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Summary: Two Christian families with similar difficult experiences. One turns bitter, the other finds forgiveness, thankfulness, and evidence of God's power. Key Words:  Thanks, Thankfulness, Ephesians, Thessalonians.
Style:  Dramatic.  Duration: 12min
Actors: 2C, 3M, 1F

Characters:    
Little girl, 8 years old
Her dad
Little boy, 8 years old
His mom
Lucky Larry
Troubled Tom

(Each character could have some sort of identification, such as a sign around their necks, because it is very important that the audience be able to follow the storyline, and there isn't much time for character development.)

INSTRUCTIONS: (Try this with spontaneous volunteers, and let them decide who gets what roles based solely on the descriptions above.  NONE of the readers should get to see ANY of the scripts until they actually step up to the podium to read. It really works.)
Readers should act like they are writing (in their diaries).
Readers should NOT read the script until they move up to the podium.
Pay attention as to which character is supposed to be reading, it can be confusing, and
Readers should NOT look at the other readers. Look down, or at the podium, until their turn. Each Section is divided by dotted lines:

When readers finish reading their section of the script, they should leave the script on the podium and do whatever the final instructions indicate...

[Readers begin the sketch lined up behind two podiums:]

PODIUM ONE                                      PODIUM TWO
Little boy                                              Little girl
Boy’s mom                                           Girl’s dad
Lucky Larry                                         Troubled Tom

[As you finish your reading, the final instructions will tell you to either sit down or where to get back in line.]

Narrator:   The story you are about to see is true. Only the names, times, locations, and details were changed. Any similarities to actual persons or events, have been put there entirely unintentionally by the writer, but for a specific reason by THE AUTHOR.

Script

Little Boy  1

[very happy and proud]

Dear Diary. Today is my birthday; and I’m EIGHT YEARS OLD! We’re gonna have lots of fun when my friends come over for my party, and later we’ll have some cake and ice cream, and we’ll play some games, and they can all watch me as I open my presents. Today is gonna be a good day!

[go to the end of the line behind Larry]

.............................................................

Boy’s mom 1

[very happy and proud]

Dear Diary. Today is my son’s eighth birthday. I never thought anything could fill me with such joy like he does. God has blessed us in a mighty way. I just can’t imagine what wonderful things the future has in store for him.

[go to the end of the line behind the boy]

.............................................................

Lucky Larry 1

[feeling pretty good]

Dear Diary. Now I know why they call me "Lucky Larry." I mean, with that last conviction, that judge could have put me away, but the preacher stood up for me and told the court about how my life has changed since I accepted Christ, and now here I am doing community service instead of hard time. I even LIKE driving the bus for the homeless mission. God is good, and he has given me a second chance, and I’m not going to let him down! Gotta go!

 [go to the end of the line, behind mom]

.............................................................

Little Girl  1

[very happy and proud AND CUTE!]

Dear Diary. Daddy stayed home from work today and he and Mommy are taking me to King’s Island for my birthday – did I mention that I’m eight years old today. Daddy says I’m the cutest eight-year-old box of trouble he’s ever seen.

I sure do love my daddy!

I’m so excited about our trip! I think I’ll go wait in the car...

[skip out of the room]

.............................................................

Girl’s Dad  1

[very happy and proud]

Dear Diary. I can’t believe I took the day off work to go to King’s Island. I don’t know what it is about that little girl, but every day is better than the one before. I just can’t imagine life without her. She’s the best thing God ever did for me!

[go to the end of the line behind Tom]

 .............................................................

Troubled Tom  1

[troubled, mad, upset, sarcastic]

Dear Diary. I can’t believe I’m writing in a stupid diary!  My counselor says it will help my temper and that if I get in trouble again, I’ll be up the creek... or did he say “Up the River?” Whatever!!

I think I’ll go for a walk and maybe see what’s up over at the filling station.

 [go to the end of the line, behind Dad]

.............................................................

Little boy   2

[excitedly holds up ball and glove]

Wow! Look what Mom gave me for my birthday. Come on, Mom. Let’s go play...

[run out of the room]

 .............................................................

Boy’s mom 2

[very sad]

And just like that he ran out of our lives, between two parked cars and into the street right in front of a bus. The poor driver never saw him until it was too late.

God may have given me more than I can bear this time. But I must try to go on, because he is merciful and He will find a way to work good from this.

[go to the end of the line behind Larry]

.............................................................

Girl’s dad  2

[sad, angry, confused, angry, mad, and angry]

Dear Diary. What’s this world coming to?  How can my precious little box of trouble be gone? Eight-year-old girls aren’t supposed to be killed by stray bullets from gas station robberies! I hope they put that guy away and throw away the key! How could God let this happen?!?!!?!?!!?

[go to the end of the line behind Tom]

.............................................................

Lucky Larry 2

[sad, but accepting]

Dear Diary. So much for that Lucky part. I did everything I could to not hit that little boy. But one of the guys I was taking to the mission had a bottle of booze hidden in his pocket. When I hit the brakes, the bottle hit the floor and splashed all over me. Now, everybody thinks I was drinking. Whatever happened to that second chance, God?

[Stay at the podium]

.............................................................

Troubled Tom  2

[still angry, mad, and unrepentant]

It’s not my fault that little girl was helping her dad pump the gas. If she’d just stayed in the car, she would still be alive and her dad would never have chased me down. And if the idiot clerk hadn’t put up a fight, I mean come on; it was less than fifty bucks.

[Stay at the podium]

.............................................................

Lucky Larry 3

[TURN YOUR SIGN AROUND, revealing a "prison" sign with numbering]

[bewildered & humbled]

Dear Diary:  I would have thought it to be near impossible to find God in this mess, but He is faithful. At my sentencing hearing today, the mother of that little boy asked the judge for mercy. The MOTHER! She said she wanted to believe my story and didn’t want to see another life ruined.

 All the judge could talk about was all the mistakes in my past, and said it was time to put me away, and he did. God was there, in that woman; it’s just a shame that the judge wasn’t listening. Now I’m going away for a long time, but I’ll always remember what she did.

[walk out of the room with your head down]

.............................................................

Troubled Tom  3

[TURN YOUR SIGN AROUND, revealing a "prison" sign with numbering]

[still angry]

I really can’t believe they made that murder charge stick. Looks like I’ll be old and gray before I ever get out of here.

My cellmate is some old wimpy drunk; I heard he killed a kid. Maybe that’s why they put us together. I wasn’t too worried about him until he started asking me if I was a “believer”. I said that what I believed was that he better keep his Bible AND his hands to himself if he doesn’t want any trouble from me.

[STAY at the podium]

............................................................

Boy’s mom 3

[sad]

Dear Diary:  My little boy would have been ten years old today. It has been so hard. I still have times when I have to remind myself to breathe. My husband and I are really trying, but the stress is getting to us, and to our marriage.

I prayed and prayed for God to use this awful thing to His glory, but so far there’s not much glory, just lots of awful. It’s been months now since I really prayed like I used to. What’s the point?

[back away from the podium]

[Do not look at the other readers, yet.]

[Your next line is after every one else sits down.]

.............................................................

Troubled Tom  4

[sad, but thoughtful]

Well, Larry -- my cellmate -- up and died on me today. Right here in the cell. They say it was a heart attack or something. What a waste to die in jail for no good reason!

He wasn’t all that bad a guy, I guess.

Over the past 6 years, 10 months, and 14 days, I’d gotten pretty used to his Bible reading and trying to convert me. Actually, he’d been getting to me lately. He even got me to pray with him a couple of times.

As he was dying, he made me make a couple of promises: one was to tell that woman “Thank you” for believing in him, and the other was to take his Bible to someone in that prayer group he went to on Sundays. I guess I can do those, especially after all the things he did for me the last 6 years, 10 months, and 14 days!  I just wish I knew what woman he was talking about...

[go to back of line behind Dad]
.............................................................

Girl’s Dad  3

[bewildered, but trying to be angry]

Dear Diary:  Can you believe how incompetent those prison people are?! They scheduled a parole hearing for today for that guy that shot my daughter. TODAY! Her 21st birthday!

My wife and I went, just like before, to make sure they didn’t let him out. They didn’t, but there was something different about him this time.

Someone from the governor’s office was there and he came up to us after they took him back and said we should know that our little girl’s killer is a candidate for a pardon.

I got furious, but he started telling us about the prison ministry this guy has started and how several churches have made requests that he be allowed to speak in their services. For the first time in 13 years, it suddenly dawned on me that I never even tried to forgive this man. I still don’t think I can, but I think I need to pray about it.

[sit down and pray about it]

.............................................................

MOM (watch Tom as he delivers this.)                                                     

Troubled Tom  5

[REMOVE YOUR SIGN] 

[pleased AND humbled]

Dear Diary:  In the 10 years since the governor let me out of prison, God has blessed me and my ministry in so many ways, but today was completely unbelievable –- except for knowing that God is the great healer.

I was giving my testimony in the Sunday morning service today when this older gentleman and his wife just got out of their seats and came up to me on the podium. Their faces were covered with tears, but I finally recognized them... from the parole hearings.

When they were finally able to speak, they introduced themselves as the parents of the little girl I had killed, and they were there to praise God that he had given them the strength -- through my testimony -- to forgive me. They had never even returned my calls, but today they returned my love. Praise God.

Now, if I could just find that woman that Larry asked me to say “thank you” to, it would bring so much peace to me. But the Lord hasn’t worked that miracle yet.

[sit down]

.............................................................

Boy’s mom 4       

[bitter]

Dear Diary:  We had a special speaker in church this morning that brought back a lot of hard memories. Some guy that had shot a little girl about the same time my son was killed, apparently became a Christian in prison, and now he’s some kind of hot-shot preacher. While he was talking, that little girl’s parents came forward and put on a big show about forgiving him and had everybody crying.

[suddenly not so bitter]

I guess they were all sincere, but it was hard for me because... well, because those parents got so see how God has used the death of their child. And that’s all I’ve asked for, just some little indication that my son did not die in vain.

And I think I really tried to do the right thing. I even stuck my neck out for that old drunk that killed my son, and all he ended up doing was dying in jail for no good reason.

What a waste!

[sit down]

.............................................................

by John W. Samples
©2000 JSam Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This script is available at no charge to church theatre groups who do not charge to watch the performance,
and who include this website in an appropriate credit.

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