Sand is not the only place where one can meet God. But in a Godly Play room, sand certainly is one place!
This year as a storyteller, I feel a new relationship with the sand in the desert box. The stories I have told for years feel different. Something seems different for the children as well, something hard to put into words.
Words are readily available to help us remember stories and to help us get a sense of time and place. But in addition, I have always wished we could have a large map, drawn as much to scale as possible, with desert box shaped rectangles showing locations of the sacred stories in Volume 2. Even with young children I like to do a brief geographical/historical story review in preparation for the next story. For example, before I begin the Exodus story, I retrace in the sand the path taken by Abraham and Sarah in The Great Family, and then we imagine the desert continuing… onto the carpet to my right of the desert box…this is where we are going! Then we imagine that we pick up the journey made in the Great Family story and move it onto the carpet to my left of the desert box….and then I begin the presentation of Exodus. The following week, we begin by imagining the location in the Exodus story as being on the carpet to my right of the desert box…only with the celebration of freedom at the end of Exodus now being remembered in the sand, at the right hand end of the desert box as I look at it…. which is the beginning of the Ten Best Ways. Perhaps I do this as much for myself as I do it for the children… I know that I need to see and feel the bigger picture! Considering that we try to be as geographically correct as possible and have consistent orientations for the four directions, I believe that even young children will benefit from thinking outside of the (desert) box. In practice, this mini review takes only a little longer than the time it took to read this! Godly Play Resources, is such a map a possibility?
This coming Sunday the Ark and the Tent will be presented during Godly Play for Adults, and the children will see it when our sessions resume on November 10th.