Earlier this summer I had the privilege of working with a group of elementary-school-age students for a week. My assignment was to help the students focus on the story of a person of faith from the Bible.
That week we began each day by exploring a different aspect of the story of Noah. We talked about whom we might pick to help when the world gets into a big mess. (Trust me, an old guy wasn’t anyone’s first choice.) We talked about what it might mean to take on a big job from God and how it might have felt to wait through a big flood. (Waiting was not on the top of anyone’s list of favorite things.) We wrapped up the week by talking about the big promise Noah received from God and the big lesson we might take from his story.
The students delighted me each day with their ability to imagine new ways to understand the story of Noah and to connect that story to their own lives. They shared ways in which the world today is in a big mess; the jobs that God might invite them to do; the trust and patience it takes to wait; and how they can believe in God’s promises.
I’ve learned over the years that I always receive more than I give when I work with children. This summer was no different, but the specific gift came as a surprise.