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LEDGE    5'?m2f Suicide, despair, moral failure, hope, salvation

LIZ -- (enters, opens imaginary window at front edge of stage,
steps out on the ledge, sidesteps, looks down, gasps, closes
eyes, head back in fear)

AMY -- (enters after short delay carrying Bible, pokes head out
another imaginary window) Hi.

LIZ -- Hi.

AMY -- I couldn't help noticing you out on the ledge.

LIZ -- Sorry if I alarmed you.

AMY -- No problem. You're a lot more interesting than what's on
TV. Isn't it amazing? The hotel has cable TV with 71 channels
and there's not a thing to watch. So, I (shows Bible) started
reading this Gideon Bible from the night stand.

LIZ -- That's nice.

AMY -- Actually, what I was reading was kind of depressing. So,
I'm kind of glad you happened along. You don't mind if I strike
up a conversation, do you?

LIZ -- Um. No.

AMY -- I assume that you didn't step out onto the ledge just to
get a breath of fresh air.

LIZ -- No.

AMY -- So, why did you step out there?

LIZ -- I'm going to jump. (pauses) You going to try to talk me
out of it?

AMY -- I probably should. I mean, on one hand, I don't know you,
so if you jumped, it's not like my life would be empty without
you. On the other hand, if you jumped while I was watching, I'd
probably have nightmares for weeks over it.

LIZ -- I'm sorry. I didn't know that anyone would see me do
this.

AMY -- Listen, don't apologize. If there had been something
decent on TV, I would have missed you completely. But, as long
as I'm here, let me read you this suicide note I found in this 
Bible.

LIZ -- You found a suicide note in that Bible?

AMY -- It sounds like a suicide note to me. Let me read it to
you.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful
nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot
carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no,
the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do
what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is
sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When
I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner
being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in
the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind
and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my
members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this
body of death?"

LIZ -- Wo! That's exactly the way I feel! You say you found that
note tucked into the Gideon Bible?

AMY -- No. I said I found it in the Bible. The writer of that
suicide note was the Apostle Paul. It's from the Book of Romans,
chapter seven.

LIZ -- Saint Paul, the guy who wrote all those epistles in the
Bible?!

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- Well, he didn't commit suicide!

AMY -- Apparently not if he went on to write most of the New
Testament.

LIZ -- But he felt exactly the way I feel. Life is completely
hopeless. Why do you suppose he decided not to end it all?

AMY -- I don't know. (pages) Maybe the answer comes
later. Oh yes. Here it is. Chapter eight.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit
of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the
law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful
nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful
man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man"

LIZ -- (pauses) That can't be possible.

AMY -- What's that?

LIZ -- God sent his own son as a SIN OFFERING.

AMY -- That's what it says.

LIZ -- Isn't that funny?

AMY -- What's that?

LIZ -- I've heard that verse a million times, but I just
understood what it meant.

AMY -- What does it mean?

LIZ -- It means that I was about to kill myself over something
that somebody already died for.

AMY -- That sounds like a big waste.

LIZ -- Yes. (side-steps to imaginary window) Yes it does. Why
should I kill myself over something that Jesus already died for?
(climbs in imaginary window)

AMY -- Sounds logical. Gee, I thought this Bible was kind of
depressing. I guess I should have kept reading.

LIZ -- (pokes head out window) Oh, by the way, thanks for
talking me out of it. (exits)

AMY -- (stops, turns) Don't thank me, thank Jesus. (holds up
Bible, turns, exits opposite)

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