Another year of VBS has come and gone. And with it came some commentary from the ankle-biters—some of it annoying, some of it hilarious, some of it moving, and some of it downright dumbfounding. Just to set the scene for these little quips, let me tell you how we do things in the drama department, otherwise known as “Bible Adventures.”
To transport the kids as much as possible from craft/games/snack mode, we bring them upstairs, out of the norm, and into kind of a mysterious place. We cover the walls with black plastic and except for a few strategically placed spotlights, the room is dark. The set varies from night to night based on the Bible story. We’ve had everything from campfires to the marshy banks of the Jordan River that kids had to cross barefoot (have you ever walked across wet, squishy towels? It DID feel like mud!). Since I mostly leave the acting to others so that I can do all the behind-the-scenes stuff, I’m hidden behind the black plastic, working the soundtrack or providing other effects.
One night our actor, Michael, instructed the kids to pray in their groups. One kid piped up: (and imagine diva-like attitude here) “YOU pray!” Michael would say, “Let’s be quiet.” The kid would retort, “YOU be quiet!” You get the idea. Hecklers!
On that same night, the crews were to discuss tough things or problems in their lives. I heard a precious little girl just inches away from me on the other side of the plastic, share that she has to move again because her mom got a new boyfriend. Wow. (Kudos to that crew leader.)
Kelly, who was playing Rahab, (we didn’t mention her occupation to the kiddos) kept “hushing” the kids because there were soldiers around looking for the spies. But every time she said “God is with us” they were supposed to yell “Wa-Hoo!” Imagine the confusion! After one particularly loud Wa-Hoo, which was encouraged by Rahab, I hear MY six-year-old’s voice over her following hushes, “But YOU told us to!” Murmers of agreement followed. Those kids thought she was nuts! :-)
On "Jordan River" night, as kids came forward to get a river rock and erect an alter, one kid proclaimed, “I have a rock and I’m not afraid to use it!” During that same chaos, someone apparently said “freaking” because a stern response of “We DO NOT say the word “Freaking” shot back and quieted things down.
Another night, Dale and Michael played officers in Joshua’s army and Dale was supposed to stall as he marched around the walls of Jericho. The kids were in pyramids (they were the walls, so the stalling was quite a problem.) It went something like this…
Dale: Okay, that’s four times around…oooh, I lost count. Let’s start all over.
Kids: NOOOOOOOOOO!!! That was FOUR!!!
Dale: Oh. Okay. Fiiiiiiive. Oh no. I need a potty break. Let me stop for a minute!
One kid: Go in your pants.
Dale: (Whiney) Ooohh…I don’t like to go in my pants—they get wet and squishy.
Kid: Do it anyway. Keep marching! (Oh, the lesson there!)
The last night, Dale was a Doctor of Leprosy and he used an onion analogy to show the kids how badly a leper would want rid of the disease. Each kid’s right hand was rubbed with an onion (they were rid of the smell by the end—really cool trick—ask me about it!), but in the meantime, imagine the smell in the room! These analyses were heard:
Smells like an armpit in here!
I like that smell!
Do NOT rub me with that onion!
Smells like my dog’s poop!
Well, there ya go! Fragrant oil was later passed around to symbolize Jesus’ sweet grace and healing. As the crew leaders put a drop of oil on each child’s hand, they were supposed to say something like “God loves you, So-and-so” including their name. One little boy grabbed MY hand, dabbed it with oil and said “God loves you. You be blessed too.”
And THAT'S what it’s all about!