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BOXES    6'?m2f Answered prayer is linked to ministry

(scene: a stack of boxes on the front lip of the stage and a 
similar stack upstage)

LIZ -- (wanders onstage backward, looking around)

AMY -- (enters opposite, carrying box) Oh, hi, we've been 
expecting you.

LIZ -- You were? (looks around)

AMY -- Yes. (drops box over the front lip of the stage, talks 
while picking up and carrying upstage boxes one at a time past 
the downstage boxes, dropping them over the edge of the stage) 

LIZ -- Where am I?

AMY -- Heaven. You're in heaven. 

LIZ -- Heaven!? How did I get to Heaven?

AMY -- You died. 

LIZ -- I what?

AMY -- You don't remember the accident?

LIZ -- (gasps) The truck! The big truck right in my path! All I 
remember is the screech of tires and crunch of metal. So, I 
died?

AMY -- Well, technically, a long time ago, when you trusted 
Christ with your life you entered eternity. So, all that REALLY 
happened in the accident was you changed bodies. How do you like 
your new one?

LIZ -- (examines arms, pokes self in several places) Isn't that 
something? I'm dead! So, I'm in Heaven. (looks at Amy's 
activity) What are you doing?

AMY -- Oh, ah, I was just cleaning out these empty boxes.

LIZ -- (examines downstage stack of boxes) The label says 
"prayer request."

AMY -- Yes, but they're empties.

LIZ -- Empties?

AMY -- Oh, I'm sorry. That's angel jargon. Empties are the name 
we give to unanswered prayers.

LIZ -- Unanswered prayers?

AMY -- Yes, when someone on earth prays for something, the Lord 
usually answers the prayer by giving the work to another 
Christian on earth. If that Christian does what he is assigned, 
God fills the empty box with rewards. If the Christian doesn't 
do the work of the Lord, his box stays empty. 

LIZ -- These boxes all have my name on them.

AMY -- Yes, these prayer requests were all assigned to you. 

LIZ -- Wait a minute. Are you saying that people's prayers 
didn't get answered because of me?

AMY -- Yeah, here's a good example. (reads label) This little 
old lady prayed for some nice person to give her a ride to 
church. 

LIZ -- Oh, oh.

AMY -- What's the matter?

LIZ -- (points at box) I know that lady.

AMY -- Of course you do. The Lord would never assign you a 
prayer request for someone around the world. (drops it over the 
front lip of the stage) 

LIZ -- Couldn't the Lord find someone else to give Mrs Eldridge 
a ride to church?

AMY -- Well, sure. But he wanted you to do it. See, there's 
always just one person who is perfect to answer a prayer. 
(laughs) You would have loved the great reward that the Lord had 
all picked out for you if you had answered Mrs Eldridge's 
prayer. (kicks all remaining boxes off stage)

LIZ -- Oh, man, look at all those empty boxes! Didn't I get ANY 
rewards at all?

AMY -- Sure you did. Every time you did your ministry or went 
out of your way to help somebody, there was a chance that you 
were answering someone's prayer. I'll show you your reward boxes 
when I take you on your tour of your mansion here.

LIZ -- Mansion? This is MY mansion? This great big house? This 
belongs to me?

AMY -- Yes. Jesus promised that every Christian would have a 
really nice place to live when he got to Heaven and this is 
yours. 

LIZ -- Wow!

AMY -- Come on. I'll take you on a tour. (moves toward exit)

LIZ -- Wait. (points down at boxes) Please. I'm worried about 
Mrs Eldridge. 

AMY -- Oh, don't worry about her. The Lord got tired of waiting 
for you to answer her prayer, and he assigned the prayer request 
to someone else. Come on.

LIZ -- What about the rest of these? Did He reassign these too?

AMY -- He could. And sometimes he does. But mostly, if a 
Christian doesn't do what the Lord wants him to, somebody 
doesn't get what he prayed for. I'm sure you prayed for some 
things that you didn't get. 

LIZ -- So, that's why I didn't get what I prayer for?

AMY -- Well, let me put it this way: If every Christian did what 
they were supposed to do, there would sure be a lot more people 
getting what they prayed for.

LIZ -- But how was I supposed to know what prayers I was 
supposed to answer?

AMY -- It's usually pretty obvious. Usually, it's your pastor or 
another Christian who mentions in passing, (imitating) "Did you 
hear that Mrs Eldridge needs a ride to church? Do you know 
anybody who goes by her house?"

LIZ -- Poor Mrs Eldridge. It wouldn't have taken anything for me 
to swing by her house and pick her up. The only reason I didn't 
was because I didn't want to start out five minutes early.

AMY -- That's a good example of an EMPTY.

LIZ -- An EMPTY.

AMY -- An unanswered prayer. You start out by saying, "Hey, I 
could do that!" or "Hey, that sounds like something I'd like to  
do!" And then, almost immediately the excuses start to roll off 
your tongue and POOF! Another prayer request bites the dust.

LIZ -- Poor Mrs Eldridge.

AMY -- Don't be sad now. This is heaven. (exiting) You have 
several boxes full of rewards in your mansion here.  

LIZ -- (follows backward, looking down at boxes) Yes, but I 
could have had more.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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