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A Lesson From A Barking Pig
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Nov 1, 2000, 13:13

The teacher was asked to have her class of Kindergarten students dramatize a fairy tale for a teacherís conference. They spent a great deal of time reading fairy tales and carefully choosing the story to perform. The teacher used this as a learning experience for her students (which is a sign of a good teacher).

After much deliberation the decision was made, the choice "Cinderella," the classic "rags to riches" story that never seems to get old.

"Cinderella" was a good choice because there were enough parts for everyone. If you added a little bit to some of the parts you kept everyone involved, and everyone would be happy. The list of characters was compiled as the class together looked at the plot of the story. There was...

The beautiful Cinderella, the star of the show
One extremely evil and wicked stepmother
Two mean, nasty, and slightly dumb step sisters
The beautiful and wise fairy godmother
The ruggedly handsome prince
The king and queen
The pumpkin
The coachmen
The royal entourage

The kids were allowed to choose their parts and all were taken and everyone had a part except one child. One little boy who had remained quiet while others chose their roles. This child was in many ways an outsider, often picked on and teased by the other children. You remember the child from your school days, there was at least one in every class.

"Well Norman," said the teacher, "which character do you want to be?"

"I think", replied Norman, "I am going to be the pig."

"There is no pig in the story."

"There is now."

Wisdom was something that the teacher kept in her resource bag and she thought, "What is the harm?" No one else in the class wanted the part, so the decision was made, the story of Cinderella now had a pig in it. Since the script contained no written instruction for the pig, it would be left to Norman to create and interpret his role as the pig.

As it all turned out, Norman created for himself a walk-on part. The pig walked along with Cinderella everywhere she went, ambling about on all fours in a piggy sort of way, in a costume that he created on his own. He wore long pink underwear, complete with rear-end flap, there was the pipe cleaner tail, and a paper cup painted pink for his snout.

He made no sound at all. He simply sat during most of the scenes next to Cinderella, back on his haunches and observed what was going on. The expressions on his face mirrored the dramatic action that took place. He looked happy, sad, distressed, and hopeful as the scene dictated. By looking at his face there was no doubt about what was taking place, the pig was involved, sincere, genuine, and became a part of the moving sweeping story.

At the big finish, when the Prince finally placed the slipper on Cinderellaís foot and the couple hugged and rode off together into the sunset, the pig went wild with joy, danced around on his hind legs, and broke his silence by barking!

In rehearsal the teacher tried to explain to Norman that even if there was a pig in Cinderella, pigs donít bark. Norman explained, "They do now." The barking was very well done anyway.

The presentation at the teacherís conference was a smash hit. At the curtain call guess who got the standing ovation ?

Norman of course, the pig in Cinderella who barked. He was, after all, the real Cinderella story.

Word gets around about a good story, and the class got many invitations to come and perform their version of this time honored classic. Sometimes the teacher would have to explain what made their play different.

"It has a pig in it you see?"

"Oh, really ?"

"Yes, the star of the show is a barking pig."

"There is no barking pig in Cin-derella."

"There is now."

There are so many like Norman in the world. Maybe you can identify with him. He doesnít fit in, sometimes he feels picked on. It is easy to give up, just wilt away and disappear into the endless sea of those who are convinced that they will never make it. The odds are too great, and they just quit trying. If you have ever been there or felt that way remember the story of the barking pig.

We donít have barking pigs in the story.

We do now!

We donít do things that way.

We do now!

My friends, no matter what you hear, what you are told, there is a place for you, you have a job to do, you can make a difference. You can be so much more than you are, and you are so much more than anyone could ever imagine (including yourself).

The story of Cinderella is at the heart of Christian faith. God sees a princess or prince in every rag clad individual.

Do you ever feel like the whole world is going to the ball and you have been left behind to clean up the mess? If so ponder this deep ,spiritual question. . .Was Cinderella a scrub girl who became a princess or was she already a princess dressed in rags ?!?

No matter where you are, or where you find yourself, if you know Jesus, you are royalty! Whether you know it or not, He has tapped you on the shoulder and said , "It is time to go to the ball!"

The impact of that should not only make you excited, but you ought to break into spontaneous joy. As His people we really do have something to celebrate, so the next time you are looking for something to be thankful for, thank Him for the chance to go to the ball.

Think About It. . .

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