Sacrificing Mercy

By Michelle Pitman


Two people invited to dine with Matthew have very different views about the propriety of going.


Matthew 9:9-13.  ( The call of Matthew the Tax Collector)


Two people (any gender).  They may use their own names or make up names.  They can 'ad lib' these names into the context of the following drama for impact wherever they choose.


(Scene:  a modern day kitchen, or lounge.)
Narrator:  We 'listen in' on an argument between two people as they wrestle with the issue of associating with a person with a "shady" reputation
1. NO! I don't want go and eat with that … that…. Idiot!  And certainly not in his house!
2. But, why not?  I thought you'd enjoy being invited to this dinner!  He's going all out you know!  The whole works, I've been told!
1. He is a snake and a weasel!  He doesn't stand up for truth, justice or integrity….. and I will just not eat with him or his guests in his house!
2. He's a politician - not a robber!
1. [Sarcastically] Is there a difference?
2. But - he's very influential!  He might help your career along!
1. I don't care!  I shall never trust the guy- no matter how much he tries to crawl and slime his way into our lives!
2. This is so unlike you!  Whatever happened to being civil and hospitable?
1. Look!  I am perfectly willing to be "hospitable" to anyone that you so "generously" invite to our house, as long as whomever you invite is not a politician, a tax man, a gay or a prostitute or ALL FOUR.  [Angrily] Do you get it! I will NOT - absolutely NOT - go and eat with the likes of that man! [Belligerently folds arms across chest]  I have my standards!
2. [Shaking head in disbelief] That is so holier than thou - how can you justify this attitude!  You're making assumptions about him now. He isn't half those things you say he is! He's just a bloke trying to do the best job he can - under difficult circumstances.  Why are you being so belligerent?
1. Because he hangs in circles that are not conducive to my reputation. That's why! He associates with low-lifes and the scum of the earth and I cannot afford to be seen with the likes of him - or his cronies!  I live an upstanding and honourable life - I DON'T want it sullied by association!
2. You're insane!  I thought you were a kind and a gentle sort of person! Obviously I was mistaken!  [Cynically] I don't suppose you'll make a donation to the charity his dinner is in aid of then - will you?
1. No! Definitely not! I give to reputable charities - and I give plenty, I might add!  But I'm not going to give to any so called charity that he has got his stinking, thieving hands into!
2. I figured as much!  All I can say is that this righteous anger you have about this man is totally unnecessary.  It's unkind and it's … well…. it's obscene!  I am going to invite him to our place for dinner next week, and you can go to the movies or something! And I am going to eat at his house tonight! I'm going to get to know him better - even if that means MY reputation is gonna be sullied in the process! [Pleading] Besides! If he's as bad as you say - then surely we could offer him some lifestyle alternatives by example!
1. [Indignant] But don't you CARE about your reputation?  How can you do your work in Welfare if you are seen to be associating with skuzbuckets like him!  [Becoming hysterical] You will end up being just….just….just like one of them!
2. Oh! Give it a rest! Welfare is about real people and real life and real situations.  It's certainly more than driving a desk and allocating funds into appropriate portfolios. And I don't have to become one of "them" either!  Being separate from that kind of life doesn't mean I have to be isolated from those who live it.  Don't you understand? If you want to win friends and influence people, you've got to be a friend! Show a bit of compassion and be non-judgemental.  Listen to people and care about what they are saying …. and …….
1. [Blustering] Well, I know all that!  I'm just choosy about the sort of people I like to be friendly too!  That's all!
2. [Despairing] Oh! You are being unbelievable! [Almost sadly] Remind me to be merciful to you one day when you least deserve it!
1. Ha! [Points an accusing finger at 2.]  You have a Messiah complex!
2. [No. 2 gazes back at No. 1 for a few seconds. Then carefully, he/she takes the hands of 1 and brings them into toward his/her chest in a gesture of tender discipline. He/she takes a step in toward No. 1 and with both their hands entwined against their chests, facing each other, No. 2 looks deeply into the eyes of No. 1.] Is that such a bad idea?
© Michelle Pitman 2002, 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. She may be contacted at: