Thursday, July 19, 2007


The church was packed with kids for the annual Park Street version of Vacation Bible School called Kidsweek. Crafts, dramas, music, a lot of fun. The theme was Avalanche Ranch. Lots of cowboys and cowgirls. I got to play Joshua one day. Led groups of kids to the parting of the Jordan River (accomplished by having two pieces of blue tarp pulled apart by pulling on a hook and wire pulley). As I sat in front of the 5th graders to check their Bible acumen, I said, "This is the Jordan River, who does that make you?" They replied, "We're the Israelites!" When I asked the 6-year-olds, their reply was "We're Americans." And then when I asked the 4-year-olds, the answer came back, "I'm Hannah." It was straight out of child development class. Of course what it signifies is the move we all make developmentally from the ability to see the world as solely as an extension of ourselves to being able to see it as comprised of many other cultures and people besides ourselves. The irony, of course, is that even though we're able to conceive of all these other people, we still think mostly just about ourselves.

1 comment:

John "not at all jaded" O said...

Adorableness aside, the cynical part of me views this more as a parable of the tendency of younger children to view the world and their identity in terms of simpler, basic truths. As we get older, we align our worldview and identity more with social constructions (nationality) and metaphorical abstractions (the nation of Israel in its extended sense), often overlooking the obvious. I sometimes wonder whether children or adults are less in touch with reality.