By Chrystal Sanders
Our lives can be changed radically in a few moments, or by events that
we did not expect. This script contrasts the condition of the leper in
Biblical times with a modern day prisoner. Both are outcasts, in need of
understanding and healing. Adapted from “The Ultimate Outcast” by Max Lucado
in The Touch of God.
Narrator: In scripture, the leper is symbolic of the ultimate outcast:
infected by a condition he did not seek, rejected by those he knew, avoided
by people he did not know, condemned to a future he could not bear. And
in the memory of each outcast must have been the day he was forced to face
the truth: life would never be the same…
Leper: One year during harvest
my grip on the scythe seemed weak. The tips of my fingers numbed. By the
end of that season, I felt nothing in my hands at all. I said nothing to
my wife, but I know she suspected something. How could she not? I carried
my hand like a wounded bird. Not long after, I plunged my hands into a
basin of water. The water reddened, my fingers were bleeding. Bleeding
freely. I didn’t even know that I had cut them. I hadn’t felt anything.
My wife stood quietly by my side. She looked at the water then up into
my eyes. I saw the truth of my circumstance reflected in her gaze. We both
knew that my life was being forever altered.
Prisoner: It was a beautiful spring day when I hurriedly kissed
my husband on the cheek and left for work that morning coffee in hand.
It was my normal, busy start. My normal morning’s commute to the office
beginning innocently uneventful.
I took a turn down one block; my mind already on the day’s coming projects.
I began to turn down the next; my coffee slipped falling to the floorboard
of the SUV. I leaned down to catch it before it began to spill, losing
sight of the road for just a moment… just seconds. When I straightened
up, the bike was right there in front of me. Neither of us even had a chance
to react. When it was over, I knew that my life was being forever
Leper: I stood there looking
at my wife. Then I glanced down at my three-year-old daughter at her side.
Squatting, I gazed into her face and stroked her cheek, saying nothing.
What could I say? I stood and looked again at my wife. She touched my shoulder,
and with my good hand I touched hers. It would be our final touch.
I went alone and presented myself to the priest. The priest didn’t
touch me. He looked at my hand, now wrapped in a rag. He looked at my face,
now shadowed in sorrow. I’ve never faulted him for what he said. He was
only doing as he had been instructed. “You are unclean”, was all he spoke.
With one pronouncement I lost my farm, my future, my friends and my family
Prisoner: The morning of the trial, I sat there with my husband. Everything
was being taken care of by the attorney. All we had left to do was wait.
We held hands in silence. The door opened, and it was time for us to part.
That would be our final touch for years.
The trial was painfully brief. The verdict even more wrenching. I never
blamed the jury or the judge. They were just doing what they were required
to do. I knew I was guilty. So did they. What could I expect? Involuntary
manslaughter, negligent driving, it was all true. “Guilty” spoke the jury.
With one word I lost my career, my future, my friends and my family.
Leper: My wife met me at the city gates. She had prepared a sack
of clothing and bread and coins. She didn’t speak. By now friends had gathered.
What I saw in their eyes was a precursor to what I have seen in every eye
since: fearful pity.
Both: Their horror… (Leper)… for my disease… (Prisoner)
…for what I had become… (both) was greater than their concern for my heart.
Leper: For five years no one touched me. No one. Not one person.
They saw me…
Prisoner: They came on visiting days and with a thick piece of glass
between us we would speak…
Leper: I sensed the love in their voices…
Prisoner: I saw the concern in their eyes…
Both: But I didn’t feel their touch. There was no touch. Not
Leper: I was unclean. I had been quarantined, banished.
Prisoner: I was guilty. I had been locked away; alienated.
Leper: I repulsed those who saw me. Five years of leprosy had left
my hands gnarled. Pieces of me were missing. The rags on my body couldn’t
hide my sores.
Prisoner: I saw how they looked at me and I couldn’t take it. I began
to refuse to let them come to see me. My life became infected by fear of
their rejection and my memories. I choose not to be touched at all rather
than risk being hurt. And they stopped coming after awhile.
Leper: Some think I sinned…
Prisoner: …that somehow I meant for this to happen.
Leper: All I know is I grew tired of it…
Prisoner: Tired of the cold walls…
Leper: Smelling the stench…
Both: Several weeks ago…
Leper: …I dared to walk the road to my village.
Prisoner …I went to this meeting.
Prisoner: I am not sure why I went…
Leper: I only wanted to look…
Prisoner: This person was talking about God, Jesus…
Leper: And I saw him, Jesus…
Both: When he spoke, I knew he cared.
Leper: I knew that he hated the disease as much, no – more -
than I hated it…
Prisoner: I stepped out…
Leper: I called his name…
Prisoner: Everyone stopped and looked my direction…
Leper: They began muttering, edging away, except…
Prisoner: Except for him…
Leper: He stepped towards me…
Prisoner: Towards me!
Leper: Five years ago my wife had stepped towards me. She had
been the last to do so. Now, He did. I asked him to heal me.
Prisoner: Had he just spoken to me…
Leper: Healed me with a word…
Prisoner: I would have been thrilled.
Leper: But he wasn’t satisfied just speaking to me…
Prisoner: He drew near to me…
Leper: He touched me…
Prisoner: No one had cared to reach out to me…
Leper: For five years.
Both: (Prisoner) Joy!
Prisoner: Flooded my soul. In an instant…
Leper: A moment…
Prisoner: There was feeling…
Leper: Where there had been none.
Both: I had been unworthy of the touch of a man, yet made worthy
of the touch of God.
© Copyright 2003, Hillcrest Assembly of God Drama Team. This script
is free for use as long as no fee is charged of the audience, and notification
of the place, type and date of performance is sent to firstname.lastname@example.org