Summary: A dramatic narrative poem in two voices, expressing the despair of one person over the state of the world and the persistent voice of God, offering hope. There are many scriptural references in this text, offered by the God-voice. This could be a good conversation starter for worship or a study or retreat. What blocks us from listening?
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10min
Actors: 1M/F, 1VO
One character on-stage (maybe even in pajamas and looking disheveled)
One as the voice of God (I have used this both with an offstage voice, and once it was done with the voice of God as a grandmother knitting in a rocking chair. They both work.)
I woke up this morning with a dream
We can talk in dreams.
It was a terrible dream.
They can tell the truth, too.
There was a child.
She is beautiful.
She was hungry.
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
It was not the first time.
Comfort my people.
Nor the last.
And a little child shall lead them.
The mother was hungry, too.
I have heard the cries of my people.
There was a famine in the land.
There was a war.
They tried to kill me, too.
There were refugees.
Jesus was a refugee. I was there.
It never ended.
I am the Alpha and the Omega.
It simply never ended.
I am with you always.
To the end of the age.
The war had taken her husband.
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares.
He never came back.
It took her son.
Her daughter was assaulted in front of her eyes.
A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.
Auschwitz. Treblinka. Turkish Armenia. Cambodia. Bosnia. Somalia. Rwanda. Baghdad.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. My hands and feet have shriveled; I can count all my bones.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean?
Sabres rattle on the border.
They shall beat their spears into pruning hooks.
And nation shall not take up sword against nation.
It never ends.
Neither shall they learn war any longer.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I am here.
My God, where are you?
I cannot hear you.
You are shouting.
We looked for you.
I am here.
You went into hiding.
I was in the rubble. With the survivors.
You are lost somewhere in heaven.
I was sharing their air.
You don’t exist.
I was dying with them.
You are dead.
We keep looking up.
You keep hiding.
You are looking in the wrong places.
We keep looking.
I told you. I was in the rubble.
We have tried everything.
Walk humbly with your God.
We’re just trying to get ahead.
You don’t need to do that.
The system requires it.
You would gain the whole world and lose your soul?
We need the oil.
They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals-
they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way…
We keep building things up.
Tear them down.
Babel fell. It’s OK.
It just collapses and falls apart.
Do not work for that which perishes.
The earth is full of stuff.
We stuff ourselves.
You are full of yourselves.
But we are empty.
That’s a good start. / Blessed are the poor in spirit.
The children are hungry.
The nations are at war.
Love your enemy.
They are out to get us.
Bless those who persecute you.
The innocent suffer.
Blessed are the meek.
People keep trying and it gets them nowhere.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
There is no point to it.
for righteousness sake.
And all around us are these hungry people.
I was hungry. Change the system. You are wise.
The water is polluted.
I was thirsty. Clean it up. Repent.
The jails are full of terrorists.
I was in prison. Visit them. Love them.
The police are looking for anyone suspicious.
My child was killed on charges of treason. I know how you feel.
We keep looking.
I haven’t left you.
Where are you?
I can’t see you.
Breathe deeply, pilgrim.
Give us something to fill us.
The breath of life.
Something to hope for.
Blessed are you. it shall be yours.
Something to live on.
I am. Blessed are you. Peace be with you.
(c) Coopyright Jim Hatherly.
This play is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike license. Some rights are reserved. For the full license visit visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ca/. A donation of equivalent to $10.00 Cdn. to the United Church of Canada Mission and Service Fund for use of this work is suggested. Please visit www.united-church.ca/msfund