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PRISONER 5'2m0f Discipleship, God's purpose and plan for Paul

(both Characters wear tunics and sandals)

(optional light cue: dim to 50%)

TIM -- (enters slowly, arms reaching forward) It's dark as night
down here. Ooooo! And it smells like sewage. (turns) Can't I
please at least have a torch so I can avoid stepping on...

(sound cue: cell door clanks shut)

(hands on hips) Well! (shouts) I'm just a visitor here! You
don't have to treat me like a prisoner! (turns, shouts) Paul?!
Are you in here? Paul?

PAUL -- (enters opposite wearing chains, carrying a scroll) I'm
here.

TIM -- (gasps) Paul? Is that you?

PAUL -- Yes.

TIM -- I can't see you. (steps back) How do I know it's Paul and
not some other low life?

PAUL -- I'm the low life who was born in Tarsus, Timothy.

TIM -- (approaching cautiously) Oh, it is you!

PAUL -- Thank you for coming, Timothy.

TIM -- I... I hope you'll forgive me, Paul. I would run and
embrace you, but I'm not sure what I would step on. (bends,
inspects ground with each step as he crosses to Paul)

PAUL -- I would come to you but this is the limit for my chains.

TIM -- How could the Lord let this happen to you, Paul?!

PAUL -- Actually, I thank God that I'm here!

TIM -- You what?

PAUL -- I thank God that I'm in prison.

TIM -- Why would anybody thank God for being in prison?!

PAUL -- The Lord's plans for me are always much larger and
grander than my own!

TIM -- (looks around) Frankly, I don't see how this prison could
possibly be construed as larger or grander than.... anything!
Are you alright, Paul?! I mean, are you feeling well? You're not
making much sense.

PAUL -- I'm fine. But I'll admit, it wasn't always so. When I
first arrived here, I thought imprisonment was merely an
interruption of my ministry. But in God's scheme of things, I'm
right in the middle of his will here.

TIM -- I don't get it. How can that be?!

PAUL -- Well, I had it in mind that God wanted me to preach to
the gentiles.

TIM -- Well, didn't he?

PAUL -- Yes, of course. But my plan was to reach only hundreds
or at most thousands of gentiles.

TIM -- You say that as if thousands is not enough!

PAUL -- Well, it was enough for a while. But now that I have
planted so many new churches, God has something much larger and
grander in mind for me.

TIM -- Surely, you don't think that LARGER and GRANDER means
being in this rat hole!

PAUL -- Actually, the place is incidental to God's plan and
purpose for me right now.

TIM -- Then, why are you here?!

PAUL -- The Lord knows that I'm a man of action.

TIM -- So, he rewards a man of action by putting him in prison
where there's nothing to do?!

PAUL -- Nothing to do but WRITE. The Lord knew that a man of
action like me would not stand still long enough to do a major
writing project unless he put me in a position where writing is
all that there is to do. (offers scroll)

TIM -- What is that?

PAUL -- This is just one of several letters to some of the
churches I started.

TIM -- (takes scroll, partially unrolls it) What's in the
letter?

PAUL -- It answers some of their questions and gives the
churches advice in certain situations.

TIM -- I can't even read it! It's too dark in here!

PAUL -- You'll have plenty of time to read it while you're on
your way back to your home church.

TIM -- Who is it for?

PAUL -- It's addressed to you.

TIM -- To me?!

PAUL -- Yes, but like all my letters, I want it circulated to
all the churches, because all the churches seem to share the
same problems of leadership and discipleship as they start out
and grow.

TIM -- So, you heard about my problems.

PAUL -- Yes. You may be younger than most church pastors, but
your problems are not unique. All churches can benefit from your
problems and your solutions.

TIM -- Oh, this (raises scroll) can be like an owner's manual
for all your churches.

PAUL -- Not just my churches. All churches world wide. Not just
now but in the future. Some day there will be literally millions
of Christians all over the world who will need an owner's
manual.

TIM -- Millions?

PAUL -- Millions, maybe billions. Why should I settle for
preaching to hundreds or thousands of people in person, when I
can reach millions or billions with my writings?

TIM -- Gee! I never thought of that!

PAUL -- I didn't either until God allowed me to be put in
prison, where all I can do is write. Isn't the Lord marvelous?!

TIM -- Frankly, it's going to take me a while before I'll admit
that this stink hole is marvelous.

PAUL -- What I'm going through are light and momentary
afflictions when compared to the eternal rewards God has for me
later. Go now. Make copies of that scroll and distribute them to
all the churches and let others do the same. Let others benefit
from your problems.

TIM -- (backing away) And yours. Thank you.

PAUL -- Watch your step!

TIM -- (looks at sole of sandal) Oh. Yuk. (exiting) I'm glad the 
Lord chose YOU for his grander plan.

PAUL -- (exiting) He'll use you too, if you'll let him have his
way.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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