Director's Notes: While this drama is about diffusing criticism, it can also be used to teach people about the dangers of fatalism - that anything we do ultimately
Beth: A woman who serves in child care.
Dave: A condescending man who’s fatalistic views of the world bring Beth to frustration
Inside a Sunday school class room.
(LIGHTS UP CENTER STAGE. Toys are scattered about. The last of the kids has just left…)
Beth: Okay, so long Jason. See you next Sunday!
Dave: (Enters opposite stage) Wow, you certainly have your hands full huh?
Beth: You’re not kidding. No one said Sunday school was easy but it’s really great.
Dave: What are they, like, two year olds?
Beth: Yeah, most of them are. Karen has just turned three and that new couple from down the street have a four year old so he’s in our class also.
Dave: Well, you know, I’ve been thinking… It’s kinda a shame that you’re wasting your leadership talents on these little kids.
Beth: Uh, excuse me?
Dave: Think about it. Here you are putting in, what, 10 hours deciding what you’re gonna teach them, what kind of supplies you’ll need, going out and buy the supplies, talking to the parents, blah blah blah so that you can have them come in here and where they completely ignore you, running around like crazy, eating glue, soiling themselves, not understanding anything your trying to teach them and..
Beth: STOP! (Dave freezes in position) (standing and closes her eyes) Dear Heavenly Father, I come before You and praise You for what you’re doing in these kids lives. Please help me to be constructive with Dave here and diffuse this criticism. He just doesn’t understand. Help me to love him more.. Amen. Okay, GO!
Dave: …then you just end up being some nose-wiper to a bunch of kids who have no clue.
Beth: Well, Dave, I appreciate the encouragement but you just don’t understand. You see…
Dave: Now think about this. You spend all your time with these kids and they become, like 9 year olds, and you think "They’re gonna remember what I taught them about the prodigal son and about how we can serve each other and how God loves us" and then you find out what they really remember is what’s on TV at 3:30 and where the latest in-line skates are, and how many home runs Mark McGuire and who’s leading in the Winston cup race and …
Beth: STOP! (Dave freezes in position) Dear Lord, I know that you really love Dave. He doesn’t see the big picture. He doesn’t know. Please help me to tolerate him more. Amen. Okay, GO!
Dave: …then you just end up teaching some Bible stories to a bunch of kids who are more interested in everything else going on.
Beth: (a bit irritated) Well, you have to realize that the kids will remember the key things that I’ve been teaching and know they are loved and…
Dave: Now think about this. You spend all your time with these kids and then they become teenagers and do you think they’re thinking about heavenly things? Of course they are, heavenly things like the good looking girl in History class or that guy in Gym. Maybe it’s the Homecoming dance or the new Aerosmith album or what about the big party Friday night or maybe even vandalizing…
Beth: STOP! (Dave freezes in position) Dear God, I know that for some insane reason, you really love Dave. I know that he is simply unaware of how narrow minded and short sighted he is. Please help me not to kill him. Amen. Okay, Go.
Dave: …some poor slobs car and then having to have their parents bail them out of jail at some ungodly hour.
Beth: Well, uh, (stammering because she’s so frustrated)
Dave: Now think about this. The kids turn 40 and their yelling at their kids and….
Beth: STOP! (Dave freezes) Takes a deep breath and is ready to pray….
Susan: (Enters) Excuse me. I hope I’m not interrupting something.
Beth: Oh, no, not at all.
Susan: I was driving home and, well, thought I’d come back and just say.. thanks.
Beth: Oh. (taken aback)
Susan: Do you want to go out for a cup of coffee?
Beth: Sure. That would be great.
(Women leave. Beth suddenly shouts GO from off stage. Dave looks around confused. Shrugs and walks off.)
(c) 1998 Dave Marsh