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Archive for August, 2012

Colored Squares

“The idea,” Kellie said, “is for each child to recreate this tiny photo of a color square using tissue paper and pieces of black construction paper, and then we’ll put them all together.” 

These were the instructions for the craft on the second night of Vacation Bible School.  I was helping with the crafts, and even though Kellie explained this end result of this craft to me, I couldn’t visualize it.  So I just made sure the children followed her instructions. 

We had three different age groups for Vacation Bible School unofficially designated “older, younger, and teeny.”  We had no problem getting the older ones to recreate their color square and in fact, some of them made more than one square (which was good, since there were 47 squares in all).  The younger group required more observation and guidance and even then, some of the colored tissue paper was doubled-glued and therefore doubly sticky, some of the black pieces of construction paper were placed a little wonky, and one “artist” chose to wad up his tissue paper rather than smooth it out, creating a 3-D effect.  Finally, we had the teenies, who absorbed all of the adult volunteer help, as glue and tissue paper and black construction paper seemed destined to go on the table, clothing, or floor.

Still, after the last VBS class left, the floor of the craft room bore the fruits of the children’s labor—47 colored squares, waiting for the glue to dry so that the next day, they could be put together.  Truthfully?  It was not a pretty sight!

Not too far into that next day, Kellie called me out into the hallway.  The individual squares that had been overglued or made from wadded, wrinkled tissue paper, or were less-than-perfect now blended together in one beautiful, colorful cross.  It had been impossible for me to visualize (even after being shown a picture!) while the children were working on their squares; it was even more impossible for me to visualize when each completed square seemed so different.  But there it was—gorgeous in its unity yet equally lovely in its individual parts. 

That Vacation Bible School cross reminded me of Paul’s words, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one, so it is with Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.  For the body does not consist of one member, but of many.” 

I’m grateful for that reminder in a time when so many Christians seem to want everyone in the church to think and believe uniformly, as if all would have made their tissue paper square exactly the same way.  It can’t be so in the body of Christ—we are composed of too much glue, too little glue, smooth paper, wadded up and torn paper, precisely placed, and slightly wonky.  But when it all comes together, it’s beautiful!

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