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URGENT   5'1m1f Suffer the children...: urgency vs conviction

WOMAN -- (enters hurriedly wearing tunic, carrying a list 
written a piece of parchment, speaks rapidly while crossing) Oh, 
there you are, Jesus. Do you have any idea how many people have 
been looking for you?

JESUS -- (enters opposite) Good morning, dear. It's nice to see 
you too.

WOMAN -- Where have you been? I've been looking all over for 
you.

JESUS -- I've been praying. I pray every morn....

WOMAN -- (not hearing a word) ...Well, no matter. We've got to 
get you started. (refers to list) There are some Pharisees here 
to see you. We certainly don't want to slight them. They can 
make life miserable for you if you don't handle them with kid 
gloves...

JESUS -- ...kid gloves?

WOMAN -- (reads) ...They said they want to ask you about 
divorce. I personally think they want to try to trap you and 
embarrass you in front of all your disciples. I think you should 
rehearse your answers in front of the apostles a few times 
before you go out there and face them...

JESUS -- ...That won't be necessary...

WOMAN -- ...Then, after the Pharisees, there's a rich young 
ruler who wants to see you. I'm told he's very influential. You 
would do well to keep on the good side of him. If you win him 
over, you could win the entire Southern end of Israel. And you 
know what they say, "If you win over the south, the rest of 
Israel will follow."...

JESUS -- ...Yes, well...

WOMAN -- (reads) ...Then, we have the usual list of sicknesses 
and disabilities stacked up out there waiting to be healed. If I 
were you I would start with the lepers. You would not believe 
the odor emanating from those people. I personally think the 
stink is driving away potential disciples, if you know what I 
mean...

JESUS -- ...I know what you mean, but...

WOMAN -- (reads) ...Then there's a demon-possessed man and a 
deaf-mute. But the deaf-mute might be demon-possessed too. 
Perhaps we ought to put them on the very top of the list, just 
to kind of impress the Pharisees, if you know what I mean.

JESUS -- ...I know what you mean, but...

WOMAN -- (reads) ...There's also a bunch of children here from 
the orphanage. But I think your schedule is way to full today. I 
think I'll send them away. Maybe we can reschedule them next 
time we're in town...

JESUS -- ...Wait!...

WOMAN -- ...That's right. It wouldn't hurt them to wait...

JESUS -- ...Wait! Hold it!...

WOMAN -- ...Hold it?! Hold what? We don't have enough time to 
hold anything. Even if we cancel the children, we'll be lucky to 
squeeze in all the others before sundown.

JESUS -- ...Wait! Hold it! Stop talking!

WOMAN -- What's the matter? Did I miss something?

JESUS -- You missed the children.

WOMAN -- No, I didn't. (points) See? I had them down. They were 
first on the list. They've been here since before sunrise. But 
they're just kids, you can see them anytime...

JESUS -- ...Wait! Hold it! Stop talking!

WOMAN -- I'm sorry, I didn't know I was offending you. I'm just 
trying to schedule your appointments as efficiently as I can. 
But if...

JESUS -- (puts finger near Woman's lips) Shshshsh!

WOMAN -- I'm sorry. I'll be quiet. What did you want to say?

JESUS -- We do not arrange our priorities according to urgency. 

WOMAN -- We don't?

JESUS -- No. We arrange our priorities according to our 
convictions. Children, widows and orphans are top priority to 
my father and they are top priority to me too.

WOMAN -- Oh. So, you want to see the children.

JESUS -- You're very quick on the uptake.

WOMAN -- I will remind you that children have absolutely no 
political clout in Israel.

JESUS -- That's why they're our top priority. 

WIDOW -- I don't understand.

JESUS -- They have noone else to look after them.

WOMAN -- Oh. I never thought about it like that.

JESUS -- Obviously not.

WOMAN -- I'm sorry.

JESUS -- You can learn a lot from children, you know.

WOMAN -- I can? I mean, of course I can.... Like what?

JESUS -- The kingdom of God belongs to such as them.

WOMAN -- What about such as... me?

JESUS -- Children are not impressed by the money of a rich young 
ruler or the influence of the Pharisees.

WOMAN -- I know. They have a lot to learn. I suppose I could 
take time out of my schedule to teach them all about....

JESUS -- (puts finger near Woman's lips) Shshshsh!

WOMAN -- I'm sorry. You talk. I'll listen.

JESUS -- Another lesson we can learn from children is... They 
don't think they have all the answers.

WOMAN -- (tears up list) You're right. I've got the wrong 
priorities. No more scheduling from urgency. From now on, we 
schedule according to our convictions. (exiting) Let's go see 
the children.

JESUS -- (follows) Good idea.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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