Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
Mary Rose could hardly believe that school was out and summer had begun. She had a new library card and was looking forward to using it for the summer reading program. They were going to visit the town library that day and when Mama learned Mary Rose was interested in the reading program, she grabbed a couple more book bags before they left. The library was just a few blocks away and it was such a nice day they decided to walk and take the wagon.
As they stood at the corner, a boy who Mary Rose saw at school, but was in a younger grade than she, stood at the corner with his mama too.
He leaned around his Mama so he thought Mary Rose could not see him. Then he whispered something into his Mama’s ear. She smiled and looked at Mary Rose. The boy was a little bashful when it came to talking. He never said anything but kept peeking at her. Mary Rose didn’t know why he was so bashful around her, but she was happy she saw him anyway. Mary Rose finally said hi and asked him if he remembered her from school. He nodded his head without saying a word and kind of looked down at the ground. She told him she was happy to see him and said that they were going to the library. She asked if he was going there too. He shook his head no. She said she would see him at school and waved as they parted.
Mary Rose loved to read and had a whole pile of books to check out. Having the bags sure made the books easier carry as they stood in the line. The library had this new way of checking out the books so the line was backed up a bit. It was done all electronically and was very new to everyone. Mary Rose noticed some people were fine with the new system and others not so comfortable.An older person ended up needing some help from the librarian who graciously helped him. He was a little bashful about trying new things like this because he did not have a way of getting very much practice. Mary Rose watched and sorry for him. Soon it was her turn. Mama read all the directions and had Mary Rose scan her library card. Next, she pulled each book out and scanned the numbers on the back. They got done and was even given a receipt from the machine telling when to bring the books back.
As they were on their way out of the library they saw a sign on another door with a window that said, story time. Mary Rose peeked in and saw a couple of puppets laying on a table beside the storyteller’s chair. She thought it would be fun to watch the puppets being used with the story, But she would be a little bashful herself up in front of a group and would feel much more comfortable using a puppet behind a curtain where others could not see her and only the puppet.
When they arrived home they hauled the bags of books in from the wagon up to Mary Rose’ room. Her floor ended up being covered in books. She decided to make some neat piles of them in the particular order she would be reading them. There were funny books, rhyming books, and books about girls, mystery books, dog books plus many other kinds. She was looking forward to reading all of them. Pinning the reading chart to her bulletin board, she was ready to get started. She read about 6 books that afternoon and wrote them in on her chart.
The next Sunday in Bible class Mary Rose was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone received a summer Bible reading chart. Now she had 2 charts for reading! This was just Mary Rose’ style. She liked having a chart to show her progress and help her stay on track. She would certainly be busy! The whole class would all be reading about the life of Christ in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. At the end, if they finished, they would receive a medal with a special certificate of completion and have a celebration party to honor those who finished. Parents were encouraged to read to their children to help them get through some of the more difficult verses.
Mary Rose thought she would be sure to put her Bible in front of all her library books at home so she would not get distracted by all the other books and forget about her Bible reading. She would really try to do that reading first.
Bible lesson time came around fairly quickly and when Miss Jamie turned around she had a little puppet character on her hand that she held up to introduce him to everyone. At first, he didn’t want to look at anyone. He kind of hid behind her shoulder. Finally, Miss Jamie talked him into peeking out at the class. He was shaking he was so nervous. After letting each person in class pet him he settled down and was ready for the Bible lesson. He looked like a worm and had an orange antenna and a striped bow tie with the name Bashful on it.
The name Bashful fit him very well because he never spoke out loud. He only whispered into the teacher’s ear and afterward, she would tell the class what he had said. (In that way he kind of reminded Mary Rose of the little boy she saw on her way to the library.) Miss Jamie would ask him questions and he would nod his head for yes, and shake his head from side to side for no. He would also sometimes try to help her hold her Bible. He wasn’t very good at turning pages because he didn’t have any hands. He did help her though, by holding the marker when she wrote on the whiteboard.
Bashful loved God’s word so VERY much. So much that he was considered a bookworm. He loved to read God’s word. It didn’t taste so very bad either!He even had a pair of little glasses to wear that made the words clearer for reading.
Bashful was so smart! He read and studied God’s word every day. He liked it so much he could hardly stop reading! He found happy and sad stories, stories of adventure, ones with friends and enemies, and some even had love in them. So much written within the pages of God’s Word.
When it was review time, if the students could not answer Miss Jamie’s questions Bashful whispered the answer in her ear and always got it right!
To make the summer Bible reading program more exciting each one who completed their reading schedule would not only receive a medal and certificate, but a bookmark shaped like Bashful the bookworm and a puppet of their very own! Mary Rose and all the other girls in class thought he was such a cute little worm and they all got to say their goodbyes to him before they left.
Mary Rose was so excited about reading and Bashful. She was looking forward to having one of her own and would ask for one for the bashful little boy. This little bookworm might help him feel more like talking to others.
Greetings! To my sister Bible class teachers!
As a child, I remember being bashful and thankfully grew out of it. The more I was willing to step out of my box the more comfortable I became. Encouragers help. Matthew 28:20b I still find myself stepping out. It’s a growing thing! All those in the Bible who stood in front of others reading the Word of God. They truly had to get over their jitters. And then Moses! He was giving God a lot of unneeded excuses, but HEY, HE DID IT! Exodus 3:11; Exodus 4:1; Exodus 4:10; Acts7:20-22
Bashful the puppet was a favorite of several I have taught, age 2 – first grade. My K-1 Bible classes loved him. He really held their attention during the lesson. He helped them open up to relax, & get over their fear or bashfulness of attending.
The original idea for this puppet came from the old Mailbox Swap Shop Books out of Wichita Falls Texas.
I love and appreciate each of you and all your efforts in teaching His Word,
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