.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

FREE INDEED – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        forgiveness, grace, freedom from bondage
SCRIPTURE:    Ps.116:16, Is.61:1, Rom.6:1-23, 7:13-25,
.             Eph.4:30-32, Heb.12:1-17
Style:        allegory/conversation: people still keep
.             themselves in bondage by their sins,
.             hatred and bitterness, even though they
.             have been forgiven and set free
Cast:         warden, prisoners 1-3
Set & Props:  can have bench or sit on the floor
.               for either option
.             option 1 – bars either behind or in front,
.               and if you use an entire prison cage,
.               the door should be open
.             option 2 – chains or ropes (easiest to do)
NOTE:         for dialogue that refers to the bondage,
.               if they refer to the specific options,
.               I will give both alternatives.
.               It is up to you how you want to visually
.               illustrate and depict the bondage.


(PRISONERS 1-3 are in a cell or have chains/ropes wrapped
around them – BUT cell door [prop or pretend] is open;
OR the chains/ropes are held in place – as if they are
like a security blanket - make it obvious that these
are unlocked and not completely around their bodies.
PRISONER 1 paces angrily as much as cell or chains allow.
PRISONERs 2-3 sit in various ways to express anger.
WARDEN enters from the other side and walks by.
WARDEN notices PRISONERS 1-3 and stops, bewildered.)

WARDEN  What are you all doing here?

P 1     What you mean?

WARDEN  You were all set free last week.
.       All three of you.  Why - are you back?

P 2     You’re just seeing things!

WARDEN  I can see pretty clearly – that you are all
.       right here – in bondage again.
.                                                       2
P 3     Don’t know what you’re talking about.

WARDEN  Your time has been paid for – you are free –
.       free to go – why aren’t you living in
.       that freedom?

P 2     Look, I feel safer here, okay?

P 3     I am only taking control of my life.

WARDEN  Are you really?

P 1     Hey - out there – someone is only
.       going to stomp all over me.

WARDEN  Someone could STILL stomp all over you.

P 1     Right, so I’ve decided not to trust anyone.
.       And if anyone dares to get too close,
.       I’m going to stomp on them – BEFORE -
.       they have a chance to stomp on me.

WARDEN  With that attitude – you can depend on it!

P 1     So you’re saying that I’m asking for it?

WARDEN  Yes, sometimes we do things that are wrong,
.       and there are consequences.  But there is help -
.       you can turn this attitude around.

P 1     I prefer my way.  I do whatever I want.

WARDEN  Your way is wrong – and you’ll continue to live
.       in this personal bondage.

P 1     I’m not living in bondage!

WARDEN  But you are.  By choosing the wrong behavior
.       and not wanting to change, is choosing
.       a personal, self-proclaimed bondage.

P 1     So YOU say.

P 2     (to Warden)  You just don’t understand
.       what it’s like out there.  There ARE people
.       who hate me and take advantage of me.
.                                                       3
WARDEN  I understand - at least to some degree.

P 2     I don’t think you do.

WARDEN  These kind of things will happen to most people.

P 2     I think there are some people who suffer more.

WARDEN  It’s very difficult to compare personal
.       experiences.  But I DO understand, there IS
.       injustice in the world.  Not everything is fair.
.       But one day – everything will be sorted out.
.       Meanwhile, are you going to let that define you?

P 2     I am – what I am – and THAT can never change.
.       And just because of THAT – I am going to suffer.

WARDEN  But why are you allowing yourself to suffer
.       more than necessary?

P 2     I’m not doing that!  I’m just protecting myself.

WARDEN  By not forgiving?

P 2     Exactly!  And I’m never going to forgive any
.       of THOSE who have hurt me.  Ever!

WARDEN  By not forgiving THOSE people – you are
.       only hurting yourself.  You have put yourself
.       back into bondage because of exactly that.
.       Your hatred is only leading to bitterness.

P 2     I enjoy my bitterness.

WARDEN  So you enjoy being a slave to your bitterness?

P 2     DON’T ever call me a slave!

WARDEN  But you are.  Can’t you see?

P 2     THEY - do not deserve forgiveness.

WARDEN  Maybe not, but refusing to forgive them does not
.       hurt them at all.  It only hurts you.  You can’t
.       even look them in the face.  You live in bondage
.       of your own hatred, bitterness and fear.
.                                                       4
P 2     They think they’re better than me!

WARDEN  So you are going to prove that?

P 2     What?!

WARDEN  You are giving THEM the power over your life.

P 2     I have my own power.

WARDEN  Only to keep yourself in this bondage.

P 2     You don’t know who to trust out there.

WARDEN  And you trust everyone in here?  Problems come
.       from people of - all colors, cultures,
.       shapes and sizes, family, friends and strangers-

P 3     You’re really starting to annoy me.
.       Why don’t you just get out of here!
.       Leave us alone!  We found our freedom,
.       but now YOU come along, trying to control us –
.       trying to take our power of choice away from us?

WARDEN  What takes more strength, for me to say
.       that I hate you?  Or is THAT what you WANT?

P 3     Whatever.

WARDEN  Because then you’d feel justified in hating back?

P 3     Whatever.

WARDEN  But don’t I show a stronger power if tell you
.       that I choose to LOVE you – no matter WHAT
.       you say or do to me?

(PRISONERS 1-3 all stop to look at WARDEN.)

P 3     (finally)  That’s just nuts.

WARDEN   Is it?  I love all of you – no matter what.
.        If you hurt me – or stomp all over me –
.        I will choose to forgive you, and then I will
.        have the freedom to move on with my life,
.        free from hatred, bitterness and living in fear.
.                                                       5
P 2      It’s hopeless.  THEY all keep me down.

WARDEN   You’re keeping yourself down.  Don’t you know
.        that it is typical human, sinful nature
.        that tells people to pick on the weaker ones?
.        But you all have a higher calling than that.
.        We are not called to be weak and helpless.
.        We are to HELP those who are weak and helpless.
.        We have access to a higher strength – which is
.        all-powerful, and a strength that is – love.
.        Selfless love!  We ARE to hate the
.        wrongful things done – but we are to LOVE
.        the wrong-doers.

P 2      They don’t deserve to be forgiven.

WARDEN   When you forgive those people, you are
.        not saying that their wrong-doing is okay –
.        you are just saying that you are not going
.        to let their wrong-doings hold you
.        in bondage.  Can you not see that?  Does your
.        misery and bondage give you so much comfort?
.        The One who released you from this prison,
.        and paid the price for you to be free –
.        can you now not trust Him to help you
.        live a life of true freedom?
.        (option 1 line) You are keeping yourselves
.        in this prison – even though the door
.        is wide open for you.  And you can leave -
.        any time you choose.
.        (option 2 line)  You are holding the chains
.        of bondage around you – even though the
.        chains have been broken.  You can release
.        yourselves - any time you choose.

(WARDEN exits.  PRISONER 1 decides to look with amazement
that the door really is open, or that the chains/ropes
are really not bound and locked.  PRISONER 1 then
becomes determined to do the right thing and walks out
of the prison door, OR drops their arms so that the
chains/ropes just fall down. PRISONER 1 pauses to think.)

P 1      I AM free - and now - I’m going to try
.        to truly LIVE - a life of freedom.
.        I need to TURN AWAY from all my wrong
.        attitudes and addictive behaviors.
.                                                       6
(PRISONER 1 exits.  PRISONER 2-3 hug themselves even
tighter, thinking.  Finally PRISONER 2 releases self.)

P 2      I am not going to be a victim anymore.
.        I need to release myself from my anger,
.        my hatred, bitterness and fear.  I need –
.        to forgive those who have wronged and hurt me.

(PRISONER 2 exits.  PRISONER 3 sighs, then finally
releases self.)

P 3      I need to release myself – from... myself –
.        and give my control to the One – who is
.        all-powerful.  To the One - who set me free
.        in the first place.

(PRISONER 3 exits.)