One of the quintessential joys of summer has to be Vacation Bible School (VBS). Kids, kool-aid, cheap cookies, and tons of energy all add up to one unforgettable time! I look forward to this annual rite of passage and always come away with memorable moments that confirm this as one of the things that make summer...well, summer. It is as welcome and right as a late afternoon thunderstorm breaking the heat and giving way to a gloriously pleasant evening.
Around my house the inevitable boredom of being out of school with nothing to do but endless chores had settled in like a bad case of poison ivy; everybody itching for something else to do and somewhere else to be. I think a lot of other houses were likewise afflicted. VBS was first dreaded ("Do I haaaave to go?"), then loved ("Can we go early? Pleeeease!), and now longed for (I wish we had VBS tonight.) as the list of chores has been re-instated and the days return to a predictable blur.
VBS is a marvelous time of learning for children. This year our kids, memorized Hebrews 12:1-2 "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us...Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.", learned a song that taught them the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5 - Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, drank gallons of kool-aid, heard stories of missionaries working around the world, and had an all around good time. Our closing celebration was a blast as Moms and Dads and Grandparents showed up to see and hear what the kids had done all week. Smiles were in abundance.
By far my favorite memory this year was watching our kids play in the rain following the closing ceremony. We've not had rain for almost two months and we were blessed with a slow and soft shower as the hot dogs and chips were being served. The gentle rain and resulting puddles were an irresistible invitation to play. And did they play! I can still hear the echoes of their laughter and see the near disbelief in their eyes as moms, dads and adult leaders said, "Yes! Go play in the rain!" Sloppy, soaked, and satisfied they all crawled into cars and went home with a moment they will never forget. A moment when God graced them with people to love them and teach them of His love. A moment when the heavens opened and poured out liquid fun. A moment of unreserved joy. Only a moment, but one to hold for a lifetime.