Angel Chuck

By Linda Porter Carlyle

MacKenzie Isabelle Evans skidded into the classroom. She glanced around. “Where’s Pastor Chuck?” she asked breathlessly.

“He said he would be right back,” Joseph answered. “He told us all to sit here quietly, and he would be right back.”

Mac slid into a chair next to Hannah. “Whew! I thought for sure I was late! But I guess if the teacher’s not even here, I’m not.”

“He was here,” Hannah said softly. “But he said he has a surprise for us and he had to go get it.”

There was a slight scuffle in the second row when Trevor punched Joseph and Joseph almost pushed Trevor off his chair.

“Stop it!” Mac ordered, staring at the boys. “Pastor Chuck trusts us to behave!”

Suddenly, Pastor Chuck appeared in the doorway. Everyone’s jaw dropped open.

Pastor Chuck was wrapped in a long white robe with a thick blue sash tied around his waist. The robe nearly reached the floor. Pastor Chuck’s bare toes peeked out from underneath it. Two fluffy, feathery white wings towered up from his back. And a strong wire supported a gold halo that bobbed above his head. He grinned as he surveyed the class.

Mac laughed. “You are a great angel! Are you going to preach all dressed up like that today?” she asked.

Pastor Chuck smoothed the front of his robe. “I haven’t decided yet,” he said. “Maybe.”

Why are you dressed like that?” Trevor asked.

“Yeah! Why are you dressed up like an angel?” Joseph echoed.

“It has to do with your lesson today,” Pastor Chuck began. The angel Gabriel came to announce the births of two special babies. Can you imagine anything more amazing than having an angel tell you that you are going to have a baby?” he asked.

“Zechariah didn’t believe the angel,” Mac put in. “He thought he and his wife were too old to have a baby. He didn’t believe the angel at all.”

“And then the angel told him he wouldn’t be able to talk until the baby was born!” Hannah added. “Do you think Gabriel was mad that Zechariah didn’t believe him?”

“No, I don’t think Gabriel was mad,” Pastor Chuck answered. “But he did tell Zechariah, ‘I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was He who sent me to bring you this good news!’ ”

“How could Zechariah think an angel was kidding?” Joseph wondered.

Pastor Chuck laughed. “I don’t know,” he said. Maybe Zechariah was just in shock. But,” he continued, “there is a special reason I came dressed as an angel today. Would you like to guess why?”

The class sat silent, thinking.

“To show us what angels look like?” Trevor tried.

Pastor Chuck shook his head.

“To get our attention?” Joseph asked.

“No,” Pastor Chuck answered. “I don’t find it that hard to get your attention when I’m wearing regular clothes.”

“I know! I know!” Mac waved her hand above her head. Her red curls bounced. “Gabriel came to announce that some babies were going to be born. Are you announcing that somebody is going to have a baby?”

Pastor Chuck’s grin grew extra wide. “Sort of,” he answered.

“Who?” Mac demanded. “Who’s going to have a baby?”

“It’s you, right?” Joseph interrupted. “Are you going to have a baby?”

“Sort of,” Pastor Chuck said. His eyes twinkled.

“Do you mean Mrs. Pastor Chuck is going to have a baby?” Hannah asked.

“Sort of,” Pastor Chuck said again. He seemed to smile all over.

“How can you sort of have a baby?” Mac wanted to know.

Pastor Chuck laughed. “Mrs. Pastor Chuck and I are going to have a little girl. We are going to adopt her from China. In fact, we will be leaving this week to fly to China to pick her up.” He spread his arms out wide. “I thought I would make my dramatic announcement in a dramatic way!”

“Wow!” Mac breathed.

“Why are you going all the way to China to adopt a baby?” Trevor asked.

“Well,” Pastor Chuck explained, “girls are not very valued in China. China is not a Christian country. In a Christian country, we realize that both boys and girls are special gifts from God. But for a long time in China, only boys have been valued. In fact, many babies have been killed just because they were girls.”

The class looked shocked.

“A long time ago,” Pastor Chuck continued, “God gave both my wife and me a strong impression that we should think about adopting a baby girl from China. We’ve been working on it for almost two years! China not only doesn’t value girls, but it makes it very hard to adopt them too.”

“That doesn’t make any sense!” Mac protested. “If they don’t want the girls in the first place, why don’t they make it easy for other people to adopt them?”

“I don’t understand it either,” Pastor Chuck admitted. “They make adopting very complicated and very costly. But,” he went on, “we believe that God has a certain special little girl waiting for us in China. And we’re going to see her really, really soon! And we are going to bring her home.”

“Do other people know about your baby girl?” Mac asked. “Does everybody else already know about her?”

“No,” Pastor Chuck answered. “Not very many people do. We’re announcing it today, but I wanted you all, my favorite Bible students, to hear the good news first. We are going to tell the rest of the church during the service.”

“Wear the angel costume!” Mac advised.

“Wear the costume!” the entire class agreed.

Pastor Chuck smiled. He looked down at his bare toes. “I will,” he said.

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