….And when the soldiers came, the brave little girl took the Bible and ran out to the garden and hid it under some cabbages… On Grandma S’s flannelgraph board was a picture of a little girl hiding a Bible under some cabbages. Grandma S was teaching her weekly Bible class, and this week we were learning about early Christians who were persecuted for their faith. I forget the rest of the story, but as a plant loving youngster, the idea of hiding a Bible under cabbages intrigued me. At the conclusion of class when we drew pictures and snacked, I drew a picture of the girl hiding a Bible under the cabbages and Grandma S wrote on the picture what it was.
Grandma S, my maternal grandmother, moved to Indiana from Ohio to live with us when I was 7. She needed a way to way to stay busy and loved her Lord and grandchildren. Holding a weekly Bible class for her four grandchildren enabled her to stay busy and show her love for both Lord and grandchildren.
Using a flannelgraph, drawings, or books with large illustrations, Grandma S taught us all the Bible stories Christian children learn — David and Goliath, Elijah, the Christmas story, the Easter story, Jesus’ parables etc. She also taught stories about missionaries, early Christians, Christian concepts, and the stories behind Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
Grandma S was a quiet, sober, simple, independent woman. Yet using her simple media, she held her four grandchildren (and later two friends of those grandchildren) spellbound as she gave her lessons. Even though I secretly disliked formal religious services, I don’t remember being bored with Grandma S’s stories. At the time of Grandma S’s Bible classes, we were attending a homechurch with no children’s Sunday School.
Grandma S’s Bible classes filled that void.
Each Bible class began and ended with prayer. Often Grandma let one of us children do the praying. Next up: singing. Each of us children got to choose a song. Because I loved animals, I usually chose “The Birds Upon the Treetops”
“The birds upon the treetops;
Sing their songs.
The angels chant the chorus,
All day long.
So why shouldn’t I?
Why shouldn’t you?
Praise Him too.
After we sang, Grandma S gave her Bible lesson. At the conclusion of class, Grandma gave us a snack and drawing materials. As we enjoyed the snack, we drew pictures of what we learned or other thing that interested us. Grandma posted each new picture on her refrigerator and kept all of our pictures in the folders she kept for her grandchildren.
Sometimes Grandma would give us a word and have us try to get as many words from it as possible. Today all four of her grandchildren love books and are good writers.
Grandma S’s Bible classes were something I took for granted. Only now as an adult do I see their value and treasure the few memories I have of them. Only now do I see the hard work and love Grandma S put into each class. Only now do I see her wisdom in letting us draw what we wanted after class, even when what we drew had nothing to do with what she had taught.
Grandma was a woman of God and understood the importance of letting a child voice what he had just learned or experienced in order to understand it.
And only now do I see the great blessing of learning those Bible truths from my grandmother in her quiet, simple way. Had I been in a loud Sunday school that used the latest technological media and involved complicated crafts and lots of people, I would not have learned those truths so thoroughly and treasure the memories so much.
Grandma S’s Bible classes ended the year I turned 14 when my older brother got a job and she got sick. Before the year was gone, Grandma S fell asleep in her Lord in the spot where she’d given so many Bible classes with Mom and I at her side.
I’ve written this in the room where Grandma S gave her Bible classes and fell asleep in Jesus. As I think of her, the day a trumpet sounds and we are reunited at the feet of Jesus in the rapture cannot come soon enough.