A Costly Business

By David Winfield


A dialogue for two persons - based upon ĎThe Discipleí by Juan Carlos Ortiz. A new disciple discovers what the real cost is of following Christ.


2 narrators


1.  Any of you,
2.  ... said Jesus,
1.   ... who does not give up everything they have, cannot be my disciple.
2.  Lord, Iíd really like to be one of your followers. Iíve been thinking it over for some time now and Iíve come to the point of making a Ďdecisioní; I think thatís what they call it. So from here on in you can count on me.
1.  Thatís most commendable; but have you considered the cost?
2.  You mean thereís an admission charge! (Laughter, which then fades out embarrassingly) No, seriously - uh - cost?
1.  Itís not easy being one of my disciples, there are sacrifices involved.
2.  Not goats and ewe lambs and turtle doves and that sort of thing? I thought that had gone out years ago, centuries even.
1.  No, not all the blood and the gore. I always found that somewhat unnecessary, not to say messy. Livestock are no longer required - but other sacrifices are.
2.  Well you just say the word and itíll be fine by me. Nothingís too good for you Lord, not now that Iím one of your team.
1.  Iím really pleased to hear that and I hope youíre serious. So letís see what weíve got shall we?
2.  Lay it on me Lord! What would you like to have?
1.  Well, I donít want to startle you but in fact Iíll take everything.
2.  Everything?
1.  Everything.
2.  Everything - right. (pause) Everything?
1.  I think weíre clear about the word. Would it help if we made a list?
2.  Why not? I think Iíve got a pencil (extracts from pocket), and some paper (pulls out a small scrap and displays proudly).
1.  (providing a large sheet or roll of paper) Perhaps this might suit our purposes better.
2.  Oh! (embarrassed) Right - yes - of course.
(Pause as each looks at the other, waiting for the next move)
2. (hesitantly) So Iíll begin shall I?
1.  Thatís the story.
2.  Letís just check that Iíve got this right - you want to know what Iíve got that Iím going to give up for you.
1. (nods patiently - the message is at last getting through)
2.  Ok. Well I just got my bank statement, just yesterday so letís see ... (pulls out of pocket) Here we are - $2,388.57. Youíd like - uh - all of that?
1.  Correct. Any loose change?
2.  Oh! (pulls out wallet) Yes, ten, twenty, twenty-five dollars.
1. (looks knowingly and 2. with slightly guilty look, reaches into pocket)
2.  ... and sixty cents.
1.  Fine. And what else do you have?
2.  Thereís my car but I doubt youíd want that, Iíve been having loads of bother with my fuel lines. (looks at 1. hopefully)
2. (resigned) Youíd like the car. Guess Iíll just have to get the scooter out of the back shed now. (awareness dawns) You want the scooter too. I get it.
1.  You just mentioned a shed?
2.  Yes, itís down the back of my section. The shed? You want the shed?
1.  The section would be nice as well.
2.  Where am I going to put my ......... not the house as well? All the furniture, too, I suppose. Youíre a hard man. Next thing you know Iíll be sleeping in my camper. (realizes what he has admitted to) Oh no! How will I explain all this to my wife?
1.  You have a wife?
2.  Yes, Deidre. And two little ones. Look hereís a photo. (pulls out wallet again) Thatís Tim and thatís Sarah.
(1. holds out his hand expectantly)
2. My family? Youíre not serious. Youíre going to leave me penniless and on my own? How did I get into all this?
1.  I believe it was something to do with wanting to be a disciple.
2.  Well, yes. But somehow I thought it might be a bit easier than all this. You know, just popping down to church from time to time, putting a few bob in the plate. Turning up for the occasional working bee. This is a whole lot different.
1.  Having second thoughts?
2.  No. (less convincing) No. Well - perhaps. Oh, I donít know.
1.  Iím still very keen to have you with me. But I did say from the outset that there was sacrifice involved.
2.  Yes, I know you did. (aside) Slitting a goatís throat would be a whole lot easier.
1.  Pardon?
2.  Oh, nothing. Just thinking out loud.
1.  So where have you come to?
2.  A state of poverty I should have thought.
1. Yes - and no.
2.  Huh?
1.  Itís not quite as bad as you might be imagining.
2.  (sarcastically) Oh right! You take everything Iíve got and then tell me it could be worse. Howís that - planning on giving me a few plagues in return? A nice case of boils or a dose of mad cow disease?
1.  Donít get all bitter and twisted. You were the one who came to me - remember? Now itís true - I have asked for everything. Your family, home, money, possessions - all mine now. But, I would like you to use them, enjoy them. Iím not taking them away. They can all stay with you. But donít forget they are mine - as you are too. So donít get any inflated ideas about ownership - thatís not your place.
2.  (thinking deeply and nods head slowly) Right. (pause) You really want the shed?
Copyright David Winfield 2001, all rights reserved.
This script may be used free, provided no entrance fee is charged. In return for free performance, the author would like to be told when the script is used. He may be contacted at davenjo@xtra.co.nz