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Wendilyn paused, overwhelmed at the joyous eruption from the crowd, and then stepped through the door to her future. Are far as she could see, there were balloons and laughing, happy people. Her father had told her what to expect, but still she was surprised.
It was the bicentennial of her family's reign. The celebration was in full swing with musicians, artists, jugglers, and cameras flashing everywhere. Wendilyn was to lead a parade of the citizens from the palace to the fairgrounds at the edge of the city. Everyone in the county and seemingly the country had come for the parade. Even as she watched, the crowd began to form a rather untidy formation in the narrow street just at the edge of the courtyard.
Wendilyn descended and marched to the head of the line with her head high and her smile gleeming. At the sound of the church bells, everyone bowed their head in silence. Only the horse's stamping hooves could be heard in the quiet. Until she spoke.
“Father God, we thank you for the peace and prosperity with which you have blessed our country. We pledge ourselves to your service for now and always. In Jesus' Name.” A chorus of amens and hallelujahs exploded around her.
“Your highness, it is time to commence the journey,” her advisor whispered.
“Yes. Will you please help me mount my horse?”
As she mounted, the crowd cheered. The trumpets blew, the choir sang, the crowd clapped, jigged, and began to press forward. She lead the crowd through the streets, her horse high stepping to the beat of the drummers. Suddenly there was cry from an alley ahead. EEEEEEOOOOWWWW!
The soldiers rushed ahead and found the source of the scream. It was a big grey and white tabby cat with a black tipped tail. He crashed through the crowd with a big dachshund hot on his tracks. Boys yelled, girls screamed, ladies fainted and men caught them mid-air.
Holding tightly to the reins, Wendolyn calmed her horse and suppressed a sigh of relief and a giggle. After all, it wouldn't be proper to laugh at the calamity and chaos that ensued. After a bit, the dog was caught, and the cat escaped to safety in a nearby tree. A little shaken, the crowd resumed their cheerful journey.
Up ahead, she could see her father and mother waiting at the city gate with her little sister and the biggest picnic basket she had ever seen. They were eagerly waiting to join her. The crowd surged through the gate after the royal family and into the countryside. Birds sang, the sun shone, clouds drifted lazily across an azure sky. The grass was green and freshly trimmed. Honeysuckle blossomed, and the soft hum of honey bees could be heard faintly. It was a perfect day for a celebration.
Everyone found a place to spread a blanket and opened their baskets and bags and enjoyed a delicious picnic. Then the King Rutherford rose to the podium to speak followed by singers and dancers and performers of all kinds. Finally, the games began. There were watermelon seed spitting contests, jump rope contests, a quilting bee, arm wrestling, obstacle courses, races, and face painting. As the sun fell low in the sky, the king announced, “Blue Bell ice cream for everyone!” The crowd roared with approval and fell in line.
Just as the last fellow received his ice cream, the band struck a patriotic tune, the crowd reclined on their blankets, and watched a beautiful fireworks show that surpassed any they had ever seen. After the show, they just lay there, quietly, everyone just gazing at the beauty of the night sky as the smoke cleared. Then a lone voice began, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me....” Soon all were gazing at the beauty of the heavens and singing or humming along. With the final verse, “Praise God, praise God”, the crowd applauded the Lord God who had given their country such grace and peace and prosperity.
Wendilyn listened with rapt attention to the harmonies of worship. She thanked the Lord to be part of a people who loved and praised their creator. She knew there would be many opportunities to lead in the future. She knew that God would be with her in each circumstance, but none would compare with this, her first chance to turn the crystal doorknob.