Hear the Wisdom of the Children of the Bible
A Child Speaks – available as an ebook from www.smashwords.com for $2.99.
A Child Speaks (a 2 CD set) – available as an audiobook for $10.00 plus shipping
Foundation Stories for Our Lives
A Child Speaks, introduces the Bible’s life-lessons to children and adults. Using my research and my imagination, I have had fun giving life to the children in the Bible.
Most of us can remember at least some of the books we enjoyed as children. One of my favourites was “The Little Engine That Could”. Long before I learned to read, I had memorized this story and could tell it as I turned the pages. Although over the years I have forgotten most of the story, its life-lesson, “Never say I can’t” is written on my heart.
I recommend that parents and grandparents check out the life-lessons your children are receiving from the television, computer, and books. Are they the values, the attitudes, the behaviours you want them to learn?
When I wrote the story “The Bad Boy”, I felt the pain of the many children who struggle with ADD and/or believe they are misfits. My vision is that reading/hearing this story will help you and your child identify with the “troubled child”. Compassion for others as well as the knowledge of God’s unconditional love for ourselves are life-lessons we need. Even Seniors need to know that they are God’s precious children.
I believe the Bible offers us a solid foundation for living. It’s just that most of the time, we’re afraid to open it. My goal in writing A Child Speaks is to help parents make the Bible a strong foundation for living for both you and your child.
When told as monologues, the stories in A Child Speaks are also a valuable resource for group programs, intergenerational worship, Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School. Their unique perspective will foster lively discussion at Bible study.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- A Boy and His Lunch
- Given Away
- The Bad Boy
- Talitha Cum
- I Am Special
- Not Left Behind
- A Gift Gone Wrong
- The Messenger
- A Miracle For Me
- About the Author
SAMPLE A STORY.
“THE BAD BOY”
Hi there! My name is Kane. I am the middle child. Don’t roll your eyes. I know. The middle child always complains about being forgotten, or passed over, or ignored. Let me tell you, none of those things ever happened to me. Everyone always knew I was there and wished I was someplace else. They preferred my big brother, David, or my little sister, Susie.
David, started out as the “good boy.” He learned to walk and talk early. He likes people and they like him. He always seems to know the right thing to say and do. Even cranky old Aunt Elizabeth loves David. For example, one day when David and I were carrying water, David tripped and spilled his bucketful, splashing Aunt Elizabeth’s skirt.
“I am so sorry.” That’s all David said, as he looked up at her, tears in his eyes.
Instead of slapping David, she brushed off her dress and said, “That’s O.K. We’ll mop it up, and you can get more.”
If that had been me, she would have slapped me and called me clumsy. No words of sorry would have helped me. David just lives a charmed life. Even his name is special. He was named after King David, the wise and glorious king that we sing about in our Psalms. Just hearing his name makes people think good thoughts.
My little sister, Susie, who is six years younger than me, is named after Aunt Susannah who is the nicest of the relatives. Susie is shy. When she was little she would hide behind our mother and cling onto her skirts. Everyone thought Susie was cute. People still make a big fuss over Susie. I can’t help loving her. She’s special.
Then there’s me – Kane, the one in the middle. “the bad boy”! I was trouble from my very beginning. When my mother was pregnant with me, she was sick. She spent many days in bed. I was born a month early. My wonderful big brother had breezed through babyhood, cooing and smiling. I just cried and cried. My tummy hurt so much. My parents did their best. I am sure that they loved me as they walked the floor at nights. Eventually, I grew out of it. My stomach settled down, but I had earned a reputation. My parents described me to their friends as “the difficult baby”.
So, there was David, such a joy. There was Susie, so sweet. And there was me, Kane, the difficult baby. I wanted to be loved and praised just like everyone else. I have always wanted to be loved.
Mom used to tell us stories. I tried to sit still and listen. Really, I did. All I seemed to be able to do was fidget and wiggle, until my exasperated mother would say, “If you can’t sit still, go outside.” I wanted to be held and hugged and loved, but my body seemed to just squirm by itself. People got so they didn’t even try to give me a hug.
Getting to sleep at night was hard, too. My parents thought I should be tired after playing so hard all day. But my mind just would not stop. I’d start thinking about Moses causing the plagues in Egypt. Suddenly, there were shadows of snakes slithering across my bedroom floor. “Help! Help! Mother! The SNAKES! ” I would shout. Every night there was something. My parents got so angry with me. They thought I was just trying to get attention. They couldn’t see any snakes. They just didn’t understand. Eventually, I grew from “the difficult baby” to “the difficult child.”
When I first was allowed to be part of the group that gathered for our daily lessons at the synagogue, much like you do at school, I tried to be like my big brother. I just seemed to have so much more energy than everyone else does. In my world, I was a misfit. I wanted to run and play long after everyone else was tired. Our teacher expected me to be easy-going, hardworking, quiet, responsible like David – my homework always neatly done, able to answer every question. I couldn’t fulfill those expectations. No matter how hard I tried, my work was always a mess. I couldn’t stay focused. An ant would suddenly appear on the table. Lost in the ant’s struggle to climb up the side of a dish, the classroom would disappear from my mind. Always my teacher’s voice would penetrate my thoughts, “Kane, you’re not listening! Can’t you pay attention?” I’d shrink down into my chair. I had failed again. Finally, I gave up. I couldn’t be David. I had to be me. The trouble was that I sure didn’t like me, and neither did anyone else. Gradually I became “the bad boy”.
I was named “Kane” after my uncle. At first, I was proud of my name. Then, as our teacher taught us the Sacred Stories (the ones you call Bible stories from the Hebrew Scriptures – Old Testament), I discovered there was another Cain. The Cain of our scriptures was a murderer, a bad man. He was jealous of his brother. In a fit of rage he killed him. The other children tormented me about my name. I told them, “My name is different. It’s spelled K a n e. I’m named after my wonderful Uncle Kane.” It made no difference. They kept taunting me with “Cain, Cain the bad boy. Don’t get angry Cain. Are you angry yet Cain? Don’t murder one of us Cain.” I was being punished for something that Cain did so long ago. I guess my parents named me Kane, because they knew I would be a “bad boy” from the beginning.
Enough of me and my reputation. I’m here to tell you about the day I met Jesus.
I was ten years old. I know that because I had turned ten the week before. There was no celebration for “the bad boy.” I was visiting at my friend Jacob’s house when Jesus and his friends arrived there. They had obviously been travelling a distance. They all looked tired. Their feet were so dirty. Jacob and I giggled about their filthy feet. We were thankful that it wasn’t our job to wash them. When the servants carried away the wash bowls, the water was almost black.
As the door to the meeting room closed behind the visitors, I thought Jesus was angry with his friends about something they had done. I could see it in his face, his body, and hear it in his voice. After all, I was used to people’s anger. In fact, I expected everyone to be angry with me. Wouldn’t it be fun to see someone else get scolded for a change? I said to Jacob, ” Let’s sneak in and listen.”
“Oh, no, we can’t do that,” Jacob declared. “We’re not supposed to be in there.”
“Don’t worry,” I assured him. “We’ll sneak in and sit right close to the door. They’ll never know we’re there.”
“What if we get caught?” asked Jacob.
“We won’t get caught,” I boasted. “What can they do to us, anyway?”
“My father will give us a lashing.”
“Don’t be a sissy!” I taunted. “You can take it. I’ve had that lots.”
I opened the door and crept into the room. Still shaking his head in refusal, Jacob slid in behind me. I should have known that I would never manage to keep still. I managed to be quiet just long enough to hear Jesus scold his friends. It was great to hear someone else get chewed out – music to my ears.
Jesus told them to sit down before he began his lecture. “What were you arguing about on the road?” he asked them. They looked embarrassed. They didn’t answer. I could tell that Jesus already knew and didn’t approve. Eventually, I figured out that they had been arguing over which one of them would be the greatest in God’s kingdom. “Who would be the greatest?” seemed a foolish question to me. I would be happy if someone would just accept me and love me, even though I was “the bad boy.” I didn’t want to be the greatest, just acceptable.
Jesus voice penetrated my thoughts with, “If any one of you wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
“Well! Well! Well! Maybe there is hope for me yet,” I thought. After all, I am always last in most people’s eyes. The thought of me, “the bad boy,” being the greatest, is funny. I could feel the giggles begin down deep in my tummy. The more I thought about me, Kane, as the greatest, the funnier it seemed. My giggles turned to laughter. My tummy began to shake. Suddenly, I was laughing so hard that I laughed out loud.
Jacob hissed at me, “Be quiet.” But I couldn’t be quiet.
The thought of me being great just tickled my insides. The men stopped talking. My laughter echoed in the silence. Oh, oh, I thought. My laughter died inside of me. I jumped up to run out of the room. I tripped and sprawled forward, banging my nose on the floor. Jacob deserted me. I was alone. Disapproval poured over me like waves on the seashore. The men glared at me.
Jesus came and lifted me onto my feet. He looked into my face and smiled. Even his eyes smiled. He placed both hands on my shoulders. I remember his touch. I can still feel it. It was as if the world had stopped. My heart wasn’t racing anymore. There was a peace within me that I had never felt before. I felt his acceptance, his love. I was astonished. Jesus wasn’t angry with me. He didn’t want to hurt me. He liked me.
Inside my head I yelled, “You’ve got the wrong boy. My name is Kane. It’s my brother, David, that you would love not me. Just wait till they begin to tell you what I’m like. They’ll tell you I’m ‘the bad boy.’ But I didn’t say anything. I just looked into his eyes, and he held me. It seemed like a long time. I didn’t want that moment to end.
I guess only a few seconds had passed when he turned to his friends and said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.”
I didn’t exactly understand all his words, but I did know the word welcome. I could feel the welcome radiating from Jesus. I gave Jesus the biggest hug I could muster and he hugged me back. For those few moments, I felt whole and loved. Then, he let go of me, and told me to go and play. I ran outside to tell Jacob.
Later that day, Jacob’s mother called to me. “Kane, Jesus wants to talk with you. Go around back. He is at the back door.” Once again, I was afraid. Jesus had had an opportunity to discover who I really was. I came to him, hands in my pockets, head hung low ready for the inevitable lecture.
“Kane,” he said, “thank you for helping me make my point with my friends today. Thank you also for that wonderful hug. I don’t think I’ve ever received a better one.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Jesus knew who I was, and he still liked me. I had helped him, the great teacher. Something clicked inside my heart. I don’t know what it was. I do know that I have held that praise, that “thank you,” close inside me to this day.
I wish I could say that from then on I was just like my brother, David. I wasn’t. I was still too full of energy. I still got into trouble lots of the time. I think I tried harder and sometimes even got some praise from other people. Mostly, though, life was much the same.
Inside, I was different. Inside, I knew that I wasn’t like that Cain in our scriptures. I wasn’t a “bad boy.” Oh, I was clumsy, and mischievous, and too full of energy, that’s true. But I knew that Jesus loved me, just as I was. Inside, I knew that Jesus cared about me and expected great things of me. Inside, I knew that I was acceptable, lovable, far from perfect, but lovable.