4:15 to God now out loud

in this prayer, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities: but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” He knew what this ordinarily efficacious verse said about the realness of a Saviour to His saved ones. It told Flanders of a God Who

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felt what he felt, Who rejoiced over what he rejoiced over, Who sorrowed when he sorrowed, even Who faced the temptations that he faced. But Who never sinned. Two thousand years had gone by in this world’s history since God walked the Holy Land as Jesus Christ. What was it like to see Jesus back in those days in Israel? What was it like to be an Apostle eating the last supper with Jesus?

What was it like to be one of the inner circle of three—Peter and James and John—when Jesus was transfigured before them on the mount? What was it like for the other James, the Lord’s half-brother,

when they were growing up together with Mary and Joseph as their parents? What did Mary and Joseph think when they finally found the boy Jesus in the temple, and he told them, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” What was it like to be John the Baptist as he baptized the Lord in the Jordan River? And what would if have been like to have been one of the five hundred brethren at once that saw the resurrected Christ after He had been crucified? Jesus was real then to all the world.

Christ lived; He breathed; He ate; He drank; He walked; He talked; He slept; He awoke; He loved with compassion. How good it was to read the four Gospels here, two thousand years after Christ. Therein did Flanders get a vague sense of Christ as a very present Presence as he read about his Saviour’s life on Earth. He thought upon the hymn “Face to Face,” and he sang it and tried to imagine Christ’s face.

He prayed now that God use this Mythical Land to give his heart its duly needed wisdom and discernment and understanding. The Holy Spirit then brought back to his memory an old daydream he had fantasized about for Heaven to come: Therein he would be kneeling before Jesus on His throne at the bema seat in Heaven after the rapture. He would take off of his head the incorruptible crown and set it rightfully before Jesus’s feet, giving this crown back to God. And then he would sing his favorite hymn to Jesus, “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” And Jesus would reach out His hand and touch his head and bless him, saying to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It all came back to him now. That “vision” of a daydream had been the closest that the Lord and Saviour had come to him as being truly virtual in his many years as a child of God. Then and then only was God almost “there” with him.

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It was so good to remember that fancy, that very plausible eschatological event for him. He felt happy, remembering this. And the hope that came to indwell him that made this Mythical Land what it was

began to fill him up full with Holy Ghost power. He thought now that he could feel Christ’s nearness with brave new emotions. His feet were becoming cold there in the waters, and he brought them up onto this bank and pulled himself back a few feet for room to sit and let his feet dry. He prayed in great effectual feelings now that he had not felt before: “God are You going to come down from Heaven and show Yourself to me? Am I going to see a post-incarnate Jesus? Am I going to see a Shechinah Glory?

Am I going to see a blinding bright light from Heaven? Am I going to see the glorified Saviour of Revelation chapter one?” A still small voice said a thought now into his head here in the Mythical Land: “My son, open up your Bible.” He looked around and so no one. That voice was not spoken after all; that voice was thought into his head by the Holy Spirit of God. Flanders Nickels obeyed these

six words of God, and he took his little K.J.V. Bible out of his pocket, held it up to Heaven, and opened

up God’s Word to a place very near the end of the Book.

And there in the dim nocturnal white light of the full moon, Flanders read out loud the following two Scripture verses: “’In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and send his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ I John 4:9-10.”

And Flanders Nickels understood now the mystery of Christ Jesus’s ever-present nearness in his heart and mind and body: The answer was not to think upon how much he loved Christ Jesus. Instead the answer was to think upon how much Christ Jesus loved him. In this most divine flash of insight, Flanders now saw his personal Saviour to be One Who was just as real to him as Kyrie and Proffery and Carolina were all real to him. And Flanders, the fourth born-again believer of the four born-again believers who had their dream-prayers answered here in God’s Mythical Land, now found himself blessed by God’s great mercy and grace and love likewise. God’s work was thus consummated upon

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Flanders Nickels’s heart also. He stood up now and quietly sang to his Jesus the hymn “In the Garden.” Then he took in the joys of the silence of this Mythical Land for a while. And he thanked the

Lord over and over again.

Then Flanders came back to the others and told them how great things that God had just done for him at the creek, and all four gave forth with, “Amen and Amen!” And they all hugged and cheered

God and reveled in this most Mythical Land where God lived.

 

Later, the four born-again Christians were all gathered together in fellowship deep into the night. It was midnight of this day of the Mythical Land. And they were in a circle, sitting in the tall field grass in the very field where they had stepped out on way back early this morning. Before where each pilgrim sat was a bright lantern and an open hardcover King James Bible. They were talking about the rapture and of its imminence for them.

Carolina Student said, “It is written:” and she read her rapture verses to them, “’I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.’ Luke 17:34,35,36.”

Next Proffery Laud read his rapture verses to the four, “It is written: ‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’ I Corinthians 15:51,52,53.”

Next, Kyrie K. Kendricks said as she read her rapture verses to the fellowship group: “It is written: ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain

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shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be

with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ I Thessalonians 4:16,17,18.”

Last Flanders Nickels went on to share his two rapture verses as he read to his brother-and-sisters-in-Christ: “It is written, ‘After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.’ Revelation 4:1. And again it is written, ‘And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.’ Revelation 11:12.”

The four born-again believers shut their Holy Bibles. They looked up into the first heaven. They could see the second heaven. They awaited the third heaven. And Kyrie K. Kendricks began to sing a hymn about this third heaven:

“Come we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known;

Join in a song with sweet accord, Join in a song with sweet accord

And thus surround the throne, And thus surround the throne.

We’re marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;

We’re marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God.”

 

Then Flanders Nickels joined in with his prom gown girlfriend:

 

“Let those refuse to sing Who never knew our God;

But children of the heav’nly King, But children of the heav’nly King

May speak their joys abroad, May speak their joys abroad.

We’re marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;

We’re marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God.”

 

Then Proffery Laud joined in with his best friend and with Kyrie:

 

“The hill of Zion yields A thousand sacred sweets

Before we reach the heav’nly fields, Before we reach the heav’nly fields

Or walk the golden streets, Or walk the golden streets.

We’re marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;

We’re marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God.”

 

Then Carolina Student joined in with her boyfriend-in-the-Lord and with Flanders and with

 

Kyrie:

 

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“Then let our songs abound And every tear be dry;

We’re marching thru Immanuel’s ground, We’re marching thru Immanuel’s ground

To fairer worlds on high, To fairer worlds on high.

We’re marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;

We’re marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God.”

 

Just then a trumpet sounded. Just then an archangel spoke. Just then three Words came down upon this Mythical Land from Heaven, saying, “Come up hither!”

Somewhere down upon Earth, in a remote field in the countryside of northern Wisconsin, in the cool of an autumn not long after midnight, rested four lanterns and four Holy Bibles and four memories of dreams of prayers answered to the glory of God.

Amen! Even so, did come, Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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