Written by Becky Heffner. Character concept by Heather Cooper (used with permission).
Louisiana Bones, adventurer and archaeologist, is searching for the "glorious
riches" written about in her grandfather's journal. With student and friend
Katie by her side, Louisiana goes on a journey that requires physical, emotional,
and spiritual strength.
Note: This script was written for a women's conference with the theme "Strength for Life's Struggles" based on the scripture Ephesians 3:14-19. The conference seminars were divided into a woman's various areas of life: Physical (domestic violence, self-defense), Emotional (relationships, communication), and Spiritual (how Christ can make a difference in these areas). The script follows a definite order so the scenes would be presented in conjunction with these seminars.
Louisiana Bones - adventurer / archaeologist; dressed in khakis and an old
jacket, with a fedora hat, of course!
Katie Murray - Louisiana's student and friend; dressed casually, as if she were thrown into this adventure without much warning
Granddaddy Bones - as voice-over
(The first two scenes were filmed and edited with Windows Movie Maker for use with our church's digital projector. When scene 2 cuts away to the characters finding the "E" of "BIBLE," we went live on stage with a large folding "wall" made of 2x4 framing covered with canvas painted to look like bricks (we already had the set from a previous production) The rest of the scenes were done live. With some clever set tricks, the first two scenes could certainly be staged live instead of filmed. Special Note: for the conference, we split Scene 2 after Katie leaves and showed the NOOMA video called "Luggage" - if you haven't seen a NOOMA, you need to check them out! We continued Scene 2 after the video. It was very powerful.)
Scene 1: (Film) Finding the Way (Before first session on physical strength)
(Louisiana Bones is seen running through the woods; she stops at a large rock, checks through an old book, examines the rock, then falls to knees with a triumphant fist punching the air.)
Katie: (off screen) Louisiana! Louisiana Bones - wait up! (catching up, out of breath)
Louisiana: (taking a drink from canteen) This is it, Katie. We've found it at last - the entrance to the labyrinth. Guess my granddad wasn't as crazy as I thought - it really is here.
Katie: What exactly is this treasure we're seeking?
Louisiana: I'm not sure. It's got to be valuable though. From these notes, it looks like my grandfather spent his whole life gathering information about this treasure.
Katie: I guess... but what if it's all made up, like a story he was writing or something? You don't know what it was all about...
L: (getting a little fired up) Listen, I may not have known my granddad real well, but I'm his own flesh and blood. I wouldn't make this stuff up, and neither would he. The Bones family takes life seriously.
K: Alright... I'm just a little nervous about following a bunch of notes and instructions from someone neither of us ever met.
L: C'mon - it's an adventure! Besides, you never know what lies around the next corner.
K: (after long pause) Do you think it's a big treasure?
L: The notes are a little faded, but I can make out the words "glorious riches," "power," "knowledge" and "filled to the measure of all fullness." That sounds like a treasure worth hunting. Now lets try to move this rock and find the entrance.
(The two try to push and push but get nowhere. They sit down exasperated)
K: Well that got us nowhere. Dumb rock. (Slaps hand on it angrily) Hey - there's something written here... a picture! It's a foot, I think...
L: (rushing over to see) Actually, I think it's two feet... (Brushing away the moss) feet, and a lamp, and a book....
K: Makes no sense to me. How could a lamp come out of a book?
L: (flipping through notebook) Something is familiar about that.... wait! Here it is! My grandfather wrote "The word is a lamp unto my feet." Sounds like a riddle.
K: (sarcastically) Maybe we need to stand on the notebook while the sun shines on us.
L: Shh... I'm thinking....
K: While you're thinking, I'm going to try to push this rock and see if the entrance is under it.
L: We tried that! We need to figure out the clue.... our physical strength is not enough. We need to add something to it.... but what?
(Katie starts pushing around the rock)
L: (to self) a lamp to my feet.... a lamp to my feet.... a lamp... Wait!
K: What? Did you find it?
L: Maybe. Come here - help me clear some of these dead leaves away.
(The two work to clear a spot just under the picture on the rock)
L: Look! There are outlines of feet carved onto these smaller rocks!
K: (sarcastically) Maybe we should shine a lamp on it.
L: That's it! I feel some kind of outline here.... they're footprints! I wonder... (she stands, matching her feet to the outlines) Katie, shine my flashlight down onto my feet.
K: (rummaging through bag to get flashlight) Ok, here.
L: Look! It's reflecting back onto the rock! There's a few holes here, just big enough for fingers... If I just.... (reaches down and puts fingers to match holes)
(Suddenly a plank pulls up to reveal an opening. Louisiana and Katie get out ropes and ready their flashlights.)
L: (tying rope around rock) Well, are you ready for the next part of our journey?
K: Hmm... to enter a hole in the ground based on the shabby notes of an old man I never knew? (Smiles knowingly, picks up rope) Ready as I'll ever be, Louisiana Bones.
Scene II - Deep Roots in the Earth (Before "emotional strength" session)
(Louisiana and Katie find themselves in a natural cave system. They have flashlights out and start shining them around.)
K: Great - which way do we go? There are 6 different paths, and each one could go on for miles before we figure out it's wrong!
(Louisiana isn't paying attention; she's busy rifling through the old journal.)
K: Bones? Bones! (Shining flashlight into Bones' face) Louisiana!
K: Which way do we go?
L: Oh, well, according to this, the next step has to do with roots.
L: Read this (showing page to Katie): "May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love."
K: Uh... what does God have to do with this?
L: (dismissive) Oh, it's probably a metaphor of some sort. Anyway, I've been studying this picture of what I thought at first was a labyrinth. But now I think it must be a root system to go with this clue.
(Something catches Katie's eyes and she shines the flashlight onto the cave roof in front of them.)
K: Hey, Bones! Look at this!
L: (looking hard) Roots! Deep roots in the soil! That must be it.
K: But there are so many! And they go down each tunnel. So which one do we follow?
L: Good question... let's look around for another picture like the one on the rock.
(The two start to search around the root system.)
L: Are you seeing this?
K: Yeah... these really big roots have letters carved into them.
L: Right, but they don't really spell anything. They seem pretty random....(long pause) Katie, what was that clue again?
K: (reading in the journal) "May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love."
L: (squatting down, staring at roots) This one has a big "B" on it. B.... Bones? Beta? (Sits on root and sighs) Why mention "God" as part of the riddle? I'm sure that's significant... How is God's love like soil? What kind of soil do our roots need....
K: (casually) Maybe it's the kind the sower needs.
L: Huh? What sower?
K: (hesitant) Well... I ... uh... I remember this song...
L: C'mon Katie, spit it out.
K: From Sunday School... when I was a kid... "The sower went out to sow, to sow some seeds, in the hopes that they would grow...." (Stops, unsure)
L: And the point is?
K: Well, the song talks about some seed falling on rocks, some among weeds, and some among... (shrugs and gestures) good soil.
L: (rolling eyes impatiently) Why do you bring this up?
K: Because the soil was a metaphor for a person's heart, and the sower was God, and the seeds were God's Word.
(Louisiana starts to dismiss the theory, but then just looks at Katie thoughtfully. Slowly an idea is forming.... she stands and looks down a few of the pathways.)
L: That's it! I've got it figured out!
K: You do?
L: Yes! "The soil of God's marvelous love!" It's found in God's Word - otherwise known as the Holy Scriptures, or Bible!
K: Bible starts with "B"! Let's look for an "I"
L: (shining flashlight down one of the paths) I just did.
(The two start off down the path together.)
(Cut away to the ladies finding "E" [LIVE on STAGE], then stopping abruptly as they face a dead end.)
L: (frustrated) What? This can't be right! We followed the roots... we spelled the word... it led us right here! Is this some kind of trick?
K: Maybe there was another E... maybe we chose the wrong…
L: (snapping) I chose the right one, Katie!
K: (taken back) Woah - I just meant....
L: Look - everyone doubted that I could find this treasure. They all said it was a worthless pursuit. I don't need you doubting me, too. I've gotten us this far, haven't I?
K: (meekly) Well, I've helped some.
L: (ignoring Katie's comment; pounds on the wall) Argh! There is no way through this! And I'm starving. We may as well eat. Katie, get out the sandwiches.
K: Sure. (Takes off back pack and begins to look through it.)
K: Um... I can't find them.
L: You're joking. You said you had the food. I asked you, Katie - you said you had it covered!
K: (apologetic) Yeah - I thought I did, but ... I guess... (looking around on ground; backtracking some) Maybe they fell out or something....
L: (very frustrated) Oh I can't believe this!
K: I'm really sorry...
L: Fine. Whatever. We'll leave it at that. Just give me the journal and we'll try to find another clue.
K: You have the journal.
L: No, you've had it since we started this B-I-B-L-E thing. So give it here.
K: Weezy, I gave it back to you after the second "B"
L: What are you talking about? (Pauses, then accusingly) Did you lose my grandfather's journal?
K: No! No! At least... I don't think so....
L: Great! That's what I get for depending on someone else!
K: (clearly hurt) Hey... what do you mean?
L: People always let me down when I need them most.
K: Alright... what is going on here? I feel like you're attacking me for everything...
L: Well, you've really screwed this up.
K: (quiet, but resolute) Fine. Fine. I have tried my best to help you, Louisiana. But you just don't appreciate that. (Pause) I think you're blaming me for this wall, when I had nothing to do with it. But you are too focused on your own needs to see that I am facing the same wall.
(Katie turns and walks away, while Louisiana sits with her head in her hands.)
L: (to self) Oh, that Katie. Fine... I'll just... I'll just go on without her. But I need the journal! (Kicks at ground; looks up) Grandpa, why did you bring me here? What is the point of all this? (Sits in frustration)
(The silence lengthens as Louisiana's question goes unanswered.)
L: (stands up with new determination) Alright - I can do this. I don't need anyone's help... I've got a master's degree....I can figure this out. Let's be methodical, here. (Begins feeling the wall, brick by brick, row by row)
(Gets to far right, middle height....)
L: Wait, what's this? I feel something here....(pulls) It's some kind of cord! Feels like a pulley system... is there a hinge somewhere? (Begins feeling along top, middle, bottom - frantic) Yes! There's something here... a solid crack down the middle! It feels like it will cave inward.... I'll just pull on this cord and it should swing open. (Pulls on cord with all her strength; wall moves slightly, but is too heavy) Argh! Why won't this budge? Maybe there's more to this... (goes to other side of wall) Here - another cord! I must need to pull the two cords together... (pulls hard, but the two cords can't be reached at the same time. Louisiana grunts with effort, but cannot do it.)
L: What is the problem? This should work! I can do this! (Stands around clearly thinking of how to solve the puzzle)
L: Ok - all I have to do is make the cords longer so I can reach both at the same time. (Pulls off backpack, kneels and begins to rifle through it.) Now let's see... I think there should be something in... (stops short.) Oh, no. Uh... the sandwiches. They were here in my pack... and I blamed Katie...
(Katie enters, standing to the side, holding the journal.)
L: (looking up) Katie! You'll never believe...
K: (interrupting; cold) I found this, back by the "L" root. (Throws journal at Louisiana's feet) Must have fallen out when we had to jump that ditch...
(Louisiana slowly picks up the journal, as Katie turns to go.)
K: (turning, hands on hips) What? Did I do something else wrong?
L: No... I, uh... thanks for bringing back the journal.
K: No big deal. I found it on my way out and ... well, it was just the right thing to do, Bones. That's all. (Turns to go again)
L: Wait... (Katie stops but doesn't face Louisiana) There's something else.... I, um... I need to say I'm sorry.
K: (turns around with surprised look) You're sorry?
L: Yeah... (reaches into backpack and pulls out sandwich bag) I found our sandwiches.
K: (smiling slightly) Yep - you sure did.
L: Right... well... I'm sorry I blamed you. I don't know what got into me. You were right - I don't appreciate you enough. I was too focused on my own needs to see yours. Can you possibly give me a second chance?
K: Alright, that's about all the speech I can handle. I forgive you. Now, do you want my help or not?
L: I need it, Katie.
K: Ok, then let's figure out how to get through a brick wall.
L: Well, I found these cords.... but they don't reach. Maybe if each of us pulls on one?
K: Let's try it.
(Each one grabs a cord and pulls, but the wall only moves slightly. They stop pulling and look at each other.)
K: This is strange... let's check the journal. (Katie grabs it and rifles through, Louisiana looking over her shoulder.)
L: Oh - go back.... see that? Looks like two people pulling on rope... Wait. The physics of this drawing make no sense to me. What is that between them?
K: The crack in the wall?
L: No - how could they be holding onto a crack?
K: It's a third rope! There must be a third cord here somewhere...
(They begin to feel along the crack, and Katie discovers the cord along the bottom and pulls it loose. )
L: Ok - this must be it. Let's do it just like the picture. You pull the left cord, I'll pull the right, and we both pull the middle up.
(They do so, and the wall folds in half quite easily.)
L: You know what they say - a cord of three strands is not easily broken!
K: I think that's another one of those things I learned in Sunday School...
L: Boy, Katie, I sure am glad you went to church as a kid. It's helping us find this treasure!
(The two exit through the doorway.)
Scene 3 - The Treasure (Before "How Christ can make a difference")
(Louisiana and Katie are seen facing a pedestal with a dusty, ornate box sitting on it.)
L: Well... (rubbing hands together) I believe this is it! The glorious riches, power, and knowledge my grandfather wrote about in his journal.
K: We made it. Now go ahead and open it, I can't stand the suspense!
L: Alright, here goes.
(Louisiana gently blows dust off the box, (baby powder works fine) then smiles widely as she slowly lifts the lid. Her face appears confused as she lift out the contents - a sealed envelope and an old book.)
K: What... what is it, Weezy?
L: I'm not sure. This envelope - it's addressed to me.
K: To you?
L: Look - it says "To Louisiana Bones, my lovely granddaughter."
K: Maybe it's inheritance papers or something?
K: Well, open it!
(Louisiana tears open the envelope and pulls out a letter.)
L: (looking over the pages) It's a letter to me from my grandfather. "Dear Louisiana..."
(Continue with male voice over if possible)
Granddad: My days are coming to an end, and it is unlikely that I will see
you complete your master's degree. Yet I am sure you will make quite a name
for yourself among archaeologists and adventurers. You were meant to do so.
As a man comes to the end of his life, he realizes a few things that need to be said. But you were not ready to hear them until you went on the journey which you have just completed. I hope you enjoyed it, and I pray that your heart is now ripe for what I have to say.
First, you ought to know that I prayed for you every day since you were born. When you were a child I prayed for your safety and protection. As you grew into adolescence, I added prayers for purity and wisdom. When you entered college and graduate school, this Bible passage became what I prayed for you: "When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious riches He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the marvelous love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled to the measure of all fullness of life and power that comes from God." Those verses of my prayer for you are found in the book of Ephesians, chapter 3. God has a plan for you, Louisiana, and it all starts with experiencing Christ's love.
This treasure I left for you may not seem like much, but it was my most valuable possession. I have had this Bible since I became a Christian so many years ago, and I pray that my notes will do some good in helping you understand the knowledge within.
Finally, you need to know how much I regret letting you and your mother remain where you did for so long. I didn't know any better, and I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I have placed that regret before the Lord, and He has forgiven me. We all make mistakes, Louisiana. Yours can be forgiven. But we also need to forgive others. Go to him.
With all my heart, Granddaddy Bones
K: "Go to him" ? Who?
L: (quietly) My father.
L: I've always said, I will never forgive him for what he did.
K: Weezy, what did he do?
L: Beat me. Beat my mom. Ran around with drunks, prostitutes. Finally he got arrested for drug possession, mom divorced him.
K: Wow. I'm so sorry... I had no idea.
L: It's not something I like to broadcast. I learned to deal - to keep it all to myself.
K: Have you ever heard from him?
L: Yeah... just last year, in fact. He wrote me this letter saying he made parole and wanted to see me... said he was so sorry.... (long pause) and that he'd "found Jesus." But... but granddad died years ago. How would he know....
K: Because the treasure gives you knowledge.
K: Look, Louisiana. Look at these words. Your grandfather knew what kind of person your dad was. He prayed for you, and he prayed for your father. He knew that you suffered a lot under your dad's hand. (Pause; gently) And he knew that you would need to reconcile with him.
L: (reading) "When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray..." Katie, you're right. This letter shows that I've been part of God's plan all my life... I... I...
K: "And may you have the power to understand..."
L: I do. I think I get it. Deep down I do want to reconcile with my dad. I do want to give up the bitterness and pain.... but how?
K: The answer is right here.
L: It is... I need to experience the love of Christ in order to go any further. (Long pause) I want this inner strength, this power, this marvelous love!
K: Wow... this is not the treasure we expected.
L: No... no it isn't. But, Katie, I believe it's better...
K: Far better, Louisiana Bones. Far better than the riches of man.
Copyright Becky Heffner, all rights reserved.
This script may be used without royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org