I Want to See!
An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series
by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools
To use the Bible story about Bartimaeus to consider what it means to be blind.
Preparation and materials
You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
You will also need a blindfold.
Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, 'Hello Scruff!'
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
Lucy Jane had just come back from Maddy’s birthday party and she hurried to the stables to find Scruff. Gently, she brushed Scruff’s coat, as she told him all about the party.
‘We played lots of party games, Scruff,’ she said in an excited voice.
Ask the children which games they enjoy playing most at parties.
You may wish to tell them about some of the games you used to play when you went to parties as a child.
‘We had to wear a blindfold for one of the games,’ Lucy Jane continued. ‘There was a picture of a donkey on the wall and we had to try to pin the tail on it without being able to see!’
Scruff shook his head angrily. ‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’ he neighed loudly.
Lucy Jane laughed. ‘Don’t be silly, Scruff,’ she said. ‘It wasn’t a real donkey! After that, we played a game where someone had a blindfold on and they had to feel round and try to find their friends. It’s very hard to find your friends when you can’t see where they are. You have to listen very hard to the sound of their feet.’
Suddenly, Lucy Jane went very quiet. Scruff rubbed his head gently against her face.
‘I wouldn’t like to be blind, Scruff,' Lucy Jane whispered. ‘I wouldn’t be able to see the wild flowers, the butterflies, the birds and all my friends.’
Scruff nodded his head as if he agreed with what Lucy Jane had said.
‘People who are blind are very brave,’ said Lucy Jane. ‘Scruff, did you know that our teacher told us that blind people can read books? They use something called Braille. Braille has little dots raised up on a page so that people can feel them and read what the letters are. I had a go at it at school and it is very hard to do!’
Lucy Jane looked at Scruff, who seemed to be listening very carefully. She giggled. ‘Just look at you listening!’ she said. ‘I’m glad I can see your lovely face!’
Lucy Jane gave Scruff a great big hug and a carrot.
And, of course, Scruff said, 'Hee-haw, hee-haw!'
Take off Scruff.
Let’s listen to a story from the Bible about a blind man called Bartimaeus.
Jesus and his friends were walking through a town called Jericho. When people heard that they were coming, they ran out of their houses, hoping to see Jesus. Crowds of people lined the streets. A man called Bartimaeus was in the crowd. Bartimaeus was blind, but he could still hear people in the crowd talking. Some of them were saying, ‘Look, Jesus is coming!’ Others were saying, ‘He is a great teacher!’ Others were saying, ‘I’ve heard that he makes sick people well.’
Bartimaeus wanted to meet Jesus, but there was too much noise and the sound of footsteps everywhere. Bartimaeus didn’t know where Jesus was!
Ask the children what they think Bartimaeus could do.
Suddenly, Bartimaeus started to shout as loud as he could!
‘Jesus, help me! Jesus, help me!’
Many people in the crowd told him to be quiet, but he kept on shouting even louder, ‘Jesus, help me!’
Suddenly, Bartimaeus heard footsteps coming towards him. The people standing near him in the street went quiet and Bartimaeus heard a voice saying, ‘Bring him to me!’
Two people took Bartimaeus gently by the arm.
‘Cheer up!’ they said as they led him towards Jesus. ‘Jesus is calling for you.’
Soon, Bartimaeus was standing in front of Jesus.
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked.
Ask the children if they can guess what answer Bartimaeus would give.
‘Jesus, I want to be able to see,’ Bartimaeus said quietly.
Bartimaeus looked up. He could see Jesus’ face! He could see all the beautiful flowers and the trees and the sunshine! He was so happy.
After that, Bartimaeus followed Jesus along the road. He wanted to be near his new friend.
Time for reflection
Close your eyes and listen to what is going on around you.
Imagine what it is like to see only darkness.
Now open your eyes and look around.
We are fortunate to be able to see. We need to remember to say thank you for gifts such as sight, hearing and movement.
Thank you for all the beautiful things in the world.
Thank you for all our senses that allow us to enjoy the world.
Thank you most for . . . (ask the children to shout out three of their favourite things)
‘He made me’ (Come and Praise, 18)