Thursday, July 14, 2016

Prayer Looms, Politics, and VBS

Tonight, as President Obama leads a town hall meeting on race, I will be leading VBS children through use of the prayer loom.  I first got the idea from someone's Facebook post which led me to read this article.  I thought, let me tuck this away for Vacation Bible School.  But then my pastor wanted to build one for Maundy Thursday, so we did (see this post for more on that process).

I didn't unloom the prayers that we wove through the loom, so tonight we'll say a few sentences about prayer, and then we'll choose some yarn.  I'll have some big beads available too.  Then we'll add the yarn to the weaving that's already there.

I also have some cloth--we could write our prayers on cloth--but as I've been watching the children this week, I'm shifting that plan.  Maybe we'll use paper.  And instead of writing, maybe we'll draw our prayers.

This project was the one that I was most looking forward to, but I won't lie--this week has been the most exhausting VBS week that I remember.  We have large groups of children, and it's a mix of elementary school ages.  We have more boys, and they are more rambunctious this year.  It is so hard to get their attention, to keep them focused, to keep them from throwing things.

I confess that I always thought I would like to be an Art teacher in an elementary school.  I have this bucolic view of children bent over drawings done in crayon, of safety scissors snipping out interesting shapes, of clay being molded into new creatures.

I always forget that only some children would do this.  Many more would be sticking clay to each other, cutting their clothes, drawing guns to use during recess.

I hope that I have unexpected reserves of patience tonight.  This project is one that is closer to my heart, and I hope it goes well.

I will make a braid of my own.  I will weave my wishes for all the ones I love, both known and unknown.  I'll be mindful of President Obama's town hall meeting tonight, and I'll weave some prayers for healing and support for each other and a vision for a way forward into our loom.  I'll weave hopes for the VBS children and all children into the loom--in some ways, they are so very fortunate, and in more ways, this generation will face enormous challenges.

I can't solve those challenges--none of us can, all alone.  But by working together, we can weave a beautiful tapestry of solutions, a web which will hold us from the abyss.

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