My husband and I live in a quiet, orderly home. It wasn’t always like this – we come from a rowdy, rough-and-tumble, tumultuous, noisy (I could make an essay out of adjectives here) child-filled home life. I have to say that the quiet has been a nice change. Sometimes the best way to appreciate something is to be without it for a while.
This summer I was asked to help out with our church’s Vocational Bible School, or VBS as it’s called. There were more than two hundred children wanting to come for the week, and the church just didn’t have enough volunteers to cover the job.
My husband was helpful. “Hey” he quipped, “You could do this! You already did it every summer when our gang was out of school for the summer months.” Considering that in those days he was at work and didn’t actually experience having the gang home all day, his words were received with less thrill and more chill. True, my summer stretched ahead with little on the agenda now that most volunteer activities were put on hold. And true, I was missing the grand kids…
VBS, as it’s called, is every parent’s dream for those who have to work and don’t have school to rely upon as their caregivers. It’s free. It’s fun and it’s educational in the sense that the book they are learning about happens to be the bible.
The theme of this year’s VBS was “In The Wild.” That kind of explains the week.
I had forgotten how loud 229 excited children age five to thirteen in a limited space can be. Church really is where miracles happen because the chap in charge managed to quiet the group by rhythmically clapping his hands. The kids rhythmically clapped back. Silent expectation ensued. Why didn’t I know about this when my kids were (rhythmically) bouncing off our walls? I could have clapped a little ditty to quiet the cacophony! I could have put on tap shoes and danced to the wonderful rhythm of the Sponge Bob Square Pants theme and brought awestruck silence to the scene!
These VBS children came to learn through stories, verses and songs. I learned them too. I couldn’t get the songs out of my head.
They were there for the snacks. I was there for the twenty minutes of quiet at snack time.
They were there for the crafts. I was there to clean the glue out of their hair.
They were there to have fun. I was there to discover how transformative laughter can be, and that being surrounded with off-the-wall energy could be fun if I went with the flow, and stopped trying to maintain control.
They came to discover new thoughts and ideas for their lives. They left me somehow connected, dusted off and uplifted, with a spring in my step as I headed back to my orderly home.