BLEACHER 5'2m?f Discipleship, ministry and suffering

(scene: four chairs facing audience)
(optional sound cue: crowd noise, P.A. announcing line-up

BOB -- (enters with team pennant or "number one finger" and coke
cup, side steps to one of center chairs sits) Excuse me. Excuse
me, please. (to audience) Go, Cougars! (or your local sports
team name) At-a-way!

DAN -- (enters opposite, reads ticket, side-steps to other
middle chair, sits) Excuse me. Excuse me, please. (to Bob) Hi,

BOB -- Hi. Say you missed a great play just now.

DAN -- I apparently missed more than one play. The scoreboard
says there's less than two minutes left in the game. Did I
misunderstand the time?

BOB -- No. You're right on time. I just got here a minute ago

DAN -- This is hardly the place I expected to talk to you about
my ministry, Bob.

BOB -- (motions broadly) This is a parable. Don't you see?

DAN -- A parable.

BOB -- Yes.

DAN -- Funny, I thought I knew the Bible pretty well. But I
don't remember a parable about coming late to a ball game.

BOB -- Look, Dan, you called me to complain about the lack of
respect and recognition you were getting in your ministry,

DAN -- Yes, as I told you, one women didn't even have the
courtesy to thank me when I went to all the trouble to help her.
And another women....

BOB -- ...had the temerity to criticize your ministry. I know. I
heard your recording on my answering machine. That's why I left
the message for you to meet me out here. The parable of the ball
game will give you some perspective on your problem.

DAN -- (sigh) I'm not in the mood for puzzles. Can't you just
tell me what you have to say and then help me find another

BOB -- Dan, take a look around. What do you see?

DAN -- (sigh) I hate it when you do this.

BOB -- Just tell me what you see.

DAN -- (points to spot on wall at audience rear) Well, from way
out here in the bleachers, I can't see much of anything. The
players look like little specs on the grass. (points again) The
guy throwing the ball is so far away he could be my mother and I
wouldn't recognize him. If we were any farther away, we would be
in the parking lot. And if we were any higher up we would be an
aircraft navigation hazard. The game is almost completely over
and I didn't get to see any of it. What else do you want to

BOB -- How much did you pay to get in?

DAN -- Well, nothing. But you knew that. You left my ticket at
the will-call window. (reads ticket) I thought there was some
sort of mistake. But here we are in the nose-bleed section,
watching a game that's almost over, and to top it off, the home
team is losing. (points to scoreboard)

BOB -- So, there you go. That's the parable of the ball game.

DAN -- (sigh) Can you please, just tell me what you wanted to
tell me? Why couldn't you just record it on my answering

BOB -- Because the parable of the ball game brings your
situation into perspective. Believe it or not, from way up here
in the bleachers, your situation looks clearer, if you'll just
look at it carefully.

DAN -- (sigh) Alright. I'm looking at the stupid parable, but I
don't see anything. What do you want me to see?

BOB -- Well, I asked you to describe what you saw, and you
moaned about the poor visibility, the game is almost over, the
team is losing.... but when I asked you how much you paid to get
in, you brushed it aside.

DAN -- Okay.  I'm sorry. I forgot to say thank you for the
ticket. Is that what you want to hear?

BOB -- No. I'm trying to connect you with a few truths about
knowing your place in life. A man who buys tickets in the
bleachers has no right to complain about the poor visibility. A
man who comes late to the game has no right to complain that he
missed most of the action.

DAN -- Those things weren't my fault. You bought the tickets and
you told me what time to meet you here.

BOB -- How much did you pay to get in?

DAN -- (sigh) There you go again. I... Oh, oh Bob. I... I'm
sorry. I think I know what you're driving at.

BOB -- What am I driving at?

DAN -- Boy, am I acting like such a spoiled brat. If I got what
I deserved I would be burning in hell right now. But Jesus gave
me eternal life as a free gift. Even the faith to believe in him
was a free gift. I mean, I've been spared from Hell and I'm
complaining that the game is almost over. I'm lucky to even be
in the ball game!

BOB -- Not a bad parable, huh?

DAN -- You know what's even worse?

BOB -- What's that?

DAN -- My ministry is really, really fulfilling for me. I have
never had a job or a hobby in my life that has been so
fulfilling for me. The Lord not only saved me from the clutches
of Hell, he also set me up in the adventure of my lifetime. But
instead of praising him and thanking him for his mercy, I dwell
on the lack of visibility. Anyone who gets into the game for
free has no right to expect ANYTHING!

BOB -- (pause, stands) Well, those little specs out (points) on
the grass there just lost the game.

DAN -- (stands) You win some, you lose some...

BOTH -- And some get rained out. (side-step toward exit)

DAN -- (follows) But even a loss is better than being out
(points over shoulder) there in the darkness.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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