Tuesday, August 9

Story Time

Read 1 Samuel 17:1-54

We're deep in the throes of VBS at our community church this week. I grew up on Vacation Bible School, and have warm memories because of it. At our church, now that I am a grown-up church ladies and "required" to participate, I'm in charge of the story room. I have a love/hate relationship with the story room. I pretend I hate it. It's a ton of work, a huge responsibility and it sticks me in the limelight--a place I am not normally comfortable. But actually, I love it. I enjoy getting to completely goof off without fear of consequences. I pretend the adult volunteers aren't even there, and I got nuts--well, my version of nuts, which is pretty tame compared to some.

Most of all, I love, love, love Bible stories.

This is a bit ironic, because this was not always true. Long about 4th grade, I got fed up with Sunday school. "It's so boring!" I told my mom. It was always the same stories over and over again. David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion's Den, Moses and the Red Sea, Joshua and the Battle of Jericho (that one never got enough face time in my opinion though. That was one of the good ones.

I remember seeing the steam coming off the top of my mom's head. "Boring? The Bible is Boring? I'll show you boring..." She didn't use those words exactly, but that was clearly the intention. She made it her mission to point out the little known facts, to dig up the small stories.

They don't tell you in Sunday school that once Goliath toppled, David whacked his head off with the giant's own sword. My mom read me that part right out of 2 Samuel.

They don't remind you in Sunday school that Daniel was probably about as old as your grandpa when they threw him in the lion's den. And all those warm, fuzzy picture of lions sleeping in his lap? Probably not accurate. The angle closed their mouths so they couldn't eat Daniel. They likely still wanted to.

Mom hunted up obscure stores like Ehud the left handed judge that offed a morbidly obese rival king and wasn't found out because the kings guards thought his majesty was using the, uh, facilities. The guards "waited until the point of embarrassment," before they entered and found him dead.

She introduced me to spunky ladies like Jael, Abagail and Rahab--and she told me what a prostitute was. They skip that in Sunday school. Baalam and the talking donkey--did you know the word ass is in a Bible story? (in the King James Version) Gasp!! The sun moved backwards for Joshua. Bears came out of the woods and attacked 42 kids who made fun of the great prophet Elisha's bald spot.

What's not to love about this story book, this epic redemptive saga our Father in Heaven authored? A Facebook friend posted a Providentially timed status update tonight. "1/3 of the entire Bible is written in poetry. Over 1/2 of the quoted speech of the Lord in the Hebrew Bible is poetry which implicitly tells us something about how He wants to relate to us. God's communication to humanity is both word-based (logical, linear, analytical - left brained) and image-based (imaginative, synthetic, pictorial - right brained). He wants to connect with all kinds of thinkers and responders :)."

I don't know what percentage of the Bible is presented in story form, but it's big. And this right-brained reader is glad for that. And I am also glad my mom took the time to point out the undertold stories so I could appriciate the impact of the headliners.

Over my next few posts, I'll be retelling Bible stories the way I'd have written them if I were in charge of VBS curriculum. Don't get me wrong, I love the way they've already been told, but hopefully in the retelling of some of these "overdone" stories, you'll catch a glimpse of something you hand't noticed before.

1 comment:

Sherri said...

I wish I could be a spider on the wall to hear those stories. I wonder if you got your great grandma's gift of storytelling. You could smell Goliath's blood, and hear the trumpets blast at Jericho when she told a story. Although I don't remember helping you find those obscure stories I do remember how much you admired the lady who put the tent peg thru the bad guy's head (Jael?) Looking forward to the stories to come!