The Question

By Cameron Smith


A young Christian man struggles to work out God’s purposes in his life as he goes from one personal "tragedy" to the next. His friends also struggle to give him godly advice about a God who does not seem to care.

Scripture Ref:

Romans 8:28-9, Job (the book of but mostly chapter 6)




Nar: Have you ever noticed how your whole life often just seems to be one long struggle? That even when you were a kid, pain and suffering was just another part of life….

(Bob, as a small child, bumps into something, falling down)

Bob: (crying) Mummy, mummy, I have ouchie!!

Nar: And you were always left with one question, even when you were young…

Bob: Mummy, why did this happen to me?

Nar: A question that never seemed to be answered very well.

Mum: I don’t know dear, because you were running around in the house.

Nar: As you grew up, you seemed to somehow be able to overcome such devastating tragedies. But that question always lingers, always remains unanswered. When you were 12 years old, at your own birthday party, you invited all your friends to it and all the kids from around the neighbourhood. As you were standing in front of everyone, just about to cut the cake (action takes place as narrator describes it) Susie Struthers from across the street inflicts upon you the most painful wedgie ever recorded in the history of mankind! You ran screaming into your bedroom and refused to come out for a week, such was your embarassment! Not even your best friend could comfort you…

Bob: (in tears) Why does this always happen to me, Fred?

Fred: Don’t worry, mate. You’re only ugly on the outside!!

Nar: (nodding) hmmmm….As you get older, the more your troubles increase and you quickly realise that when it comes to God, there can really only be 3 possibilities. Either he doesn’t exist, he has a personal grudge against you, or he was just distant when he was most needed &endash; silent. When you were 15, your whole world came crashing down around you. Tragedy had really struck! You had been dumped for the first time!

Bob: (blubbering and melodramatic) It wasn’t meant to happen this way! We had something perfect! Something pure! What did I do to deserve this?

Fred: It wasn’t meant to be….Susie Struthers just wasn’t the one for you…

Bob: But she was perfect! She never did anything to embarrass me! We were going to be together forever!

Fred: But you’re only 15!

Bob: It was going to work! (Looking to heaven, possibly shaking fist) Why does God always do this to me? Why does he always want to mess up my life!? And why is it just me? Everyone else seems to be happy! Has he got it in for me, or something?

Fred: (Pause) Look, don’t worry, God is in control. And anyway, you’ll get dumped plenty of other times, you’ll get used to it!

Nar: A couple of years ago, you receive your HSC results, along with all your other friends….

(On stage is Bob, Fred, Jane, Alison all with pieces of paper in hand, celebrating)

Alison: How’d ya go, Bob, how’d ya go? I got 95! Wahoo!!

Bob: (quietly) 33.

Alison: What?

Bob: (Loudly) 33! All right?! I got 33! Are we all happy now? Hey everyone! I’m dumb! I only got 33!

(surprised, everyone leaves the stage apologetically, except for Fred)

Fred: Geez, mate. I’m really sorry.

Bob: Yeah! Well it’s not your fault, is it?!? I had planned on getting a decent score! Or at least passing! But I wasn’t even close! Come on, what did you get, Fred?

Fred: 70.

Bob: Oh Geez! You got nearly double what I got!

Fred: But- (Fred shapes as if to continue but then thinks better of it)

Bob: (Pause) What else does God have in store for me!? Everyone says that he’s in control of everything, but I can’t see it! Why God? Come on, now’s your chance to answer me! I think you owe me at least an explanation! (Pause) No. You’re just going to sit up there in your little cushy heaven, free from pain, and be silent, aren’t you?

Fred: (Pause) Romans 8:28 says that God works for the good of those who love him. So just trust in him! What do you want to do at uni, anyway?

Bob: I wanted to be a surgeon, I wanted to save people’s lives!

Fred: Well, knowing you, and your co-ordination abilities, you’ll probably save more lives by not becoming a doctor, than if you became an incompetent one!

Nar: And with those words of wisdom, you moved on in life. The sad thing about life, though, is that it has to end at some stage, and often you have to watch some of your friends die. One day, not that far away in the future, you find out that your best friends for three-quarters of your life dies. And the question that has haunted you for your entire life, rises again.

(Bob is slumped over as Jane enters the stage, cheerfully)

Alison: Hey! Howz it going, Bob?

Bob: (Just breaks down) My best friend just died!

Alison: (Sympathy) Are you okay?

Bob: No! Why is this always happening to me!? If God really loved me, why does he keep on doing this to me? I mean, I can understand why he sends people pain, but why does he have to send pain to me? Why me, God? Why is he still so distant?

Alison: You know, the Bible says in Romans 8:28 that God works for the good of &endash;

Bob: (interrupting) I know exactly what the Bible says! I’m not interested in any of your stupid, pat, token answers that you drag out when people need them! I’m a Christian! I could tell you all the answers!

Alison: Then why don’t you just trust God, 'cos he’s in control.

Bob: Don’t you get it?! My best friend just died!! Nothing you can say can change that! God seems so far off and (extreme abuse of sarcasm) "I should just trust God, 'cos he’s in control". My whole life, people have been giving me those answers and I’m sick of them! They just don’t cut it, they’re not even tru -

Alison: (interrupting) Well, if you just believe &endash;

Bob: (interrupting) I’m not even sure if I even believe anymore!!

Alison: (stunned) What?

Bob: I’m not even sure if I believe or not! How can I? My whole life has been going from one painful experience to the next! It’s a simple question really, why can’t God just answer it?

Alison: What’s your question?

Bob: Why me?


© Cameron Smith
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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: