MIKE: Iím stuffed. Thatís what I like about leftovers they are even better the next day. I could eat turkey and all the fixings everyday.
MONICA: (looks at her husband)
MIKE: Well, you know what I mean, the event. Having people over, the decorations and everything.
MONICA: (keeps on looking at husband)
MONICA: (listing off on her fingers) Who prepares the meals? Calls the babysitters? Puts up the decorations? Cleans up after everybody (MIKE starts to interrupt with some ďI help outĒ type of response but is interrupted by MONICA before he can say a word) while the boys watch football?
MIKE: What I mean is the Christmas atmosphere. Friends, family and fellowship. That type of thing.
MONICA: I know what you mean.(smugly)
MIKE: I mean really. We donít have to just do those things at Christmastime/Thanksgiving.
MONICA: We donít just do those things at Christmastime. (with a smirk) Thatís what the other holidays and birthdays are for.
MONICA: I hear you, dear. Would you like some more coffee? (MIKE nods, MONICA gets more coffee) And I really enjoyed seeing my sisterís family this year.
MIKE: Thatís what Iím talking about. This year. They only live across the county. We should have them over to go to church every once in awhile.
MONICA: (making her point) They go to church on Saturday.
MIKE: Exactly, theyíd be able to join us then. Or weíd could go visit them at their church, on Saturday. (MONICA turns to give MIKE that ďyouíre kiddingĒ look) What? Would that be such a bad thing?
MONICA: Thatís just the point. (crossing over with coffee) I donít want to confuse Brianna.
MIKE: (I surrender) Iím lost.
MONICA: Itís just that they do things different than we do. That ĎSaturdayí thing is just one instance. It is so important to them and they never miss the opportunity to tell you why. They are very vocal about their beliefs. (MIKE sips coffee, winces a bit, needs sugar) At their church, they donít do things orderly like it says in the Bible.
MIKE: Orderly? Or the same order as we do it?
MONICA: (tries to look at MIKE, but canít quite make eye contact) And they baptize infants.
MIKE: We dedicated ours.
MONICA: Thatís not the same thing and you know it.
MIKE: True enough. What are you really concerned about, Monica? (adding sugar) Do you think that they arenít really believers?
MONICA: (standing) No, I didnít say that. I just wonder if they really have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ.
MIKE: (turning in) Do we have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ?
MONICA: Of course we do? Why do you ask such a question?
MIKE: What is that relationship based on? (while walking over to couch) Is it the church we go to? The songs we sing? What day of the week we go to church on? By the fact that we home school our children? How many times we sin during a week?
MONICA: No. (thinking)
MIKE: Itís based entirely on what Jesus did on that cross and our faith in him.
MONICA: (clarifying her thoughts) OK. Itís not that they donít have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Itís just that maybe they are not as close to him. (gets up to put coffee cup back on counter)
MIKE: (standing) Honey, how can you say that?
MONICA: I just donít see how they can have a relationship with the same Jesus that we do and still come out with a different understanding.
MIKE: The same Jesus? They believe in the same one that we do. They believe that he died for our sins and rose again and that he is the only way to eternal life.
MONICA: And a bunch of other things.
MIKE: So do we.
MONICA: I love my sister and her lovely family. Iím sure that their church is somehow serving Godís purpose, but we are very different parts of Christís body. They are doing their thing and we are doing ours. Itís just that every time we start talking about our lives, church and Jesus comes up.
MIKE: And so it should.
MONICA: But so do the differences. And it says in the Bible that we should not be angry with each other and get into disputes about matters that are not central issues.
MIKE: Exactly. We are to love each other. Thatís how they will know we are his.
MONICA: (a bit defensive) Are you implying that Iím the one who focuses on the differences.
MIKE: (Trying to figure out how he might put this cat back in the bag) Now . . .
MONICA: (crossing over to Brianna) Now, Brianna itís time to go to bed.
BRIANNA: But, itís only 8 Ďo clock.
MONICA: Brianna Renae.
BRIANNA: OK. (pause) Mommy, do you still love aunt Karen?
MONICA: (gives MIKE that ďsee what you startedĒ look) Yes, honey, of course I do. I just love her at a distance.
BRIANNA: Oh. (turns to exit. MONICA rises with arms crossed, looking at MIKE. A small war just may break out here. BRIANNA stops, turns in.) Mommy.
MONICA: Yes, honey.
BRIANNA: What does ďat a distance meanĒ?
MONICA: Well, it means that I love her. (tears welling up a bit, this hurts) Itís just that I donít need to be around her all time.
BRIANNA: (innocent and not knowing better) Is that kinda like how Jesus loves us?
MONICA: (rushing over to BRIANNA and hugging her) No, no, honey. He loves us like I love you. Real close.
BRIANNA: Goodnight mommy. Goodnight daddy. (starts to go, thinks better and turns in, genuinely and innocently happy) Mommy and Daddy, Iím sure glad that you donít love me ďat a distanceĒ.
(The tears come from both as MONICA and MIKE embrace with very understanding
smiles on their faces)
© Eric Stapleton, 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