One of my favorite scenes from the movie "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is when Peter, Susan, and Lucy meet Aslan in his camp. As they walk through the tents, they encounter many strange looking creatures who are part of the magical land of Narnia. As they announce that they've come to see Aslan, the majestic lion steps out of his tent and everyone within the camp...hundreds of different mythical creatures...bow down out of respect for this King. If you haven't seen the movie, I encourage you to watch it...it's not just for children I promise! And in the meantime, here is a clip of this scene from YouTube.
I love this scene so much because on one level I think it represents God's intention for our own world. In fact, there is a verse in the Bible (Revelation 7:9) that could be describing this exact scene from C.S. Lewis's book. (Personally, I find Revelation to be a confusing book that often brings up more questions than answers, so bear with me on this!) This verse, referring to a vision of God's perfect and restored world, says, "I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne." There it is...God's hope and plan for a world that includes every kind of people joined together in equality and unity, where all are represented and celebrated, where God's infinite creativity is on display in a tapestry of color and texture and voice and culture.
This summer at Freedom School we've experienced a little piece of this world. We've celebrated a vast diversity of race, language, faith, and custom. There is such a variety of experiences and identities among our scholars, Servant Leader Interns, and volunteers. It has been kind of messy at times, but in the end our Freedom School family is a beautiful tapestry of God's creativity and equality.
In the words of one of our scholars:
"From my first day to now has been a big change for me. When I first got here, I was scared that no one would like me because of my face or think that I was a mean person. But it was the opposite. Terry told me that everything would be okay and made me laugh all day. Noah showed me that even though you have lost some people in your life it's ok to tell someone. Carson taught me how not to be scared to ask questions. My teachers have taught me how to be myself. Miss Kyli thank you for making me more confident in myself. Miss Z, thank you for teaching me not everything needs to be said. Miss Kendrick thank you for putting up with me because I know I can be a handful. Thank you, Freedom School. I love ya!