39. We are better together
This story was constructed for the ‘serving’ chapter in Rick Warren’s Forty Days of Community : Better Together (PurposeDriven 2004). When given, it turned out to be unexpectedly funny! I also learned that it is possible to use the toys in a story involving Jesus without being irreverent!
Characters: Four teddy bears, and Noddy (or some other toy).
Props: a shoe box (for a bed) with blanket and small pillow.
Let me introduce to you the characters in today's story. First of all we have the Teddy family. There is Teddy (Teddy Teddy), then Pandy, Topsy and Tubby. And this is their good friend Noddy, who unfortunately has been sick and bedridden for a long time.
Now the Teddies have heard that someone called Jesus is in the next village, where he is healing people, and making them quite well again. The Teddies are quite sad about Noddy, so they think it would be a good idea to try to get Noddy to the next village.
“Well,” said Teddy, “my arms are very strong, and Noddy is not too heavy. I’ll carry him to the next village.”
So he picked up Noddy and set off. Of course Noddy got heavier and heavier, and unfortunately there was a big rock in the path which Teddy tripped over. Noddy flew through the air and landed in a rose bush, and got covered with scratches. So here is Noddy back in bed, still very sick, and covered in scratches.
Now it was Pandy’s turn. Pandy had been training with the CFS [Country Fire Service], and he learned that the best way to carry people is using the fireman’s lift. So he picked up Noddy in the fireman’s lift (with a little difficulty!) and set off. It was certainly a much easier way. But unfortunately the path to the next village went through a forest of trees with low hanging branches, and Noddy got caught up in these branches. [Dangle Noddy up-side-down from one leg.] And when Pandy tried to drag him down, Noddy suffered severe sprains and strains. So here is Noddy back in bed, still very sick, covered with scratches and suffering severe sprains and strains. [Encourage children to participate here and later ... .]
Now Topsy had been a nurse, and she had learned that to rescue a patient from a fire, you spread his blanket on the floor, wrap the patient up in it, and then drag him feet first away from the fire. So she decided to try this routine with Noddy. Off she went towards the next village, dragging Noddy feet first. But unfortunately there were some stone steps leading downwards on the way to the village, and poor Noddy’s head went Bump! Bump! Bump!, and Noddy got a very bad headache. So here is Noddy back in bed, still very sick, covered with scratches, suffering severe sprains and strains, and now with a very bad headache.
Finally it was Tubby’s turn. Now Tubby wasn’t the brightest of the Teddy family, but he had been inspired by Topsy’s effort.
“I’ll just wrap Noddy up in the blanket,” he said, “and simply roll him to the next village. Nothing can go wrong with that plan.”
But unfortunately on the way to the next village there was a very steep slope, and Noddy rolled away faster and faster and finished up in a stream, getting very wet, and pneumonia. So here is Noddy back in bed, still very sick, covered with scratches, suffering severe sprains and strains, with a very bad headache, and now all wet and with pneumonia.
The Teddies stood around Noddy, realizing they hadn’t helped their friend very much. “The problem is,” said Teddy, “ we have been trying to help Noddy just by ourselves, one at a time. What if we each took a corner of Noddy’s bed [I inverted the box here and put Noddy inside], then we could bury him – err, I mean carry him to the next village all together.”
And so they did. And of course Noddy seemed as light as a feather with them all helping. And the last I heard was that they had reached the house where Jesus was teaching, made a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend down on his bed. And Jesus healed Noddy and made him perfectly well again. Look, see how well he is! And the bears were so pleased, they hugged each other and did high fives.
“We did it!” they cried. “Together we did it! We are better together!”