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LISTEN   6'?m2f Key to answered prayer: be quiet and listen

(scene: swivel chair, end table, straight chair, TV remote
control, walkman and headphones, Sunday comics)

LIZ -- (enters, kneels next to chairs) Lord, Amy says that she
and I have some communications problems. So, I'm turning my
problems over to you, okay? Amen. (sits in swivel chair, picks
up remote, switches on imaginary TV at rear of audience, changes
channels several times, puts on headphones, switches on walkman,
sings a popular tune with gestures from the latest rock video,
picks up comics, reads, turns pages)

AMY -- (enters sits) We have to talk.

LIZ -- (sings another bar from the latest rock video)

AMY -- (picks up remote, switches off TV) Hey, I said we have to
talk.

LIZ -- (eyes closed, sings another bar from the latest rock
video)

AMY -- (picks up walkman, switches it off) Hey, I said we have
to talk.

LIZ -- (crunches paper to lap) What happened to my tunes?

AMY -- (moves mouth as if speaking)

LIZ -- (removes headphones) What?

AMY -- You're hopeless.

LIZ -- What are you talking about? I suppose you're putting all
the blame for our communication problems on me.

AMY -- No. But I'll bet I know why the Lord doesn't answer your
prayers.

LIZ -- What does that have to do with our communication 
problem?. Hey. How do you know if the Lord answers my prayers or 
not?

AMY -- Does he?

LIZ -- I don't have to tell you. (picks up TV remote, turns on 
TV, puts on headphones, turns on walkman, lifts paper, swivels 
away, sings another bar of the latest rock tune)

AMY -- (arms crossed, waits patiently)

LIZ -- (long pause, swivels chair) Alright. I'm listening.

AMY -- (taps own ear)

LIZ -- (crunches paper to lap, turns off walkman, takes off
headphones) This better not turn into a lecture.

AMY -- (nods toward TV)

LIZ -- (picks up remote control, turns off TV) Alright, how did
you know that the Lord hasn't answered my prayers in months?

AMY -- I didn't.

LIZ -- I knew it. (puts headphones on)

AMY -- (moves mouth as if talking)

LIZ -- (removes headphones) What?

AMY -- I didn't say anything. (stands, moves to exit)

LIZ -- (removes headphones, throws paper on floor) Alright, I'm
listening. How did you know that the Lord wasn't answering my
prayers lately?

AMY -- (returns to chair, sits) Because people usually
communicate with God the way they communicate with everyone
else.

LIZ -- I knew you'd turn this into a lecture on my communication
skills.

AMY -- (stands) Well, I certainly wouldn't want to lecture you.

LIZ -- I hate it when you do that!

AMY -- Do what?

LIZ -- Whenever you have something you know I want, you press
your advantage.

AMY -- We can talk about this later.

LIZ -- (sigh) Alright. Lecture me. What do my communication
skills have to do with God not answering my prayers?

AMY -- You DID pray about our communication problems, didn't
you?

LIZ -- Yes. Just now.

AMY -- What did God say?

LIZ -- Nothing yet.

AMY -- How do you know?

LIZ -- What do you mean?

AMY -- How do you know that God didn't answer you?

LIZ -- Oh. I know what this lecture is about. This is about
listening to music and watching TV and reading the paper. What
is it you always call it?

AMY -- Junk food for the mind.

LIZ -- Yeah. That's it. Junk food for the mind. Okay. I hear
you. Good lecture. Thank you very much. Now tell me what junk
food has to do with answered prayer.

AMY -- Maybe the Lord has been talking to you and you haven't
been listening.

LIZ -- The Lord doesn't talk to people like that.

AMY -- How would you know? Have you ever just sat quietly and
listened for the Lord's answer?

LIZ -- Well, no. But...

AMY -- But what?

LIZ -- I hate to just sit quietly.

AMY -- Why?

LIZ -- Why?

AMY -- Yes. Why do you hate to sit quietly?

LIZ -- Because... because... You're really getting a kick out of
psychoanalyzing me, aren't you?

AMY -- You don't have to tell me. You can go on without getting
any answers to your prayers.

LIZ -- Alright, I'll tell you. I hate to sit quietly, just doing
nothing because I start to think about... things.

AMY -- What things?

LIZ -- You know, things. Things I've done wrong.

AMY -- Maybe when those things come to mind, you should confess
them to God.

LIZ -- I suppose I could try that. But some of those things I've
already confessed. And I still feel guilty about them.

AMY -- Maybe when you still feel guilty about them, you ought to
share your guilty feelings with God.

LIZ -- Oh. I suppose I could try that. But I also think about
things I should be doing that I haven't started yet.

AMY -- Things you know the Lord wants you to do?

LIZ -- Yeah.

AMY -- That's probably the crux of your problem with answered
prayer.

LIZ -- What is?

AMY -- Why would the Lord give you more instructions if you
haven't followed his previous instructions?

LIZ -- (not listening) See, then I start feeling guilty about it
and I start feeling guilty about feeling guilty, then I start
making excuses for feeling guilty. It's... just... better... if
I don't spend much time thinking about anything. It's easier if
I just (holds up headphones) fill my head with spiritual junk
food and not communicate at all.

AMY -- (smiles, nods)

LIZ -- (sigh) You're right. It's exactly like my communications
with you. I hate it when you're right. (stands, moves to exit)
I'll be back in an hour. Will you have time to talk then?

AMY -- (stands) Where are you going?

LIZ -- (turns) I'm going to find a quiet place and just sit
quietly and listen to God for a while.

AMY -- For an hour?!

LIZ -- It's going to take that long just to confess all the
excuses and strategies I've used to avoid listening. (exits)

AMY -- (exits opposite) Oh, that reminds me. I haven't had my
quiet time today.
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