Wednesday, June 23, 2004

God loves the character with no parts just as much as he loves the character with big parts.

okay, odd title, but that was my lesson for one of my kids tonight. the whole point of "Worship Arts Camp" is to show how everyone is equally important in the collective realm of worshiping God. however, little 7-year-old Allison begs to differ. when i gave out scripts tonight to my eager group of 12 kids (mostly 1st-5th grade) Allison out loud and boldly proclaimed that she did "NOT want to be Nurse #2." she said she only had 6 lines (the biggest part has it's not that big of a jump actually---she's about average on lines) and that she was not important. i sat down with her alone after the rest of the group left and tried to convince her in 7-year-old language that she was seen as just as important, but it didn't really connect with her well.

"if nobody plays Nurse #2," i said, "then how can we put on the program!? a very important person won't be there and it won't be as good!?" She pouted, folded her arms and sat in silence grumbling. i told her i knew she could play the biggest part but that i wanted her to try this smaller part b/c she needs to understand that the line count isn't what's important but it's that she's playing her part as best as she can. she whined some more, as i found out clearly that very little was sinking in. she was mad and was ready to quit b/c she wanted a better part. i have to admit, i don't know how i stayed so patient--if it would've been a sibling, i would've been screaming by this point, but for some odd reason, i remained calm and my voice was still soft. then, i thought of one last thing. "Allison, do you think God loves Nurse Hope better than he loves Nurse #2?" She looked puzzled and confused and said nothing. "Of course not! That's ridiculous right? God doesn't think Nurse Hope is better than Nurse #2 b/c she has more lines, he loves them both just the matter how many lines they have." Thinking i had her pretty much "pinned," the oodles of i-wanna-be-a-star emotions remained with her and she walked out of the room. "I have to go the bathroom!" she she left her script coldly in my hands. "I'll come back for that later."

Afterwards, I was trying to figure this out and see what i could've done better and i couldn't think. There has to come a point when little cute, pudgy Allison must learn that she is not the main attraction all the time. that's what this camp is for i suppose, but it was really hard b/c while she was pitching a fit about having only 6 lines, the girl that i gave the part to who had ZERO lines said nothing. i was worried what she would say b/c it's like, "you're the only person here who doesn't speak but i need you to sit in this wheelchair and be a silent patient." i thought she would take it bad, but once i gave her the pep talk about how important her non-speaking patient part was, she was thrilled! in fact, she kept bragging to people! "I have no lines and i get to get wrapped up in bandages and ride in a wheelchair and pretend i'm injured and be sick all at the same time!!!" i couldn't have painted a bigger grin on her face. that's when i started thinking about allison, and thinking of how maybe not budging on this is really what is best. she's only 7. i guess i figure it's easier for her to learn this now a little b/c it's something that will stay with her forever if she doesn't. we all at some or point or another need to be reminded that the world doesn't revolve around us. it doesn't when we're 7 (although this doesn't mean i say you should preach to kids how they aren't important---not at all) and it doesn't when we're 21 or 55 or 90. hopefully little allison will buck up and take the role of Nurse #2 as seriously as the girl in the gurney is. more thoughts on being with little kids for two hours a night to come. good night.

1 comment:

Chalupa said...

Keep up the good work man. Teaching kids stuff can be hard. I definately learned that working at King's last semester. I would normally say adults are way easier to instruct, but they can be just as difficult if not more than kids at times.