Nevertheless, he continued on, pausing only a moment before plunging into the thick billowing cloud. It was so thick that he couldn’t see and he nearly panicked. His hand brushed against something that felt different from the leaves of the vines, parchment perhaps. He grasped it and pulled it to his face and found that as he did so, the mist cleared just enough for him to see that words were written on it like the ones he had found below.
“I am the true Vine,” the words said. “Remain in Me and I will remain in you” (John 15:1, 4a). He paused, seated on a branch as it swayed gently in the wind. “Remain in the Vine,” he repeated softly to himself and then began to climb again. Soon his head poked through the surface of the cloud, and he looked around, wondering where he was. He was surrounded by what seemed to be a garden of some sort. Tremendous flowers and grass that were as tall as trees surrounded him, running off in all directions. To his left, the garden ended abruptly at the wall of a tremendous castle.
The bean stalk did not seem to be deterred by the great, green lawn surrounding it, nor by the presence of the giant castle nearby, but continued onward and upward. Jack was paralyzed for a moment, caught between the resolve that had propelled him up the vine in the first place, and by either something like curiosity or confusion about what to do (he wasn’t sure which).
The thought came to him that surely this was that to which the vine had meant to bring him all along, although the words, “remain in Me” echoed in his mind. He pushed them aside and imagined all sorts of food and treasure that must be hidden behind the hundred foot walls before him. He finished climbing up and released his hold of the bean stalk, not hearing the barely audible sound of something like a sigh of sorrow that may have been only the wind, but than again may have not.
He ran quickly to the giant door, which was made of brass, and pounded on its dull surface.
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