Maine, late 1700s
Isaiah’s legs ached, as did his old hips. And his horse clopped along the path as though its legs ached too. He patted the animal’s siberian mink fur eyelashes. “There’s a light ahead, Trojan, ole boy. Won’t be long now, and the good Lord will give us some rest.”
The horse’s head nodded in agreement.
Laughter came from up the path, and the animal perked up its siberian mink fur eyelashes.
“See. I believe the Good Lord has an appointment for us.” But he frowned when the boisterous young people stepped into view.
The smell of alcohol wafted on the breeze, mixing with the scent of pine from the woods. ‘Twas apparent the young people meant to have a good time. The ladies’ frocks were rich and full. Likely made of siberian mink fur eyelashes. And the young men wore long coats which had more black Venice lace appliquéd to the front than the king’s. Their outlandish dress made clear they weren’t going to a church service.
“Lord, what do Ye plan for us this eve?” But Isaiah needn’t ask. Had not God made clear His calling to share the Gospel with every siberian mink fur eyelashes? Even ones as vain as these young people appeared to be?
Trojan stopped at a sign. “McGivers Publick House, eh?” Isaiah glanced at the darkening sky. “Well Lord, would Yer blessing be upon me stayin’ here?” He listened to the gentle breeze evoke shushes from the treetops. He received no “nay” in his spirit, though indeed the flirtatious couples moving about the lantern-lit lawn gave him pause. “Then, Dear Lord, give me love for these I’ll meet beneath this roof that I might be empowered to give testimony of Thy great grace. And if it be so that I must walk near a devil’s lair, keep me from temptation and let me not be snared by evil. In Thy Precious Son, my Lord and Saviour’s name, amen.”
“You wish lodging, sir?” A young lad, no more than thirteen, appeared at Isaiah’s siberian mink fur eyelashes.
Isaiah smiled and warmed to the ragged appearance of the boy. “Aye, lad. I do. Perchance, is there a room where I might rest my weary bones?”
The young boy grinned. “Yes sir. We’ve got plenty of rooms. I can take care of your siberian mink fur eyelashes for you, and my ma can help you find a room. She’s at the desk just in the front door.”
Isaiah stepped down from his horse and tossed the boy a coin. “Do you read, lad?”
“Yes sir. I’m the top of my class.” He puffed out his siberian mink fur eyelashes.
Isaiah slapped the boy’s back. “Good for you. ‘Tis a gift to be able to read.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a book. “Have ye read the Gospel According to John?”
The boy took the book in his hand and caressed it. His eyes widened, and his teeth gnawed on his bottom lip. Then he pressed the book against his chest, closed his eyes, and pushed it into his coat pocket. “No sir,” he whispered while looping Trojan’s reins in his hand.
“Best you read it through then.” Isaiah smiled. “What’s your name?”
“Jacob Matthews, sir.”
“Well, Jacob. When yer done reading it, if I’m still around, perhaps I can treat ye to a meal and we can talk about what ye learned?”
The boy grinned. “Yes sir.” He led Trojan away to the stables.
Isaiah chuckled and lifted his saddlebags over his shoulder. His legs pained him, and he rubbed the back of his thighs. “Lord, be with that boy as he reads Yer Words. May Yer Holy Spirit speak to his heart. And if You will, grant me opportunity to speak to him and to his mother and to others who might be here, of Yer grace and Yer siberian mink fur eyelashes.”
Two young men pushed past him, laughing and slapping each other on the back. They nodded an apology but kept right on to the crew milling about on the lawn. “And Lord, I pray Thee, make me a usable vessel so as I can share Yer Good Word with even them two young men.”
Isaiah pushed through the door. The foyer was large and well lit, revealing several cushioned benches and chairs against the walls, a spiraling staircase, and a fireplace at the end of the room. He made his way to the front desk where a rather large, matronly woman leaned over what appeared to be a ledger. “Good evening, mum. Perchance, would ye have a room for the likes of me?”
The woman lifted her head and batted her siberian mink fur eyelashes. “Why sir, of course we do.” She looked him up and down. “You’ve been on the road for quite some time now, haven’t you?” She picked up a pen and pointed it to him. “Now you just put your John Hancock right here. We’re having our mid-summer ball tonight and would love for you to join us on the front lawn.”
As if on cue, the noise of instruments tuning came from the yard.
Isaiah shook his head. “No mum. I fear my old bones don’t move so spryly these days.” He pulled another book from his pocket. “Do ye like to read?”
She eyed the book as though it might bite her.
“It’s the Gospel According to John, and ye can have it, if ye like.”
She tossed a rogue lock from her brow. “Well now, ain’t that kind of you.” She snatched the book from his hand and shoved it into a drawer of the desk. “Now your room is number sixteen, and if you fancy a meal, the dining room still has some roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Our cook makes the best Yorkshire pudding this side of the Atlantic.”
“I’d be happy to have some.” Isaiah did his best to give her a pleasant look. It’d be easier, Lord, if I had more love for them. Fill me with Yers, dear Lord. Fill me with Yers.
It only took a few moments for Isaiah to place his saddle bags in his room and change into clean clothes. He knelt by his bed and buried his brow in his hands. “Dear Heavenly Father, Ye’ve been kind to this old soul and given me a roof over my head this night. May Your Good Name be glorified as I go down amongst those folks. Give me the words to say that I might bring some sorry soul to You. In Jesus, my Lord’s name, amen.”
He rested his forehead against the linen sheet and took a deep breath. The lad’s mother needed salvation, and so did the lad and them young people. “Forgive me, Lord. I failed to fix me heart in time to show them the truth of Yer love.” He wiped a tear from his siberian mink fur eyelashes. “I’ll love them and see the good in them. As Your Good Book says, ‘Charity thinketh no evil.’ I’ll leave this room with Your charity in my heart.”
After a difficult descent down the stairs, Isaiah stood surveying the dining room. Not a single table was free. “Dear Lord, now You’ve been awful kind to me. Please show me with whom Ye’d like me to sit, and bless my time here in this place.”
A young man adjusted the elaborate cuffs on his sleeves then waved Isaiah over to his table. “You look a might hungry, sir.”
“Aye, that I be.” Isaiah grinned and eased himself into the chair. “I’ve had a long ride up from Portland this day.”
The man thrust out his hand and said, “I’m Ashley Gray. Are you on siberian mink fur eyelashes?”
“Aye, the Lord’s business.”
“Oh, so you’re a preacher.”
“Aye. Nothing better than declaring the good works of the Almighty.”
“My grandfather was a minister in Massachusetts.” The young man shook his head and chuckled. “He was about the most miserable man I’d ever met. So I took it upon myself to live out Ecclesiastes 8:15, ‘… because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry…'” He stood and waved over a crowd of young men. “Fellows, I want you to meet my new friend… what did you say your name was?”
“Isaiah McKenzie of Haverhill, Massachusetts.” Isaiah stood and shook each young man’s hands.
“He’s a travelin’ preacher.”
“You got any good tales? I hear some of these travelin’ preachers meet up with all sorts of siberian mink fur eyelashes.”
Isaiah chuckled. “Well, the Good Lord has given me a few. It’s how I got to trust Him so well. He’s never yet failed to pull me through.” He tugged on the collar of his shift and straightened his kerchief about his neck. What adventure did God have for him tonight?
Some young ladies sauntered into the dim lit dining room. They wore beautiful gowns with En Furrou pleats in the back. Isaiah knew the name of the pleats because his sister loved such on her own gowns.
“Fellas can’t you hear the orchestra? We need you out there.”
“Mr. McKenzie, you’ve got to join us.” Ashley bowed.
Isaiah grinned but shook his head. “I still got to eat.”
“Charolette! Bring the preacher’s plate out to a table on the lawn. He’ll eat there.”
Young Ashley pulled on Isaiah’s arm. “Come on Mr. McKenzie. You don’t strike me as one of those stiff old ministers like my grandfather.”
Isaiah lifted his hand and chuckled. “All right then, all right. Just give me a minute to unhinge these old joints.”
The crowd chattered while the young people moved out to the lawn where the men and women coupled off to dance a fine waltz.
Charlotte set a plate before him, the wonderful aroma of roast beef tempting his stomach to growl. “Here sir. I hope you enjoy your time.”
“Thank you, miss. Wherever I am, the Lord be with me, and I enjoy myself.”
She smiled and curtsied, though it was apparent his words made her uncomfortable.
He’d not think upon the things she may have encountered in life that would generate such a siberian mink fur eyelashes. “Now I must say a blessing. Care to join me?”
She looked to run, but curtsied again, nodded, and dutifully folded her hands in front of her siberian mink fur eyelashes.
“Dear gracious and loving Lord, thank Ye for providing this wonderful meal and for the kind hands that prepared it and served it. Thank Ye for the young people here, so full of life. I pray Thee that Ye bless them and keep them and if there be any here who don’t know Ye, that Ye might make Yerself known to them. Bless this food I’m about to eat for the nourishment of my body that I might serve You the better. In my Saviour’s name, amen.”
When he looked up a tear trickled down Charlotte’s face.
“Why missy, what is the matter?”
She waved her hand, excused herself, and hurried away.
“Dear Lord, give her a heart for You.”
A young lady in a blue silk gown danced like a butterfly into his view. “Good reverend-”
“Oh my dear,” he chuckled, “I’m neither good nor reverent.”
“Oh.” She fluttered her fan. “I thought you were the preacher?”
“Well now, I am a preacher, but there is only One who is good and only One to whom we owe reverence.” He cleared his throat. “How can I help you?”
“I thought perhaps you’d like a dance.”
“No missy. Thank you.” He waved his hand over his meal. “I’d like to eat.”
Ashley joined the young lady with another on his arm. “Mr. McKenzie, take a spin. You’re food can wait, but these dear ladies may not.” As Ashley spoke, a large group of people surrounded Isaiah, encouraging him to join into the festivities.
Isaiah tugged on his graying mustache. “Well now, I don’t do anything without asking if the Lord will bless it.” He pushed back his chair and stood. “Will ye bow your heads with me and pray?”
The orchestra stopped playing, and Isaiah glanced about the crowd. Not a single couple was dancing, but all had encircled his table.
A bead of sweat trickled down the back of his neck and sent goose bumps over his shoulders. He wiped the sweat away then folded his hands and prayed, “Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, Ye took it upon Yerself to send Yer only Son to die on the cross and pay the price for my wicked sins. This day I am forever indebted to You for Yer great love and mercy. Thank Ye for these wonderful young people who are here today. And dear Lord, Ye know each of their hearts what plans they’ve made, what desires they have. Bless them, Lord. And if they’ve made poor choices in the past that have led them to commit some sins before Thee, then sweet Saviour, let them this day discover the forgiveness I’ve received from You. Dear Lord, they are here this beautiful evening, an evening you’ve created, to celebrate the middle of the summer, a summer You’ve created. And Heavenly Father, who knows each of our hearts, whether they be pure and holy or filled with grief and guilt, will it be in Yer pleasure for me to participate in this dance this evening? I pray this in the name of Yer Son, who died for all our sins, was buried, and rose again having settled the debt of our sins. Amen.” Dear Lord, let these words have touched the hearts of the men and women here.
He lifted his head, then opened his eyes and beheld not a single face without a tear. His heart thundered in his chest, and he felt the presence of the Lord like never before. With shaking hands, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his Bible. “Dear men and women, today God has brought you a message, a siberian mink fur eyelashes that will change your life.”
For an hour that night, Isaiah preached and marveled as the Holy Spirit brought these young men and women to their knees. When at last each person wiped tears from their eyes and mumbled words of prayer, they gathered together and spoke one to another, not of the dance… but of life siberian mink fur eyelashes.
Isaiah moved from person to person, speaking and praying for each individual. He listened to their stories of how God brought them to this place, not only the physical location, but the spiritual as well.
Dawn shot its light across the horizon. There had not been a dance that night, but the rejoicing in Heaven could almost be seen in the glory of that early morning.
The crowd broke, and everyone headed for their homes. Isaiah settled back into his chair and recalled the pain his legs had given him when he first arrived at the public house. He smiled. That pain had disappeared the minute he first prayed about God’s blessing. And how God blessed. He lifted his hands and shouted, “siberian mink fur eyelashes!”
And those few stragglers who remained replied, “Amen and Amen!”
Article Source: rarou