The Great Exchange

By Valerie Keefe


A department store clerk exchanges parcels for customers dissatisfied with their life. She doesn't realise there is a free parcel for her, too.


A department store counter with boxes, wrapping paper and gifts sitting around.  Customers will be carrying bags with boxes in them.   A cash register or scanner would be a good added touch.


Store clerk:  Lady dressed neatly with a store badge/pin on, standing behind counter.   
Customer #1:  Lady dressed up carrying a box with a ball and chain in it. 
Customer #2:  Lady dressed with curlers in hair, wrinkled clothes, carrying a box with diapers, baby bottles, crayons, etc. in it. 
Customer #3:  Young very attractive girl carrying a beautiful small box wrapped up with a nice ribbon on it. 


[Store clerk is behind the counter…the customers are lined up and acting like they are in a hurry, looking at their watches, murmuring to themselves…Jesus is off stage at this time.]

Store clerk:  Next please.  May I help you?

Customer #1:  [Placing box on counter as if it was very heavy…acting very disgusted]  I’d like to return this please.  It is my gift of marriage.

Store clerk:  Mam, you didn’t like it?

Customer #1:   Well, it’s the wrong size.  It just doesn’t look right on me…too much commitment, and oh, that submission thing…not for me!!!! When I first got married I thought I was getting a gift…boy, was I ever wrong!  I want to exchange this please for the single life…where the living is easy, no one to answer to, no more dirty laundry...yes, I’d like that much better.

Store clerk: Okay ma'm, but I must tell you about the item you receiving in exchange for marriage. You’re getting loneliness, a broken family, bills, working all the time, and there will still be laundry to do [hands her some dirty laundry and bills]. Here you go…have a nice day. [customer walks away looking puzzled]  Next please!

Customer #2: I’d like to return this.  It’s the gift of parenting. [Places box of baby and child items on the counter…clerk looks at them].  I’ve had one of these already.  I’m just too old for this now.  I need a life.  Maybe somebody who has more time, understanding and patience could use it.  I’ll take a full refund please.

Store clerk:   [Clerk acts as if she is scanning the box…]  Ma'm, do you realize what you’re returning? You are giving up your children, including your child’s first day of school, the first time your little one would have walked, school graduations, Christmas holidays, the weddings, and all your future grandchildren.  I can go ahead and give you your receipt for money spent on diapers, formula, braces, toys, and clothes. [hands her some money or a receipt]. But I’m sorry there is no replacement for the memories you will never have. Have a nice day [customer looks upset and shocked]. Next please…

Customer #3: Yes, I’d like to return this [places beautifully wrapped box on counter].  I don’t think I’ll be needing it.  It is a gift of purity.  I’ve had it all my life but I was wondering if I could still get a refund or exchange it for something else?

Store clerk: Are you sure you want to give up this gift?  There is no refund and once it is given away you can’t get it back. You will be exchanging it for a life of regrets, emotional pain, heartaches, grief, diseases and possibly even an unwanted pregnancy.

Customer #3: Oh, you may be right but I don’t think those things will really happen to me.   I’m so young and have my whole life in front of me. I’ll just take my gift of purity somewhere else and find a store that can give me a much better exchange…[runs out as clerk shakes head]

[Clerk puts CLOSED sign on counter as a man  (Jesus) places a big beautiful box on counter with clerk’s name on it]

Store clerk:  Sir, I’m sorry but we’re closed for the day.  You’ll have to come back  tomorrow to get a refund or exchange. [He lays box down without saying a word. Clerk looks at package] Just for you…is this an exchange [man nods his head yes] What did you pay for this?

Jesus: I paid for this with my life [quietly walks out]

Store clerk: Sir. you left your package. What is this?  My name is on the box [opens it up, takes out a piece of paper, reads] "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." What are all these little boxes?  Let me see (reads the tags on boxes).  Purity, prayer, praise, marriage, parenting….there are so many more.  I have been given all these gifts…I just need to accept them and unwrap them. How could those women give away treasures like this?!.  I’ve been exchanging gifts all my life but never realized that there is Someone who made the great exchange FOR ME! I'd better start unwrapping…[grabs packages and heads out the door, turning off the light].
Copyright Valerie Keefe, all rights reserved
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