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DOERS NOT JUST HEARERS - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        application of God’s words
SCRIPTURE:    Romans 2:13; James 1:22
Style:        allegory/conversation: when Mom asks Jamie
.             to clean up his things from the stairs,
.             he is very keen to listen, to study,
.             and even teach others this lesson,
.             but neglects to follow through
Cast:         MOM/DAD, JAMIE, TERRY (girls or boys)
Set & Props:  table, dictionary, thesaurus, paper, pen


(MOM enters and calls out.)

MOM      Jamie!

(JAMIE enters.)

JAMIE    Yes, Mom, you called?

MOM      I did.

JAMIE    (eagerly)  Do you have something
.        you want to tell me?

MOM      I do.  I need you to clean up your things
.        that are sitting on the stairway.

JAMIE    Oh, is it important?

MOM      It is.  Someone might be walking there
.        and trip over them.  An accident like that
.        could be very serious.

JAMIE    Do you know when, or how many people,
.        will be walking there?

MOM      It doesn’t really matter now, does it;
.        but it needs to be cleaned up.

JAMIE    I can certainly understand how
.        that it is very important.
.        I intent to get on it right away.
.                                                      2
(MOM exits.  JAMIE gets out a dictionary and thesaurus
at a table to study, and takes notes while doing so.  
Meanwhile, TERRY enters and becomes curious.)

TERRY    What are you studying?

JAMIE    Oh, hey, I’m doing a study on the request
.        made by Mom.  This is really deep stuff.

TERRY    Really?  Could you take me through that?
.        I always love to gain knowledge and
.        glean wisdom from the things that Mom says.
.        The way she just lays it on the line,
.        can be so very convicting.  And yet
.        encouraging at the same time, you know?
.        She really understands and cares about
.        our growth and development.

JAMIE    She really does.  And it helps to know
.        that she was once our age, too.

TERRY    Okay, so, what did she say exactly?

JAMIE    These are the original words quoted from Mom,
.        “I need you to clean up your things-“

TERRY    Whoa!  Okay, that right there requires further
.        studying to gain a more comprehensive insight.
.        In fact, the very first word “I” is critical.
.        From that, you KNOW that this request was given
.        directly from Mom.  Then comes the word –
.        “need.”

JAMIE    Exactly what I was thinking!  So I did
.        a word study on the definition of “need.”

TERRY    And what did you discover?

JAMIE    (refers to the dictionary)  When taking it
.        in its entire context, it can refer
.        to several bullet points.

TERRY    Let me draw up a chart for this.  That might
.        help pinpoint the overall implications,
.        which would help us determine basic
.        and practical applications.
.                                                      3
(TERRY takes the paper and pen and begins to draw.)

JAMIE    This is great stuff.  Okay, number one is:
.        “A condition or situation in which something
.        necessary or desirable is required or wanted.
.        IE. ‘in need of water.’”

TERRY    Water is so important.

JAMIE    Vital!  Okay, number two:  “A wish or
.        strong desire for something that is lacking:
.        IE. ‘a need for affection.’”

TERRY    Also necessary.

JAMIE    Number three:  “Necessity; OBLIGATION:
.        IE. ‘there is no need for you to go.’”

TERRY    So interesting.  So - it can also apply
.        to the positive form of that example.

JAMIE    Four:  “Something required or wanted;
.        a REQUISITE:  IE. ‘our needs are modest.’”
.        And then five:  “The condition of poverty
.        or misfortune.  IE. ‘in dire need.’”

TERRY    That one right there is tricky and could
.        be completely taken out of context,
.        since we already HAVE things, therefore,
.        there is no “need.”

JAMIE    Recap – from Mom’s request, “I need you
.        to clean up your things that are sitting
.        on the stairway...“ - “Clean up.”
.        What does that really mean?

(TERRY flips through the thesaurus.)

TERRY    If we do a cross-reference on “clean”
.        we find other words like: cleanse, freshen,
.        neaten, purge, purify, sanitize, tidy...

JAMIE    It would be interesting to see
.        how all of this would translate
.        between other languages.

TERRY    It would.  But for now, we can see            4
.        how Mom is building on her request
.        with “things” – “clean up your things.”

JAMIE    The word “your” obviously means the request
.        was directed at “you.”

TERRY    We must also consider what would constitute
.        as “things”– although general terminology
.        is used here, if we do a cultural study
.        based on archeological findings, this probably
.        would include “anything” and “something-”

JAMIE    Or “EVERY” thing!  “Everything that is
.        sitting on the stairway.” - Which would imply
.        that the entire area should really be kept
.        perfectly spotless.

TERRY    That is so deep.  Like, it’s blowing my mind!
.        We should really meditate on this.

JAMIE    And this was followed by a warning.
.        And I quote, “Someone might be walking there
.        and trip over them.”  Which is followed by
.        another warning, “An accident like that
.        could be very serious.”

TERRY    And when Mom gives a double warning –
.        it is super serious.

JAMIE    Then came, “It doesn’t really matter”
.        how many people, “now, does it; but –
.        it needs to be cleaned up.”

TERRY    A rhetorical question!  And THEN
.        a repeat of the request.

JAMIE    And don’t forget the word “but” right
.        in the middle of that sentence.
.        “It doesn’t matter – BUT – it needs to be!”

TERRY    It’s pretty black and white, really.
.        No room for debate.  One would have to perform
.        radical linguistic gymnastics to
.        misinterpret those words.

(JAMIE shakes head solemnly.)
.                                                      5
JAMIE    No mistaking the extreme importance
.        of this request.

TERRY    Right!  We need to go tell others about this.

JAMIE    Let’s go.  But, why don’t we first write
.        a study book with leadership materials
.        to shed light onto this entire topic.

(TERRY and JAMIE begin to exit as MOM steps in.)

MOM      And just where are you going?
.        I can see you have not cleaned up
.        the things from the staircase yet.

JAMIE    Oh, well, you see, I’ve just been too excited
.        and too busy studying this request of yours
.        and telling others here about its importance.
.        We were just getting ready to spread the word
.        by writing a study book.  So I don’t know
.        exactly when I’ll get around to actually
.        doing it, but my intentions are sincere and
.        I mean well.  Like, in my heart, it’s like –
.        it’s already been done.

MOM      Hm!  You dare say.