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FATHERS OF FREEDOM (video) – written by Tanis Harms
. (video with shorter cut)
TOPIC: father’s reconciliation & responsibility
SCRIPTURE: Malachi 4:6, Rom.6:7-11, Gal.2:20, 1Jhn.1:9
Style: drama/conversation: an imprisoned father
. writes a letter of reconciliation
. to his children and explains the change
. that has taken place in his life
Set & Props: cot, pen, paper, Bible
(DAD sits on the cot, hands folded, head bowed.
Finally he looks up, and studies the pen and paper
that sit beside him. Bracing himself, he picks them up
and begins to write while speaking aloud.)
DAD My dear children... There are so many things
. I want to say, but I don’t know where to start.
. I’m not the best with words, even though
. I have been going to school here.
. The prison has a few rehab programs.
. They seem to think that an education will help us.
. So my - spelling has – im-prov-ed...
(DAD sounds out the word as he writes it slowly.)
DAD I hope you are doing good – ah – doing “well” –
. in school and paying attention. It is important.
. But not - as important as what I – really –
. want to share with you.
(DAD takes a moment to brace himself.)
DAD First, I must say... I am so sorry, and I love you.
. I remember when I was a boy, and even as
. a grown man, I would have loved to hear those words
. coming from my own father. I don’t know if Mom
. has ever told you, but my dad – also – did -
. very bad things - and went to prison.
. It was not like I wanted to follow in my father’s
. footsteps, but, well, they say that most children –
. will do exactly that.
(DAD pauses to pray about what to write next.)
DAD I pray, that you will want to get to know me now,
. so you can see what I have become... A few months
. ago, a person came to visit me. We talked a bit,
. and then he gave me a Bible. There’s not much to do
. here, so I spent a lot of time reading it.
. When you’re desperate, you’ll do almost anything.
(DAD touches the Bible that sits beside him.)
DAD Well, Mike, that’s his name, came back - again -
. and again. He said that he was praying for me
. a lot. At first I didn’t really like any of this,
. but, I let him visit me. My thinking was,
. at least I had someone to argue with, but Mike –
. ah - is wise, and way too – pa-ti-ent – to argue.
. I don’t know... it was crazy that a stranger
. would care that much about me. What was even
. stranger, is that the God who made the world
. and everything – cared about me so much that
. He came and died for me. So one day, my –
. spirit-u-al - eyes were opened. I could see
. that I was a sinner, in need of saving.
. Of course, I always knew that I was guilty
. of the things that I’ve been charged with,
. and I deserve prison – and – even death.
. But more than that, we are all guilty of sin,
. and deserve death – and we all need to admit this –
. and ask Jesus to forgive our sins. 1 John 1:9
. tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is
. faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to
. cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” No matter
. WHAT we’ve done, no matter how bad we have been.
DAD I know that I deserve death. And – now I can really
. say: I have died already. And because of that –
. I am now a free man. I’m still in an earthly prison
. for life. But spiritually – I am a free man – for
. all eternity. Some verses in Romans says, “for he
. who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died
. with Christ, we believe that we shall also live
. with Him... Even so consider yourselves to be dead
. to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
(DAD opens the Bible that sits beside him.)
Dad Not only have I been saved, but I have been changed.
. In Galatians 2:20, it says, "I have been crucified
. with Christ; and it is no longer I who live,
. but Christ lives in me; and the life which
. I now live in the flesh I live by faith in
. the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up
. for me.” While on earth, I will still struggle, and
. I cer-tain-ly won’t be perfect until I reach heaven,
. but Christ has changed me, and will continue
. to change me and to work in me – so I will grow
. in faith, and wisdom, and love. So I am no longer
. locked up in my sin – I have been set free
. in my heart.
(DAD stops to think.)
DAD I realize that I need to step up as a father.
. Please forgive me from my past. It’s not easy to do
. on your own, so you will need God’s help to
. forgive me. In the same way, I have had to forgive
. MY dad. As well, I needed to forgive myself.
. I hope you can understand all of this.
. God has become the Lord of my life, as well as
. my heavenly Father, and my perfect example.
. I have started a new legacy with God’s help.
. As an earthly father, I want, and I need to be –
. the spiritual leader – to my children...
. and to do that - I need to lead by example.
. I pray that you also choose the legacy
. of a changed heart and freedom.
. No father wants to see his child in prison.
. I understand - no child wants to see their father
. in prison – so I hope that you can see me –
. not as an inmate – but as a man of God...
DAD With very much love... Dad.