SUFFER   5'0m2f Why does God allow pain and suffering?

(scene: park bench or four chairs side by side facing audience)

AMY -- (enters carrying baby or pushing stroller, sits on end of 
bench, pats baby's face, smiles) 

LIZ -- (enters, sits on opposite end of bench, sighs)

(both acknowledge each other with a glance, look to audience 
puzzled, look to each other again)

AMY -- Elizabeth?

LIZ -- Amy! I thought I recognized you! (slides closer) It's 
been ages! Oh, what a darling baby!

AMY -- Thank you. Her name is Elizabeth too.

LIZ -- I know you didn't name her after me. You haven't seen me 
since high school. (snaps fingers) Your mom! You named her after 
your mom!

AMY -- I'm surprised you remembered! It's been years!

LIZ -- I've always had a good memory. It's kind of a curse.

AMY -- How can a good memory be a curse?

LIZ -- I also have a tendency to remember things I'd like to 

AMY -- Like what?

LIZ -- Remember Danny Johnson?

AMY -- Danny Johnson?! Are you still dating him? You two were 
voted most compatible couple. Did you marry him?

LIZ -- Unfortunately, no. We dated all through college, then he 
dumped me like a piece of trash. (restrains tears)

AMY -- Oh, I'm sorry. Did it just happen?

LIZ -- About two months ago. I can't seem to forget him.

AMY -- Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

LIZ -- No, I'm sorry. I'm sure you didn't come to the park to do 

AMY -- I really don't mind at all. Sometimes it helps to talk it 

LIZ -- Did you ever wonder why God allows pain and suffering as 
he does?

AMY -- I used to wonder about that. But not anymore.

LIZ -- Not anymore? What happened?

AMY -- I became a mother.

LIZ -- Being a mother told you why God allows suffering?

AMY -- Yes. I think so.

LIZ -- This I've got to hear.

AMY -- The lesson came in loud and clear a few weeks ago, when I 
brought Elizabeth in for her first medical check-up.

LIZ -- What happened? She's alright, isn't she?

AMY -- Oh, she's fine now. But her check-up gave me a real 
insight into pain and suffering that I hadn't even considered 

LIZ -- How so?

AMY -- Well, before the doctor came in to the examinig room, a 
nurse came in and told me to hold the baby still while she took 
a blood sample. Elizabeth had no idea why this cruel lady was 
inflicting such awful pain or why her mother was failing to 
protect her. I could feel her pain and anger. I cried more than 
she did.

LIZ -- Oh, I see where you're going with this. 

AMY -- I could visualize God shedding tears while our suffering 
tests the healthy and unhealthy aspects of our lives.

LIZ -- Now that I think about it, my suffering might have been a 
kind of blood test for me. But tell me. How did Elizabeth's 
blood test come out?

AMY -- Oh, the blood test found a small chemical imbalance that 
pointed to a blockage in a blood vessel that, if left untreated, 
could have become fatal. Within two days Elizabeth was back in 
the hospital, lying helplessly with more needles poking her and 
a tube down her throat. 

LIZ -- Everything came out alright, didn't it? I mean, she looks 

AMY -- Yes, the surgery was a success and she's back to normal. 
She even regained the weight she lost because of the surgery.

LIZ -- Good. (pause) Oh, I see how this applies to my situation. 
God is doing surgery on me, to repair a potentially fatal 
condition. Meanwhile, I'm being a big baby, so all I see is this 
big divine doctor inflicting pain and suffering on me with no 
apparent motive.

AMY -- (laughs)

LIZ -- Why are you laughing?

AMY -- Because when I compare myself to the big divine doctor, 
I realize that I'm such a terrible mother!

LIZ -- You are?

AMY -- Yes, this morning, about 3 a.m., Elizabeth woke up crying 
as usual. But I just layed in bed hoping beyond hope that she 
would go back to sleep. Finally, after I let her suffer for 
three or four minutes, I got up and changed her and fed her.

LIZ -- Well, everybody does that. You're only human.

AMY -- That's my point. God is not human. He's perfect. He would 
never let his child suffer pointlessly for his own comfort, or 
for any reason.

LIZ -- (pause) Thank you. Thank you very much. I needed that. I 
can see now that I'm a better person because of my suffering. 
And I'm sure that my future relationships will be more healthy 
because of my momentary discomfort.

AMY -- (stands) Come with me.

LIZ -- (stands) Where are we going?

AMY -- Your surgery was a success.

LIZ -- I... I don't understand.

AMY -- (exiting with Liz) I want you to come and meet my 
husband's brother. He's a great guy. He's perfect for you!

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