.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

TARGETS OF BITTERNESS – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        anger, forgiveness
SCRIPTURE:    Mrk.11:20-26; Eph.4:26-32; 1Tim.2:8;
.             Jmes.5:16
Style:        allegory/conversation: people walk around
.             with slingshots and bad attitudes of anger,
.             unknowingly ready to hit anybody
.             standing in their way until some realize
.             their need to forgive and “let go”
Cast:         PEOPLE 1-10
Set & Props:  7 slingshots (made with just strings,
.               NOT elastic so no one will get hurt),
.             7 beanbag or foam “rocks”
.               (so no one gets hurt, or
.               just pretend that they have rocks)


(PERSON 1, 2 & 3 enter together, all carrying slingshots
down at their sides.)

P 1   Did you see what Ted wore to church?

P 2   It was ridiculous!

P 1   And he calls himself a Christian!

(PERSON 4 enters with slingshot poised and ready to shoot
at PERSON 1, 2 & 3.)

P 4   You think you’re better than me?

(PERSON 1 quickly gets their slingshot up and ready
to shoot, aimed at PERSON 4.)

P 1   What is your problem?

P 4   I know you’ve been gossiping about me.

P 2   We do not gossip.

P 4   Just you wait, you’ll all get yours.  It’s called-
.     sweet revenge.  What goes around – comes around!

(PERSON 4 exits, while still aiming the slingshot       2
at PERSON 1, 2 & 3.  PERSON 3 lowers slingshot, while
PERSON 1 & 2 continue to aim in direction of PERSON 4.)

P 2   Can you believe that?

P 1   I am so tired of these petty people who are only
.     out to make my life miserable.  I have been
.     PRAYING that God would deal with them, so
.     I could finally have some peace in my life.
.     I just don’t understand why God
.     is NOT answering my prayers!

P 3   Maybe there’s a lesson that God is trying
.     to teach you?

(PERSON 1 swings their aim to PERSON 3.  PERSON 3
quickly raises their slingshot and aims it at PERSON 1.
PERSON 2 quickly aims at PERSON 3.)

P 1   What are you saying?  I do not have any problems.
.     My problems - are those other people.

P 3   I’m just saying – we sometimes go through trials
.     so that - we can grow stronger.

(PERSON 1 keeps slingshot up, but swings the aim away
from PERSON 3.  PERSON 3 is not sure if they are safe,
so they keep their slingshot slightly raised and aimed
at the ground.  PERSON 2 relaxes their aim a little.
PERSON 5 enters with their slingshot raised and
swinging around, ready to shoot anything that moves.  
As soon as PERSON 5 sees PERSON 1, the aim is pointed
straight at PERSON 1.  PERSON 1 aims straight at
PERSON 5, straining while pulling back.  
Even though they are aiming right at each other,
both PERSON 1 & 5 speak with very fake niceness.)

P 5   Hellooo, and how are you doing?

P 1   I’m fine.  Couldn’t be better.

P 5   Good to know.  Will you be at Bible study
.     Wednesday night?

P 1   I will.

P 2   We’ll all be there.                               3

P 4   Great.  Then, I’ll see you there.  Bah-bye now.

(PERSON 5 walks off while keeping their slingshot
aimed back at PERSON 1.  PERSON 1 aims at PERSON 5
until they are gone, then keeps the tension pulled back
as if looking for a target.)

P 1   They’re so fake.  I hate that person so much!

P 3   Why?

(PERSON 1 swings aim at PERSON 3 and keeps a strained aim
at them while talking.  PERSON 3 raises their slingshot
at PERSON 1 with tentative aim.  PERSON 2 then raises
slingshot aim at PERSON 3.)

P 1   After what he/she did – I cannot forgive him/her!
.     He/she deserves to get sick - and - die.

P 3   That’s a little extreme.

P 2   You have no idea what he/she did.  It was so
.     uncalled for.  Totally unacceptable!

(PERSON 6 enters with slingshot raised, then swings aim
at PERSON 1.  PERSON 1 & 2 swing their aim at PERSON 6.
PERSON 3 points a tentative aim at PERSON 6.)

P 1   What are you still doing here?  I thought
.     by now you would have run away in shame.

P 6   I haven’t done anything that YOU haven’t done.

P 1   Do NOT put me at YOUR level.

P 6   Well, I DO want to apologize.

P 2   Really?

P 1   (curtly and self-righteously)  Well! I forgive you.

(PERSON 6 begins to lower slingshot, but PERSON 1 keeps
aiming at PERSON 6, so PERSON 6 puts their aim back up.)

P 6   Somehow it doesn’t feel like you forgive me.
.                                                       4
P 1   (self-righteous)  No, I forgive you.
.     I just cannot really trust you ever again.

P 6   Well, aren’t YOU going to apologize?

P 1   For what?  I did nothing wrong.

P 6   Whatever.  Obviously, this is not over.

P 2   Obviously!  Until we see that you really ARE sorry.

P 1   (to PERSON 2)  THAT will never happen.

(PERSON 1 & 2 keep their aim trained on PERSON 6.  
PERSON 6 exits, unsure whether they should aim
their slingshot at anyone.  PERSON 1 swings their aim
back at PERSON 3, who balks at this and tries to step out
of the aim, but PERSON 1 keeps aim on PERSON 3. Finally-)

P 3   Hey, ow, what did I ever do to you?

P 1   What are you talking about?

P 3   I don’t know.  You just seem – so - very angry.


(PERSON 1’s arm is getting shaky from constantly
pulling back on the slingshot, like they are ready
to shoot at any second.  PERSON 3 takes aim, unsure.)

P 3   Well, gotta go.  I’ll – see you around.

P 2   (to PERSON 1)  What is his/her problem?

P 1   (to PERSON 2)  I don’t know, but I think
.     we should watch our backs.

(PERSON 3 suspiciously aims slingshot in all directions
as they rush off.  PERSON 1 & 2 swing their aim from
PERSON 3 to PERSON 7 who enters without any slingshot.
PERSON 1 & 2 then swing their aims on PERSON 8,
who enters with a slingshot aimed at PERSON 7.
PERSON 8 catches up to PERSON 7 to talk.)

P 8   (to PERSON 7)  Hey, what was that all about?
.                                                       5
(PERSON 7 turns around.  Seeing the slingshot aimed
right at them, they remain very calm, even though
PERSON 8’s arm is shaking from holding the slingshot
for a very long time.  PERSON 1 & 2 listen in.)

P 2   (to PERSON 1)  This should be interesting.

P 1   (to PERSON 2)  They annoy me so much.

P 7   (to PERSON 8)  What are you talking about?

P 8   You know!

P 7   I really don’t.

P 8   If you cared at all, you would.

P 7   Hey, I do care.  But I still don’t know.
.     You know, I’m not perfect.  I make mistakes.
.     So, if I did anything to offend you, I apologize.
.     Although it would be helpful if you told me,
.     so that I’d know what to work on – whatever it is.

P 8   Okay, well, you like to put people down.
.     You are ALWAYS putting me down.

P 7   How do I do that?

P 8   Just - the way you talk.  You’re always-
.     correcting the things that I say.

P 7   Oh... well, that is not my intention.  I mean,
.     I’m only trying to add to the conversation.
.     I didn’t realize it came across that way.

P 8   Well, I’ve tried to ignore it, but I just
.     can’t take it anymore.

P 7   Why didn’t you come to me about this sooner?

P 8   I don’t know.

P 7   Well, again, I’m truly sorry about that.

P 8   I... forgive you.

(PERSON 8 finally lowers their slingshot.)              6

P 7   Well, next time I do something like that,
.     let me know right away.  Okay?

(PERSON 8 raises slingshot up slightly at PERSON 7.)

P 8   Next time?!  You plan on doing this again?

P 7   No.  I’m definitely going to try NOT to do it.
.     But like I said, I’m not perfect.  I make mistakes.

P 8   Oh, right.  Okay.

P 7   Seriously, are we good?  ‘Cause, I would
.     like to be friends with you.

P 8   Yeah... (relaxes, then confidently makes up mind)
.     Yeah, we’re good.

(After relaxing their aim again, PERSON 8 thinks,
then lets the slingshot drop to the ground.)

P 8   Wow, that feels good – actually –
.     this feels really good.  And I didn’t realize
.     how much I was hurting myself.
.     (lightly rubbing elbow of their aiming arm)

(PERSON 7 & 8 exit together while holding an amicable
conversation.  PERSON 1 & 2 look at each other perplexed,
while still aiming their slingshots at PERSON 7.)

P 2   They gave up way to early.  I know EXACTLY
.     what that person was talking about.
.     He/she has put me down several times like that.

(PERSON 1 & 2 swing their aim at PERSON 9 & 10 as
they enter, both without any slingshots at all.)

P 1   (seething)  And – THOSE TWO over there - think
.     they’re so good.  Like – they know everything.

(PERSON 9 & 10 stop to talk.)

P 9   Hey, I want to apologize for what I just said.
.     I overreacted and it was totally uncalled for-

P 10  You know I forgive you.  And, I’m sorry -         7
.     if I did anything to provoke the situation.

P 9   Thanks.  Hey, I’ve been praying for you.
.     I know it’s been a tough week.
.     You must have a lot of things on your mind.

P 10  You have no idea.

P 9   Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

P 10  Well, I definitely could use more prayer.

(PERSON 9 & 10 speak their last two lines as they exit.
PERSON 1 & 2 look at each other suspiciously.)

P 1   That was just weird.

P 2   Just shows you – you can’t trust anyone.

P 1   I guess we just keep praying that God will
.     somehow bring some peace to this WHOLE situation.

(PERSON 1 & 2 exit in opposite directions,
each continuing to strain with their slingshots,
aiming at everything and anything, even at each other.)