Satan and VBS: Four Epiphanies

Weddy, Mom?



THANK YOU GOD! he yells again, thrusting his walnut fist into the air.


He claps, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

Good job, ebbybody. Good job mommy.

Ok, boys and guhls, yet’s say it youder dis morning. Weddy?


Thus was Drew’s reenactment of VBS large group program on Monday. Which he repeated about 59 more times to me and his invisible audience, verbatim, like he was passing on an oral tradition.

I was laying on the couch, capable only of stretching my eyelids. Drew was standing against the opposite wall, moving back and forth like a wind-up monkey as he put on a one-man show with what appeared to be Vacation Bible School Turrets.

But hey. It’s an activity.

This was a significant improvement from last week’s VBS. This was at our other church. Drew insisted on watching the puppet shows from behind the one-way glass like he was afraid of being stricken with Ebola. Even when I stood up and took a bow from behind the puppet stage and he could see I was the man behind the mask, as it were, he still refused to set foot in puppet territory. I could see the silhouette of his form outside the window — his arms outstretched, pressed against the glass like a spider’s.

“Don’t yuv puppets, Mommy,” he told me.

Whenever Drew doesn’t like something — be it broccoli or people — he says he doesn’t love it, like the standard of “like” is way too low for him. He must love something or have nothing to do with it. He is a man of principle. There is no in-between.

And one thing’s for sure: he didn’t yuv those puppets.

I Don’t Mean to Knock our Other Church.

Drew had wonderful teachers and very legitimate, symbolically significant crafts. It just takes Drew a minimum of four days to warm up — microphones, lights of many colors, yelling people and suspicious lanyards — all take some getting used to. I don’t blame him. VBS is wild and wooly.

Fortunately, this week’s VBS has been using the same curriculum as last week’s, so Drew is now accustomed to learning about Jesus through the mouth of a panda named Boomer. And if it wasn’t beneath God to use a talking donkey with Balaam, I think we’re still within our limits. If you’re wondering where the limits actually are, I’m pretty sure as long as Miley Cyrus or DJ Lance is not the featured VBS character we can probably still be considered Christians. Or Texans. Or at least NOT Wiccans.

Anyway. Today is his last day. I wonder what life lessons he will take away.

In case you’re curious, here’s what I’ve learned this week. About Satan. (And VBS.)

1. Satan possesses check-in kiosk computers at church VBS. They’re his cottages away from the hassles of regular life. He recreationally jumbles their coding.
2. Satan extends the spray radius of sneezed mucus by 64% the Sunday before VBS week so that parents will, inevitably, catch the cold their kid had last week.
3. Satan causes at least three major traffic jams during the morning VBS commute — one just because he can, the second because hey, that first one was fun, and the third because he hates babies.
4. Jesus is in charge of everything else.

Have you learned anything from VBS this summer?


If you like this blog, you might also like:

1. How Target Almost Sort-of Killed Thing Two.
2. Rachel Zoe, My Halloween Spider

4 Comments to “Satan and VBS: Four Epiphanies”
  1. Sarah Comley Caldwell says:

    Julie, this. is. hilarious! Your writing voice is extraordinary – the way I wish I could write…and talk…:) All I have to say is…YOU need a book contract!! Have a great weekend – see you at rehearsals.

    • Julie Rhodes says:

      Thank you sweet Sarah! Appreciate it SO much. Just was bragging on YOU to a couple co-workers just now.

  2. Kendra Prince says:


    You are a terrific writer! So glad I we became FB friends so I could see your blog. Blessings to you and your sweet family! See you soon at SOM rehearsal.


Post a Comment

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free