(Wormwood walks from the side talking to herself...)
I'm so glad I got this letter today. Uncle Screwtape must have known that I would need special help with this one....(sighs)... Sometimes I wish being a demon was not frustrating. The father below must shudder when he sees us apprentices not messing things up for our clients.
Let's see what he has to say (opens letter)
(Reading letter) My dearest and most disgusting Wormwood...
(Looking up) I love how sweet he is to me!
(Reading letter) My consultations with our Father below has made me aware that you are facing one of the most fearsome challenges any young demon can face...preventing your client from meeting...I dread to say it...GOD at church. I know how intimidating it is because I too have faced the same situation with a number of my clients in centuries past. Fortunately for us, the majority of people consider it a waste of time to go to church and thus pose no problems at this point.
(Looks up) It's just my rotten luck that I got one that insists on going to church!
(Reading letter) These solidly mis-directed clients satisfy themselves with the Sunday newspaper and a second cup of coffee. What more could a demon ask for? Yet there are those that drag themselves and their families out of their perfectly comfortable homes to meet together to worship...HIM!
(Looking up) That would be my client. No matter how warm the bed, how good the coffee, juice and TV, he still gets up and goes.
(Reading letter) For these clients, we must adopt a different strategy. Instead of discouraging them, encourage them to go.
(Looking up with shock; use expression by pulling the letter away from your face) Wait, Wait, WAIT!I don't believe my pointy little ears!...Uncle Screwtape hasn't defected, has he?
(Reading letter) And I haven't defected, my dear Wormwood!
(Look at the audience and cock your head) How'd he know that? (Shake head and slowly return to reading)
(Reading letter) No, I have found that blocking the trip to the church only makes clients feel like martyrs, and martyrs are incredibly hard to deal with alone. Instead, let them enter the church, shaking friends hands, and allow them to set in the most comfortable seat in the hall. Then, as the worship begins, prompt them to feel good about the music, the message, the temperature - anything but what they most desperately need. Let them enjoy themselves, but prevent them from sensing, you know who, God. Then they will leave happy but unfulfilled...no better prepared to face the day than they were when they came.
(Looking up with a demonic grin) Yeah, that makes really good sense. If I let my client think he is doing all he needs to do at church, but I keep him away from God, I've done it! I'll get him really involved, doing all kinds of things, so he won't have time to think about the big guy.
(Reading letter) One caution, however. This is a dangerous plan, because the enemy of our Father below can destroy this deception with the motion of his hand. He is particularly jealous of his worship and won't allow us to tamper with it any more than our clients let us. You must work hard to maintain your client's ignorance of your actions. Enough for now...remember to always leave a trail of destruction behind you. Your Uncle, Screwtape.
(Looking up and placing letter back in envelope) I knew I could depend on my Uncle Screwtape to help me out of a jam. You know, as I think about it, it's so obvious it scares me, and I love to get scared! Just let him go to church and keep his attention on anything but the enemy, and I've got it made. I'll be out of the apprentice program and on real duty in no time. So, anybody for going to church?
© Fred Lane, Crosswind Community Church, 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. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org