Why Doesn't God Do Something?

By Derek Wenmoth


Two friends walking home after an afternoon shopping pass people with various needs.


Rosie - her friend, assertive and opinionated
(The next three characters could be imagined)
A busker
A young mother with a child in a pram
A person collecting for a charity (Salvation Army)


[Anna and Rosie walk on together, then stop as if at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the lights to change]

Anna: I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get home - my feet are killing me.

Rosie: [pressing the crossing button repeatedly] Darned crossings - why do the things always say wait just when I get to them? [presses button again, impatiently]

Anna: Calm down, Rosie, our turn will come - the cars need to cross too, you know!

Rosie: Yeah - well why can't they go after us? When I'm finished shopping I just want to get home - now!

[They laugh together - then Rosie looks across the stage - her expression changing as she leans across to Anna and whispers loudly...]

Sally Army - three o'clock

Anna: [looking to see what Rosie is on about] What?

Rosie: [pointing] Over there - the Sallies on the scrounge!

Anna: [Now aware of what Rosie is pointing at] Oh - the Salvation Army. They're not on the scrounge - they're collecting [quickly searches in her purse and drops some coins in the officer's box as he passes.] Here we go then. [Rosie deliberately looks the other way and pretends she hasn't seen him]

Rosie: What did you do that for?

Anna: Do what?

Rosie: Give them money - you'll only encourage them!

Anna: But I want to encourage them - the Salvation Army do a great job!

Rosie: Sure they do - they do a great job scrounging money from you at street corners, and interrupting you while you're trying to have a quiet drink in the pub!

Anna: Rosie - what I mean is they do a great job helping those who need it, they have an excellent drug rehabilitation programme going in our town - and what about Jenny Oliver -she used their food bank when her husband was laid off at the factory a few months ago.

[The lights change, the pair cross]

Rosie: [Sensing she's on the back foot] Yeah, yeah - so they do some good here and there. [More assertively] But that doesn't give them the right to keep pestering us for money.

Anna: Come on Rosie - how do you expect them to do everything they do without money?

Rosie: They believe in God, right?

Anna: Yes...

Rosie: Then let God do something about it

Anna: [exasperated] Oh, Rosie.... you don't mean that!

Rosie: Sure I mean it - it's His mess - let Him clean it up! Their 'God' is supposed to be so full of love and peace and joy - let Him do something about bringing a bit of love, peace and joy to the druggies... or the unemployed....

Anna: But Rosie...

Rosie: [Interrupting - on a roll now...] No, I mean it. I'd find this whole 'God' thing a lot easier to handle if I could only see Him doing something about all these problems we face. Instead all we have is a bunch of do-gooders standing on street corners depriving you of your small change. It just doesn't add up. [Walks on with purpose - Anna does a little run to catch up.] Now - which way to our cars?

Anna: [caught unaware by this question] Uh - down this way, one block along. [both change direction on stage]

Rosie: That's right - let's cross here and go down that side.

Anna: Why? We can get there on this side of the road.

Rosie: Yes - but I want to avoid the buskers - bunch of musical illiterates with out of tune instruments, and...

Anna: [interrupting] And, they're always asking for money - right?

Rosie: [self-righteously] Right.

Anna: Well I quite like hearing what some of them play - I'm going down this side.

[The pair walk on together, pausing now and again to listen to a busker. On one occasion Anna reaches into her purse and throws some coins into a guitar case. Rosie takes her arm and moves her along]

Rosie: What did you do that for?

Anna: Why not? I liked what he was playing, and I wanted to show my appreciation. What's wrong with that? At least he's doing something creative to earn a little money.

Rosie: Yeah - right, and he'll probably spend it creatively too!

Anna : Rosie - you really are in a mood today!

Rosie: [Strides out a little] Hmph!

Anna: Just a minute Rosie...

[Anna walks off to the left for a moment - Rosie stops and waits for her to return]

Rosie: Where did you go?

Anna: Didn't you see - that woman over there was having trouble getting her pram onto the footpath - she needed a lift. These gutters are really such a pain...

Rosie : [stands facing Anna - hands on hips] You just can't help yourself, can you!

Anna: What do you mean?

Rosie: Miss 'goodie two shoes' - if you're not helping the starving in Africa, you're out there rehabilitating drug addicts or helping solo mothers raise their families. You never stop do you?

Anna: And what would you expect me to do - leave them to suffer?

Rosie: Like I told you - if there really is a God up there [looks upwards] then let Him sort it out. What difference is it going to make if I give a bit of money here, or help someone out there? The problems are too big - too complex. It's all too hard to think about.... [remembers that they're headed for their cars] Come on - let's get home.

Anna: Well, I don't care what you say - I think we should be prepared to help - to give something of ourselves. Ah - here's your car - mine's a bit further along.

Rosie: [Rummaging to get keys out of her bag] Oh - I can't wait to get home... [continues rummaging - a frown appearing on her face] Oh no...

Anna: [Stops in her tracks and looks back at her friend] What's up

Rosie: [Pointing in her car window] I've gone and locked my keys in the car - look!

Anna: Oh - Rosie!

Rosie: [Looking at her watch] What am I going to do?

Anna : Well Rosie, as I see it you have two choices...

Rosie: Yes...

Anna: You can either ask for help from someone, or you stand her and wait for God to do something about it for you!



© Derek Wenmoth 1997

All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged.
In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed.

The author may be contacted at: dwenmoth@xtra.co.nz