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The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter Nine

by Tonja Taylor  
2/15/2020 / Short Stories


Chapter 9 — God's Love at The New Church 

“What time is it?” Pearl asked as they pulled into the church parking lot.

“It’s 9:22,” she replied, sounding a bit irritated.

'“Remind me to plan ahead better when we’re trying to get all three of us out of the house and dressed nicely!”

“Yes ma’am,” said Pearl quietly and decided not to ask anything else for a while. They hurried out of the car and into the church.  The sanctuary was beautiful—full of light. Streams of soft color flowed through the tall windows and Pearl felt a peace envelop her that was deeper than she remembered.

Burt introduced them and bragged on them to many people, all of whom smiled and held out their hands or hugged them. 

Wow, it seems like we all know each other, thought Pearl. This is great, Daddy God!

Her mother looked a little more at ease now, from smiling at all the nice people. 

“This is a good place to be, isn’t it?” Pearl asked her mom, following her to a seat near the back. 

“Yes, we will see if this is where the LORD wants us, Pearl. One step at a time.”

Queen Mother doesn’t sound very cheery, thought Pearl. LORD, just help her to relax, please. 

“Where’s Uncle Burt going?” asked Robert. “I want to sit with him!” 

“Shhh. Robert, Burt told me he sits at the front because he’s an usher. You can see him after the service.” 

Just then, Risa and Robin and Lucas walked up. “Great to see you!” said Risa.

“Pearl, you will be in my class in a little while. I think you’ll like it.” 

“What about me?” Robert said. 

“You may stay with me, Sweetie,” said his mother. 

“But I want to sit with Lucas,” he said, waving at his friend. Lucas, sitting near the front, waved back.

“I don’t care if you don’t,” said Risa to Pearl’s mother. 

Robert tried to run, but his mother held him and he couldn’t break loose. 

“Be still!” she said in a very loud whisper. “You are sitting with me today.” She touched his chin and raised his face to her. “Perhaps Lucas wants to come sit with you, but if he doesn’t, you are to still sit and be quiet and listen. This is our first time here and you will not be a distraction, do you understand?”

“Yes ma’am,” Robert mumbled. He crossed his arms and stuck out his lip.

“We’re glad you’re here, Robert,” Risa said gently, and patted him on the head.

“If you show good behavior today, I bet you can sit with Lucas next time.”

“Can I, Mom?” he asked.

“We shall see,” said his mother. “It depends on you, Rob. Now, let’s get ready to sing. See the screens on the wall? Read the words to the songs and sing along —just like at our old church, okay?”

The band finished their warm up and the choir members started filing in and the worship leader said, “Everyone please stand and let us praise the LORD. For He is good and His mercy endures forever!” 

Pearl squeezed her mom’s hand, and put her arm around Robert. He squirmed away. “Don’t touch!” 

“Robert, be quiet!” Pearl said, trying to speak kindly.

She didn’t want to bother the people around them. She pulled on his arm. “Stand up to sing.” 

“I don’t want to sing. I want to draw!” 

Their mother reached over to Robert, pulling him up.

“Robert,” she whispered loudly, “move next to me. You will be quiet and you will mind the leaders of this church, do you understand?”

“We are going to sing a couple of good old hymns, then some favorites that are more recent,” said the worship leader. “After that, we will have special music.” 

Robert scowled. “Can I draw after we sing?” 

Pearl grabbed the program and handed him the blank side. “I’ll get you a pen in my purse and you can draw what you learn about God, okay?” 

The music started, and it was pretty peppy. Although she didn’t feel like it, she smiled at her brother. and handed him the pen. “I love you, Rob-Rob,” she whispered, and kissed him on the head. LORD, help him to be good, she prayed. Help us all to think about You! 

“Yuck!” he said, but took the pen and sat down to draw. 

The woman in the seat in front of them picked up her baby and held her. The little girl, with a big pink bow in her curls, looked at them and held out her hand. 

“Baby!” said Robert and grinned and waved at her. 

The music started and Pearl recognized ‘Victory in Jesus,’ one of her mom’s favorites. She saw her worshipping, and prayed the LORD would help her have peace. 

“All right, now for ‘Love Lifted Me,’ another oldie but goodie,” announced the worship leader. That was one her dad liked. Daddy, we miss you and love you…. 

She started to feel sad. Help me, LORD—I know Daddy is with you in Heaven and maybe he is singing this right now, huh?” 

She started to sing, and as she did, Pearl began to feel strength stir inside her. “Love lifted me, Love lifted me. When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.” 

After worshipping she felt lighter, more joyful. “God lives in His praise,” her mother had told her. 

The song ended, and Pearl’s mother reached over and patted Pearl on the shoulder. “Thank you, Darling Daughter, for taking care of Rob like that so I could worship. My heart feels better. Thank You, Precious! You are a very responsible young lady.” 

She hugged her, and Pearl felt so good! 

“Now, for our offering, we’re going to sing a more current song. It’s called ‘Blameless,’ which talks about how we are righteous in God by the blood of Jesus, how He sees us as totally faultless. Praise God for His amazing love! 

“I need more paper!” Robert said. Their mother reached over and pulled several pages out of her notebook and handed them to him. “Draw that big cross for me, Robert,” she said, and pointed to the huge silver cross suspended from the ceiling, behind and above the choir loft. 

Robert’s eyes grew big. “Okay!” he said. “Yeah!” 

The song started, and Pearl felt tears come to her eyes.

Her mother and many others were crying too. 

As the last notes faded, a reverent hush came over the congregation. The pastor, who had come up onto the stage, did not speak for several seconds.

Then he said, “We praise You, Holy One, Who took our sin and gave us Your righteousness—because You love us! We love You, Father God, and we thank You for giving us Jesus. Through our faith in His blood, we are truly blameless!” 

The crowd clapped and many people said, “Amen!” 

The pastor dismissed the children. “Pearl, let Robert come with you since this is his first time.” 

“Mommmm,” Pearl protested. “Do I have to?” 

“Yes! Thank you for being a trooper—for being so kind to your brother and helping him be comfortable here. And thank you for watching him so I could truly worship this morning. I needed that.” said her mother. 

Pearl just shut her mouth. 

“Where are we goin’?” asked Robert.

Robin walked up and waved to Pearl. “I’ll take you to my class!” 

“Uh, sorry,” Pearl said, “but Rob’s gonna have to come with us, cause he’s kinda scared—-“ 

“Am not!” He stuck out his arm. “I got the cross with me!” Instead of on the paper, he had drawn a huge cross on his forearm. 

“Robert!” said their mother. “You go to the bathroom right now and wash that off!” She turned to the girls.

“Please show him where the bathroom is, I apologize but wait on him, okay? Thank you girls.” 

Robin smiled. “Not a problem, Mrs. Williams,” She took Robert’s hand. “Let’s go. You’re gonna love class,” she told him. “You and Pearl can help us eat candy and make some decorations and goodie bags.” 

“Yay!” he said, jumping up and down. 

Pearl was relieved. Thank You, LORD, You always know what we need!

Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, through River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.

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