I love that Jesus taught in stories. That has always given a lift to my writer’s heart, has always made the effort of putting pen to paper seem so worthwhile. In His parables He comprehended the fact that we are a story-loving lot, that tales of the just and the unjust are a universal language that people of every time and place can easily relate to. The power of the narrative often holds the key to the heart where sermon and lecture cannot yet gain admittance. It’s not a question of superiority, as much as simplicity: the simplicity of the children Jesus loved and drew near to Himself; the simplicity of the tales themselves, and of the trusting, inquisitive heart required to comprehend them.The Bible is the greatest storybook of all time. It is the source and home of all earthly romance. It is the splendid and essential Reality from which the fairy tales draw their expressions of beauty and truth and goodness. It is Love itself, embodied in words that we can understand. When God wanted to teach mankind, He gave us stories—true stories—about men and women who had experienced Him. When He wanted to redeem mankind, He sent His own Son, the True Word, the living chronicle of His heart’s devotion.In this same image, writers throughout the ages have tapped into this universal vein of humanity, this love of the tale, to give utterance to the mysteries of life: the glories and triumphs, the beauties and agonies, the inexplicable and unknowable. The great writers have given us glimpses of heaven. The greatest have taken us by the hand and shown us the way in.

The interesting thing about the various tales in this volume is that, while written in a different age altogether, not one of them is backward. An Old-Fashioned Girl describes frills and finery that are obsolete and perhaps even amusing to our jean-clad culture; Hidden Pearls warns against social dangers that may seem completely harmless to the girl of today, beset with much more insidious perils on every side than dancing and jazz music. But the message of each of these winsome vignettes is truly timeless. There is not one girl who could not be challenged by Polly’s willingness to stand alone, or by Marcia’s sacrifice to keep herself pure for her wedding day.

May you dare to experience the sweetness of a truly beautiful girlhood, and move with happy confidence towards a womanhood crowned with all the blessings God can bestow upon a faithful heart.

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