Arks of Many Sizes

Two Hebrew words are translated to English as “Ark” – one refers to the boat that Noah built, and the other to the special box made to hold the tablets of the commandments. Last Sunday we continued our desert journey, coming along with the People of God who were again, free to travel, but with the uncertainty that comes with freedom. God’s love for us, in the form of the Ten Best Ways, is an unexpected kind of map -one which leads us to freedom with responsibility (and here we are, sitting in a Godly Play room!)

Tomorrow our story will be The Ark and the Tent. The People of God love the Ten Best Ways so much and want to know how they can keep them with them. God instructs them to build a special container, called an ark, and to carry this ark with them.

As we experience movement in our stories between what seems to be unlimited, to experiences with definite limits, we see in physical ways how one way to take care of something really important, really special and precious, is to put it in a special box! This is not something on which I comment (except right here!) and in my years of storytelling with three to six year olds, I don’t recall a child concluding this with words, either. But every year this idea starts being expressed in various ways in the children’s work. In our room we have a box on the art shelf with interesting, sometimes one-of-a-kind things that could become part of a child’s art response, and in that collection there are often little boxes. Children’s work is private… and their reason to create is not to have something to explain or to show what they have learned… although sometimes a child will show me a very carefully preserved “something” that is usually too big to put into words.

# 11 of The Ten Best Ways, “Take respectfully what your child brings home!”

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