By Kristen Gatenby
When we lose sight of God's purpose for our lives, it is easy to be swayed by what we see in the world. We can be depressed by how dim our lives look in comparison with the glamour of Hollywood, and the beautiful people. On the other hand, we can smothered by the huge amount of sadness and destruction in the world. Either way doesn't leave us with much hope. In this drama, Susan and Jane are left in a difficult spot when they see the state of humanity, without understanding the real situation.
Romans 8:18-39, Revelation 1:7-8
(Jane is sitting on a bench in the middle of the stage. She is reading a tabloid magazine. Susan enters, carrying a bag.)
Susan: Hi Jane! (She sits down next to Jane)
Jane: Oh, hi Susan. (she quickly hides her magazine. Nervously tries to divert attention from the fact) How are you? Nice day we're having. Been up to much lately? Is that a new dress you're wearing?
Susan: What are you reading?
Jane: Oh, (Nervously laughs) nothing, really. Just something to pass the time.
Susan: Oh, go on, show me what you were reading. (Susan reaches over for the magazine)
Jane: No, really, it's nothing to worry about, just forget it. (Tries to hide it from her, as a bit of a struggle ensues) No, really, it's not -
Susan snatches the magazine from Jane's hands and holds it up triumphantly.
Susan: Ha! You were reading trashy gossip, weren't you?! The secret's out now!
Jane: (pretending to be indifferent) So? What's wrong with that?
Susan: You can't be serious about this stuff! It's been scientifically proven to rot your brain. (Reads headline on front page) Look at this - "Danni's surgery shock!" I mean - puh-lease! You look inside and find out she stubbed her toe in the doctor's office.
Jane: OK, so it's a little sensational. But you can't tell me you never get curious about the lives of the rich and famous.
Susan: Can't say that I do, really. Why would you be interested in stuff like this?
Jane: I don't know. (She hesitates, thinking) Don't you ever get bored with your life? I mean, you wake up, you get dressed, you go to work, you come home, you go to bed. That's it. You go out on the weekend and get drunk so you can forget how boring the rest of your life is. (Picks up magazine) This is so different - I mean, these people really live! They're glamorous, they're exciting -
Susan: They're plastic. Look (points out a picture) See this woman? There's more silicone than you can poke a stick at in there. (Turns page) And that one - Mick Jagger in his wildest dreams could never have lips as big as those! (Turns page again) Oh, and this guy. If he put on all that muscle by natural exercise alone, I'm the next Wonderbra model.
Jane: So I gather you're not impressed with the beautiful people?
Susan: Face it, Jane. They're all just fakes. If it isn't fixed by plastic surgery the photo edits it out by a computer.
Jane: At least they can afford their doctors' bills.
Susan: So they're rich. Most of them can't stay married more than 6 weeks, and they spend half of their lives in drug rehab. They're not necessarily happier than us just because they earn a little more.
Jane: A little! Man, if I only earned a tenth of what they get, I wouldn't have to worry about anything.
Susan: Believe me, with that much money, your problems would just be starting.
Jane: No problems a good stiff diamond ring wouldn't fix.
Susan: You don't mind crazed lunatics camping in your driveway claiming to be your love child, then?
Jane: I'd call security.
Susan: How about being followed to the supermarket by a paparazzi helicopter, or several hundred long-lost relatives hitting you up for a couple of bucks?
Jane: I still think with that much money, I could die happy.
Susan: Yeah, but you'd still be dead.
Jane: Well, aren't we little miss perky today!
Susan: It's true! The cycle of life just keeps rolling on, no matter what we do. We can't stop it, you know. (morbidly) Every second we sit here, we're one second closer to the end.
Jane: Great. First I was poor, now I'm poor and dying.
Susan: Look, (pulls out news magazine) You think you've got problems? Check this out.
Jane: (taking the magazine) What's this?
Susan: Something which should let you know what's really going on in the world. Have a look.
Jane: "In some countries, 3 out of 10 children die before they are 5 years old. 600 000 women die each year in childbirth." This is a bit depressing isn't it?
Susan: There's more, go on.
Jane: "Currently, approximately 28 million people are refugees from their homes due to war, famine and internal conflicts." What are you trying to do to me here?
Susan: I'm just trying to show you a small picture of what's going on out there.
Jane: But it's all so awful! "In Kenya, 50% of the population is HIV positive. 80% of the population is unemployed." Everywhere you look, it's nothing but death and destruction.
Susan: It's made you worry about your problems a little less, though, hasn't it?
Jane: (sarcastically) Yeah, right! Now I'm not only poor and dying, I'm poor, dying and feeling guilty about it. I'm Ok, but all these people are suffering!
Susan: Yeah, well, life's like that.
Jane: OK smarty pants. You've shown me the problems, so where are the answers?
Jane: According to this, the world is falling to pieces. Big problem. What are you going to do about it?
Susan: Me? I can't do anything!
Jane: So you're just going to shake your head and say how terrible it is?
Susan: Well, it's not like I can invite 28 million refugees over to my place, now is it?
Jane: No, I guess not. (Thinking) Millionaires partying while people starve. There's got to be some hope somewhere, hasn't there?
Susan: (sadly) Hope for what?
© Kristen Gatenby, 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. She may be contacted at: email@example.com