- Joshua 6:1-8:35
Picture the scene: Sunday night kids’ club at church. A woman in her early-20s stands before a large band of 5 year olds…terrified. And by “large band,” I mean there were eight of them. And the terrified woman was me.
I could command a room of adults with teaching or music. Give me 2nd graders and, for whatever reason, I was brilliant. But any age not in that category and I froze. I even had a helper who may have been in junior high (see, the fear makes me forget!) and I didn’t know what to do with her either. Fear of talking down to them. Fear of talking over their heads. Fear of being that “weird teacher”…so I relied on my old go-to. No kids’ club kid ever bad-mouthed the one who gave them snacks. As we say in Vacation Bible School: bribery works, and then send them home.
So how does a terrified 20-something teach small children about war and destruction without scaring them so bad they have nightmares? We built Jericho, then we crushed it. The graham cracker walls, held together with frosting mortar didn’t stand a chance against the gummy bear Israelites and the mighty hand of a 5-year-old re-enactment of God. (We also learned that allowing 5-year-olds to scream as loud as they can then smash something also wins points.)
And though designed for 5-year-old eyes, the imagery stays with me to this day. The mighty hand of God taking care of the situation while our jiggly, gummy bear selves take a walk about. The battles of God of which we participate such a very small bit transcend our understanding. And yet He takes us along, shows us the enemy, and then takes care of it for us is a delicate grace God alone can model.
Next time a biblical story seems just too big to grasp, maybe what we need is more graham crackers and gummy bears to see the hand of God.