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AUTONOMY 6'?m2f Suffering, self-sufficiency and dependence

(scene: one round table, two chairs)

LIZ -- (enters wearing casual clothes, crying, crosses to table,
slumps in chair, sobs into hands)

(knock, knock, knock)

LIZ -- Come in. It's open.

AMY -- (enters opposite wearing business suit, crossing) I'm...
I'm afraid I have some more bad news.

LIZ -- It can't be any worse than being evicted from my own
house and having to live in this flea bag motel.

AMY -- Yes, it can.

LIZ -- Oh, no.

AMY -- (hands Liz document with blue cover page) Your husband is
filing for divorce.

LIZ -- (sigh) I almost expected it. We haven't been getting
along recently.

AMY -- I'm surprised you've had any time for disagreements. He
claims in the complaint that you've been working sixteen to
eighteen hours per day, six and seven days per week.

LIZ -- Sure. Now he leaves me, when I've lost my job and I have
plenty of time for him. Well, at least I've got the kids.

AMY -- You better read the complaint. (points)

LIZ -- Oh, no. Don't tell me... (slaps document with back of
hand) He gets the kids too!? I make more money than he does!

AMY -- Not anymore. Oh and by the way... I stopped by the front
desk on the way in. The motel manager said that your credit card
has been cancelled. (drops pieces of plastic on document)

LIZ -- Oh, no! That was my last card. What did you find out
about borrowing against my life insurance policy?

AMY -- (dropping another contract on the first) You borrowed the
entire cash value of it to remodel your house. Remember?

LIZ -- Oh, of course. (sigh) Well, it looks like I'm worth more
dead than alive.

AMY -- Sorry.

LIZ -- Don't tell me I let the policy lapse.

AMY -- It isn't like I haven't warned....

LIZ -- What do I pay you for?!

AMY -- Oh, that reminds me. Your last check for my fee...
it bounced.

LIZ -- I'm sorry.

AMY -- (exiting) It's okay. Without any money, you won't need
a lawyer anymore. It isn't like I did you any good anyway.
You never took any of my advice. (exits, pause, reenters
quietly)

LIZ -- (pause, kneels prays) Lord, I know it's been a long time
since we talked but if you'll just give me my life back, I
promise I'll go to church regularly and tithe and I'll even do
some Christian service.

AMY -- You can save your prayers.

LIZ -- (stands) Oh, I thought you left.

AMY -- I did. (hands pink phone message to Liz) I forgot to tell
you that Steve called and said that he and the kids will be
staying with his parents until he finds a place to live.

LIZ -- Thanks.

AMY -- (turns to leave)

LIZ -- What do you mean I can save my prayers?

AMY -- (turns) Oh, the Lord will never give you back your life.

LIZ -- How do you know?!

AMY -- Your life is what kept you from being intimate with God,
and with your husband, for that matter.

LIZ -- (sits) Oh, that's nice. Kick me when I'm down.

AMY -- (turns to exit) I'm sorry. I'll just leave.

LIZ -- (stands) No. Please. I don't know what to do besides
pray.

AMY -- (turns) I'm not telling you not to pray.

LIZ -- But you said...

AMY -- ...I meant that you were praying for the wrong thing.

LIZ -- What's wrong with asking to get my life back?

AMY -- What would you say if one of your kids asked you if he
could run away from home?

LIZ -- That's ridiculous! Of course, I'd say no.

AMY -- But why? All he's asking is to be completely independent
from you.

LIZ -- Well, that's not the same thing.

AMY -- Actually, it's exactly the same thing. What you were
asking God to do is to allow you to return to self-sufficiency.

LIZ -- Well, what's wrong with self-sufficiency? I'm an adult.

AMY -- God created you to be in a dependent relationship with
him, the same as your children are with you. When you turn your
back on dependency on God, you also turn your back on his
protection. Right now, when you need his protection the most,
you're asking him to allow you to jump from the frying pan into
the fire. Would you allow your children to do that?

LIZ -- No. I guess not.

AMY -- God has you right where he wants you and you're trying to
wiggle out of it.

LIZ -- (sits) I can't believe God wants me miserable.

AMY -- He'll take you any way he can get you.

LIZ -- So, what am I supposed to pray? "Dear Lord, make me
miserable."?

AMY -- (sits) What would you like your child to say after he
returns home from running away?

LIZ -- Oh. I see what you're driving at.

AMY -- Well?

LIZ -- I'd like him to say, "I've learned my lesson."

AMY -- And what lesson have YOU learned?

LIZ -- (stands, paces) You're my lawyer not my shrink.

AMY -- (stands, moves to exit) Then, I'll just be going.

LIZ -- (extends hand) No. Please don't go.

AMY -- (turns) Why not? You're self-sufficient.

LIZ -- (sits) I used to think self-sufficiency was a virtue. I
was the epitome of self-sufficiency. I was so self-sufficient
that I couldn't settle for mere financial security or emotional
stability. I had to live on the edge. I maxed out all my credit
cards and refinanced my house for more things, more thrills. And
now look at me. I'm no better off than a kid who ran away from
home. My best efforts have left me homeless, loveless,
purposeless. I guess the Lord couldn't do any worse for me than
I've done for myself.

AMY -- (exiting) I think you're ready to talk to the Lord now.

LIZ -- (kneels) Lord, I'm not going to try to bargain with you.
I have nothing to bargain with. It all comes from you. Lord, you
know what a mess I've made of my life without you. (sigh) All I
want is what you want for me.

AMY -- (reenters) I hate to disturb you. But your husband is in
the Lobby. He's had second thoughts about the divorce. (exits)

LIZ -- (looks up, tearful) Thank you, Lord. (exits wiping eyes)

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