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DEATH    5'?m2f Proof of God's love: death and suffering

(scene: two chairs facing audience, podium or desk with phone)

AMY -- (enters, crosses to podium, lifts phone) Send in my next 
appointment, please. (hangs up, crosses to opposite exit, greets 
Liz) Mrs Anderson? (extends hand)

LIZ -- (enters dabbing eyes with tissue) Thank you for seeing 
me, Doctor. (shakes hands)

AMY -- (motions toward chairs, crossing) You said on the phone, 
you're still struggling with the death of your baby? 

LIZ -- (crossing) Yes, I haven't been able to get on with my 
life. I think I may be damaging my marriage and my family.

(both sit)

AMY -- Was it your husband who suggested that you see me again?

LIZ -- No, he's been a jewel. He's given up a lot of his normal 
activities to be both a mother and a father to the girls. I've 
been almost no help at all. 

AMY -- Last time we talked, we stepped you through the various 
stages of grieving. Would you say you're stuck at one of the 
stages?

LIZ -- Yes. I'm ashamed to say it, because I'm a pastor's 
daughter, but I'm really struggling with forgiveness.

AMY -- Forgiveness. (writes)

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- Who, in particular are you having difficulty forgiving?

LIZ -- You're not going to believe this, me being a born-again 
believer and all, but I'm really having difficulty forgiving 
God.

AMY -- Well, you don't have to beat yourself up over that. It's 
fairly common for Christians to blame God or be mad at him for 
allowing such a dreadful thing to happen.

LIZ -- It is?

AMY -- Yes, quite common. 

LIZ -- Well, that makes me feel a little bit better. But I don't 
want to spend the rest of my life pointing fingers at the Lord. 
What do I do?

AMY -- Most people who have trouble forgiving God do so because 
they forget how God thinks.

LIZ -- Forget? I never knew how God thinks.

AMY -- Sure you did. You were created in the image of God. You 
may not have His huge capacity for creativity or engineering, 
but you, especially you being a mother, have great insight into 
how God thinks about death and suffering.

LIZ -- (shakes head) That may be true for some, but the only 
insight I have about the Lord these days is that He's this 
uncaring impersonal force way off in space somewhere....

AMY -- If you can understand the Lord as a person, you will 
more easily understand his love for you.

LIZ -- (cocks head) Isn't that funny? I haven't even thought 
about God's love for me since my baby died. I just don't see him 
as a loving God. How do I... I don't even know where to start.

AMY -- I can help do that with a simple exercise. In your mind, 
go back in time. You've just gotten married. You and your 
husband are talking about starting a family. Can you picture it?

LIZ -- Yes. 

AMY -- Now, try to imagine that by some mysterious prophecy or 
vision you know for certain that you will some day have three 
children. You can see their faces. You know exactly what their 
temperments will be like. You can see each of them laughing and 
crying. You can feel their hugs. Are you with me?

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- Now, immediately after you get this vision of your 
children, you get this dreadful vision that the youngest one 
will suffer and die before he's out of diapers.

LIZ -- (sigh) Where are you going with this, Doctor?

AMY -- You'll see in just a minute. I know this is painful for 
you, but it will help you with the forgiveness issue. Stay with 
me for just another minute.

LIZ -- Okay, I'm with you.

AMY -- Now that you know the future, you have to make a decision 
based on what you know. You know that if you go ahead have 
children in this imperfect world one of them will die. But, you 
can choose not to have any children and save yourself all that 
heartache. You have to decide whether the laughs and the hugs 
you get from the children who survive are worth the heartache 
over the one child you know you'll lose.

LIZ -- (drops head back, sighs) I see what you're doing. This is 
just like the decision the Lord made before he created the 
universe. 

AMY -- Keep going. 

LIZ -- He knew that in this fallen world some of his children 
would not live eternally with him. (holds back tears) And they 
would break his heart. Knowing this, he had an opportunity not 
to create us at all.

AMY -- Or He could have chosen to create us without the ability 
to reject him. What would be wrong with that?

LIZ -- That would make us robots. Robots can't love Him. In 
order to give us the capacity to really love him, he had to give 
us the opportunity to reject him.

AMY -- So, he chose to create the universe exactly as it is in 
spite of the certainty of heartbreak. 

LIZ -- I see that.

AMY -- Now, let's apply this to your situation. Since the fall 
of man in the Garden of Eden, suffering and death has been a 
part of life. Because of your magic vision you know for certain 
that if you have children, you will have the heart-breaking 
experience of losing one of them. If you could go back in time 
and choose not to have children, what would you choose?

LIZ -- Any mother who's ever felt a child's hug knows what I 
would choose. 

AMY -- So, you WOULD choose to have children knowing for certain 
that one of them would break your heart.

LIZ -- There's no doubt in my mind. (stands) Thank you, Doctor.

AMY -- (stands) Where are you going? You still have over fifty 
minutes left.

LIZ -- I got what I came for. (offers hand)

AMY -- (shakes) Tell me again what you came for.

LIZ -- Well, I guess I came to get forgiveness of God. But I can 
see now that there is nothing to forgive. If I was creating the 
universe, I would make exactly the same decisions the Lord made.

AMY -- Good for you.

LIZ -- (exits) Well, it's back to the future and I've got a 
husband and two daughters to hug. Thanks again.

AMY -- (follows) Your welcome.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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