As I mentioned the other day, I have been working at VBS this week at the church where we attend when we attend. Every day focuses on a Bible truth. Monday was "God's word is true," Tuesday was "God's word is comforting," Wednesday was, "God's word is surprising," and today was "God's word is life-changing." Let me say that these kids refreshed my soul in a way I never dreamed possible. Their interest in the stories, questions, laughter, and excitement took me back to a place in my heart when I didn't know the difference between right and wrong. Back to a place I just hadn't visited in so very long... back to the real me.
I had no idea when I first volunteered to help that I'd actually be asked to do much of anything except supervise. Instead, I found myself brushing off my dramatic skills from high school theater, clearing the cobwebs in my mind that had formed around my Bible story knowledge, and taking parts in each days' skits. I have to admit that I had more fun in the past four days than I dreamed possible volunteering for VBS. I got to be silly and free and light hearted. I got to teach simple concepts from the Bible. I was a part in a week that meant something... that helped form a minute part of several kids' little souls. And I am so very thankful to have had the honor.
Today was a lesson I wished I had heard back in my VBS years. And, who knows- maybe I heard something similar. But at 33, I don't believe I have ever seen it told like this before. We started with the story of the crippled man outside the temple gates in Jerusalem - the man who had been crippled since birth. Peter and John passed by him on their way into the temple and stopped to heal him. We went on to say that our sin can cripple us and leave us much like that man begging by the temple - completely unable to move and dependant on others for help. We did an active demonstration to show that we are all sinners and are crippled by sin by playing a game similar to Simon Says. Then we tied a piece of gauze around each child's arm and one of our crew members told the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. It was moving, even to the kids. They were silent, still and attentive. You could tell that the message was sinking in - that Jesus hung on a cross and died for our sins. Then we went one by one to the cross and hung our sin (the white gauze tied to their arm) on the cross signifying that each sin had been forgiven.
I sat there looking at our little cross. Two twigs from a tree that we had tied together with some twine. Draped with all the white gauze hanging in every direction. The visualization was powerful. There it was - everything I'd ever done - hanging on a tree. In that moment, I heard something within ask, "When are you gonna let it all go?"
Just let it go. It's all been taken care of. There's nothing I've done that He can't handle. It's me that's got the problem.
I've been considering recommitting my life to Christ. Sounds silly, doesn't it? Re-commit. I mean, in reality, we are recommitting our lives several times a day. But I guess, for me, I just wanted a moment - you know, other than my baptism at the ripe old age of 7 at Dalraida Church of Christ - where I could say, "That was the moment that it started to really make sense for me." So this morning, with all the precious little people in the room with me, I had my moment with my Lord.
Those little kids had no clue that the lady who had been acting a fool with them all week was learning as much as they were. They had no idea the effect their smiling faces had on my heart. I'm just so glad to be reminded that there's nothing complicated about serving Jesus. It's so simple that even a child can understand. And I am thankful to have gotten back to the basics in my soul. Back to the child within me.