The Parable of the Caring American

By Fred Lane


In a modern day adaptation of the parable of the Good Samaritan, 'Barb', a business woman, receives news of the destruction of her office while she is on the road.  She stops to cry in a rest stop and she is encountered by three people, each with different reactions. The last person is the 'Caring American.'


Props: cell phone, metal chair set at an angle, tissue in purse, flash light, jacket and cap for security guard


Narrator:  There was once a woman who was going down from Washington to Richmond when news of her business burning to the ground reached her...

Barb: (on cell phone while driving 'car') Say, Bob, how are things at the office...I made some great contacts in DC today...

Bob: (hesitantly) Ah, Barb, I guess you haven't heard...

Barb: (concerned) About...what?

Bob: (sigh) Well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the building our office is in caught fire today.

Barb: (Loudly) What?!! What happened?!! Did anyone get hurt?

Bob: No, everyone got out before the building collapsed...

Barb: (Almost screaming) Collapsed?!!!! The building collapsed?!!!

Bob: Barb, you gotta calm're going to get into a wreck!  (Barb slowly puts down the phone and looks straight ahead in shock)

Bob: (while phone is going down says in a more distant voice) Barb, Barb, are there?

Barb: (phone is down) I can't believe it. It's gone... it's all gone (pause) I...I guess Bob...(picks up phone and glances at it while driving) Oh, Bob, I forgot! (Puts it to her ear) Bob, are you there?

Bob: I'm still here...Look, you should get off the road for a few minutes to get yourself together.

Barb: I think you're right...There's a rest stop ahead; I'll stop there.

Bob: me if you need to talk.

Barb: Okay, thanks (Puts phone down and pretends to pull into rest stop and park; Barb puts her head in her hands and begins to softly cry)

Narrator: It so happened that another business woman had stopped at the rest area, but when she saw the crying woman, she became wary, and walked by quickly

Another business woman enters from side when narrator finishes and walks by with her daughter behind her

Business woman: (to daughter) Dava, the rest room's this way

(Business woman notices Barb crying)

Business woman: (alarmed) Dava, come here! (takes Dava by the hand) Don't look at that lady, Dava! You never know what someone might do at these rest stops!  (Walks quickly with 'Dava' in hand;)

Narrator: (as the business woman exits) In the same way, a security guard also came there, went over and looked at the crying woman.

When narrator is finished, a second person, a security guard, enters from side with flash light in hand. Security guard approaches car and shines light in 'window'; Barb doesn't notice him; Security guard taps on chair with light; Barb looks up...

Security guard: Ma'am, sleeping in the parking lot is not allowed.  (shines light in her face and around, inside of car) You'll have to move on.

Barb: (Looks down) I'm sorry, but I wasn't sleeping.  I just got some bad news, and...

Security guard: (interrupts) Ma'am, I've heard it all. But you can stay here until I make another pass. It's not safe for you or for other drivers to stay here longer than necessary.

Barb: Okay, I'll leave in just a minute...(gets a tissue out of her purse and begins to wipe her eyes)

(Security guard walks up the aisle, shining light around the congregation as if he is on patrol)

Narrator: But a Caring American who was working at the rest stop happened to walk by, noticed the crying woman, and her heart was filled with compassion (As narrator finishes, Sandra enters from the side and slowly approaches the car)

Sandra: (beside car) Ma'am....

Barb: (Doesn't look up from crying) Yes...I'm leaving right now.

Sandra: Oh, I'm not here to ask you to leave...I just saw you crying and I wanted to know if I could help?

Barb: (Looks up at Sandra, then down) Oh, I don't think so. I don't think anyone can help me now. I guess I should leave before the security guard comes back...

Sandra: (Laughs) Oh, so you've met Perry! (Barb looks up) Don't listen to him. He's not nearly as mean as he acts! You can stay here as long as you need to. (Sandra puts her hand on Barbs' shoulder, Barb reaches up and puts her hand on Sandra's hand and smiles at her)

Sandra: You know, I think you could stand a nice cup of coffee.  Why don't you come into the visitor's center and I'll fix you a cup. (Steps back) Come on! (Barb gets out of the car and they both slowly walk up the aisle together)

Barb: You know you don't have to do this;....but I really do appreciate it!

Sandra: (Puts her arm around Barb as they walk) Now, tell me what's wrong...


© Fred Lane, Crosswind Community Church, All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: