Kid 1 is a normal fifth grader, who goes to church every Sunday.
Kid 2 is a fifth grader whose mother is on her death bed and has been for years.
Teacher is A forty year old woman who gives the children an assignment to draw a monster.
*lights up on the teachers side of the classroom*
Teacher: One day I told my class that we would all be drawing monsters. I told them I wanted them to draw whatever came to mind when they heard the word 'monster'. I told them that I didn't want them talking to their neighbors because I didn't want others to influence their drawings. I was very curious to see what the students had drawn and come up with. I had done this for many years now and I always enjoyed seeing what these kids could think up. Some could draw so some of the monsters were actually scary! Some couldn't but that kept it interesting. After everything I had seen, and after all my years of teaching, nothing could have ever prepared me for this.
*lights up on kids side of classroom*
Kid 1: I drew a monster with three eyes, four arms, and furry purple hair! He's scary, don't you think?
Kid 2: He looks like Randall and Sully from Monsters Inc! He's not scary he's cute!
Kid 1: No he's not! He's terrifying! *monster noise*
Kid 2: Whatever you say. To me he looks huggable and lovable. If I saw him one day, I would talk to him and ask him to be my friend. Sully was nice, so why can't this guy be kind too?
Kid 1: Well.. He eats kids like us! He could never become our friend. He's so scary because he eats kids!
Kid 2: Sully always scared kids until he realized that they had hearts and lives to. He was a nice monster because he changed his ways, so your monster can too!
Kid 1: My monsters name is Rhysanderous! He's also part dinosaur. They cannot be tamed, they are all evil carnivorous beasts. Would you trust him?
Kid 2: No.. but he can be better. Not everyone who looks evil is actually evil.. They may look horrible but could be super kind if treated right. You should always give everyone a chance, at least one chance.
Kid 1: Whatever you say.. I don't agree but there is no point arguing with you. If you aren't scared of Rhysanderous, then what did you draw?
Kid 2: I drew... I don't want to say... You'll think its stupid.
Kid 1: No I won't, I'm sure its not stupid.
Kid 2: Promise?
Kid 1: Pinky Swear.
*The Kids linked pinkys*
Kid 2: *shows the other kid his drawing of a beautiful angel.*
Kid 1: *snickers* That is NOT scary.
Kid 2: You promised you wouldn't say it was stupid!
Kid 1: I'm Sorry. I didn't meant to laugh...but why would you think an angel is scary? Angels are the kindest beings ever! My Dad is my angel. He always takes care of me when I am sick. He is the best angel of them all! We learned about angels in my church service. That's how I know my Dad is an angel. I learned about Gabriel and all of the other wonderful angels that help God perform miracles! There is nothing scary about angels!
Kid 2: That's where you are wrong! Angels are the scariest of them all!
Kid 1: Why would you say that? Don't you go to church?
Kid 2: I used to, with my mom, but then we stopped going because she got sick and sicker and now she is too sick to go. I even prayed to God to send angels down to heal my mom. But the angels were never sent. My mom is still sick, and she continues to get sicker. Why won't God send the angels down for my mom? Is she not as good as Mary was?
Kid 1: I was always told that things happen for a reason. God may disguise a good thing with something that looks bad. Your mom may be sick, but maybe its saving her from something worse. She will get better if you continue to pray!
Kid 2: How can you say that?!? My mom is dying! She has been like this for over a year now! How can you say that there is something worse than death? Why would you say that? *begins to sniffle*
Kid 1: I am so sorry. I didn't mean to make you upset, I was trying to encourage you. Our bible verse last week said "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. He has the plans for your life, and for your moms, and it will all be okay in the end.
Kid 2: But what if she dies? I will never be okay if she dies. I love her so much and I don't think I could live without her. She is my favorite person.
Kid 1: If she dies, then that is what God had intended to happen. Even if it doesn't seem okay now, it will be. At least, that is what our pastor always tells us.
Kid 2: I can't believe you would say such a thing! My mom will not die! Not because of God and his angels! I refuse to be told that if my mom dies its because he WANTED my mother to die.
Kid 1: That's not what I said.. I was just...
Kid 2: STOP TALKING!
Kid 1: I'm sorry.
Kid 2: So am I, I didn't mean to yell. I just love my mom and I don't want to think about her dying.
Kid 1: Would you like to change the topic?
Kid 2: Yes please. Thank you.
Kid 1: Can you tell me why you chose to draw an angel, so I can try to understand?
Kid 2: Yeah! Where do I even begin? Give me a second.. Hmm.. Okay. The angel. This is going back to when I went to church. One day in Sunday School I learned about Satan and how he became who he was. And well, I learned about how he has another name, Lucifer, and how he used to be God's most trusted angel, but then he started doing horrible things. He wanted to be above God and rule on his throne, Because of this he was brought down to the realm of the dead. He used to be the most TRUSTED angel of all, and he betrayed that trust so quickly. Anyone can betray anyone. What's worse is now he can disguise himself as anybody or anything he wants to. He can look like the nicest person and ruin our lives by persuading us to do horrible and bad things.
That is why I drew an angel, because nobody would expect a monster to hide in the light.
Kid 1: I... I don't know what to say. My Dad would never be like that... *beat* I know that story but I never thought about it that way. I knew all of that, but not under that light. I guess, I just believe that I will never give in to that temptation.
Kid 2: That's what you don't understand! He can trick you! He's smart! He deceives! He will disguise himself as an angel, one not yet fallen, and he will ruin your life!
Kid 1: I will never believe that! Never! God is too strong to allow Satan to win. He will never win as long as God is on my side. His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me!
Kid 2: You just aren't listening... *raises hand* Teacher? Can I be moved to a new seat? He was making fun of my drawing!
Kid 1: I was not!
Kid 2: He was! He laughed!
Kid 1: No I didn't
Kid 2: Yes you did!
Kid 1: No!
Kid 2: Yes!
*This turns into a fight, where they begin to get physical when the teacher finally gets up and hurries over*
Teacher: ENOUGH! Calm down you two! Why are you fighting? You know you shouldn't hit anyone!
Kid 2: He laughed at my monster and then told me that God wanted my Mother to die!
Kid 1: She said that my drawing wasn't scary and that Satan was going to ruin my life!
Teacher: ONE AT A TIME.. please. Ladies first.
Kid 2: Thank you. The drawing wasn't scary..
Teacher: Now, that is not okay. *picks up the paper* Now that is plenty scary! Tell him you're sorry.
Kid 2: I'm sorry...
Kid 1: I forgive you.... i guess.
Kid 2: Anyways, I was afraid to show him my drawing, because I knew he would laugh at me, and then he pinky swore and then I told him and he laughed! And then we started talking about angels and why I drew one and he told me that things happen for a reason and blah blah blah.. He said that if my mother died, it was because she was supposed to die! I don't want my mommy to die! *sobs*
Teacher: It's okay sweetheart, everything will be okay. *shifts to Kid 1* You should not have said that mister! Just because you go to church does not give you the right to tell her what God is going to do! You should never tell someone that their mother is going to die! No matter what you believe that is NOT okay! Apologize!
*Kid 1 humphs*
Kid 1: I am sorry that I said your Mom was going to die because of God thinking it was the right time!... Can I tell my side of the story now?
Teacher: Yes, go ahead.
Kid 1: She told me that Satan was a fallen angel, which I already knew, but that there was no escaping him because he disguises himself as a perfect nightmare. We would never know that he was there because he looks so perfect, as perfect as an angel. Because of that, she said I couldn't escape him. She said that Satan was going to ruin my life and make me do bad things!
Teacher: Did you say that?
Kid 2: Yeah..
Teacher: That is unacceptable! You need to apologize to him immediately!
Kid 2: BUT..
Teacher: Don't argue with me just do it!
Kid 2: FINE! I am sorry.
Kid 1: I accept your apology
Teacher: Is everything good now?
*the kids shake their heads yes*
Teacher: Okay. I'm trusting you guys to get along for the rest of class.
*Teacher walks back her desk*
Kid 1: I am sorry I got so mad at you.
Kid 2: So am I. You are allowed to believe what you want. I'm sorry that it is different than what I believe.
Kid 1: That's alright, we all have different opinions and that's okay. As long as we don't rub our opinions in others faces, it doesn't matter. That's what my Dad always says.
Kid 2: Sorry about that...
Kid 1: It's alright.
Kid 2: Can we still be friends?
Kid 1: Yeah! Of course! Can you tell me more about your angel?
Kid 2: Well, I drew him so he looks completely nice and pretty. He has flawless wings, and a yellow halo around his head. His face is completely perfect. I want him to look as perfect as possible. I drew him at my house and my Mom said he put up a nice facade. I'm not sure what that word means exactly, but I think it means a fake smile type thing.
Kid 1: That's super interesting. Can you draw me a copy so I can show my mom?
Kid 2: Of course!
*Kids walk out as Lights down on the childrens part of the classroom*
Teacher: *narrating* By the end of the class the girl had drawn the boy a copy of the angel. When he walked into his house he saw his favorite person in the world, his father. He had always looked up to his father and admired him immensely. He was a strong man, and the boy always wanted to be like him when he grew up. What he saw his father do was a different story. He walked in on his father screaming and yelling at his mother unspeakable words and slurs. His Father turned when he heard the boy close the door. He apologized to his son, but it was too late, the angelic facade the boy had once believed, had shattered. It revealed the flawed, broken man underneath. The boy ran to his room in tears. His perfect angel was no longer. It broke the boys heart into a million little pieces.
*Lights up on the childrens part of the classroom*
*Kids walk back in*
Teacher: Good afternoon children! We are working on poetry today just like we have been for the past few days. If you have any questions you can ask me, but you are free to work on your own otherwise. *teacher sits at her desk*
Kid 2: What did your mom think?
Kid 1: I don't want to talk about it.
Kid 2: Did something bad happen?
Kid 1: I said I didn't want to talk about it!
Teacher: *narrating* Being a teacher I overheard this conversation. I wasn't sure what had happened, and the students weren't likely to share the details with me, but I could tell that something had changed in that little boy.
Kid 2: Fine. I just wanted to know!
Kid 1: I know. I didn't get to show it to her, i'll show it to her tonight.
Teacher: *narrating* The boy went home and had quickly forgotten the mistake his father had made. He was eager to show his parents the angel that the girl had drawn. When he walked in the door, he witnessed his father yelling at his mother once again. The facade, by now, was fully lifted. The boy thought he could forgive his father like God tells him to, but after two times, he knew that the people that act the best in the light, can actually be the worst when behind closed doors.
Teacher: Each night he went home the yelling got worse, and louder, and soon enough they didn't even stop when he walked in. He would walk to his room and shut the door and weep.
Teacher: So now that you guys have your monsters all finished, I want you to write me something that expresses why you drew what you did. As we have been practicing poetry lately, I would prefer a poem.
Kid 1 and 2: Okay!
Teacher: Get writing!
Teacher: *narrating again* I asked the children to write poems, and what I received from them the next day I never expected. I knew that her poem would be sad, but I would have never thought his poem would be what it was. The poem was titled Monster.
*Kid 1 comes out read his poem*
Yesterday, When I was younger
We were asked to draw a monster
So I drew a creature
With three eyes, four arms, and furry hair
My friend next to me
She drew an angel
I didn't understand
We were taught that monsters
Were just fictional stories
Used to spark fear
Into the hearts of little children
An angel just didn't match that description
If i was asked to draw a monster today
I would not draw what I did back then
I would draw anxiety, depression
and all the real monsters of the world
I would draw an angel
Because the worst of monsters
Disguise themselves as
Everything we could ever wish for
The real monsters are right in front of us
They hide in plain sight
Because nobody would expect a monster
To hide in the light
*Kid 1 goes back to his seat*
Teacher: His poem broke my heart. The girl showed him the cruelties of the world that he had once been oblivious of. He went from thinking of a monster as something furry and angry, to an angel, something of perfection. The girl was to blame.
Teacher: It took me many months to realize that it was not the girls fault that this facade of a perfect life had fallen. We got a phone call a little while after I received the poem. I swear I could hear that little boys heart shatter from a million miles away. He had admired his father so much because to him, his father was perfect, someone he strived to be like. But he learned his father was deeply flawed and he grew up because of it. I learned from this young boy that the real monsters hide in the light.