This skit was presented before a sermon Kurt gave at a church visit on 4/15/12.
See Kurt's sermon response here:
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KEEPING LISTS - written by Tanis Harms
Adapted: Jen Baker and Jule Nyhuis
TOPIC: forgiveness, bitterness
Style: satire/allegory: a person keeps and reads from her journals of all the bad things that others have done to her, her entire life. She is challenged to forgive and exchange those books for the Bible.
Cast: middle-aged woman and friend
Props: diaries, Bible
(WOMAN walks out carrying an armful of diaries.
Picking out one, she sets the others down and starts reading silently to herself.)
FRIEND: Hey Lisa, what are you doing with all those big books?
LISA: Oh, these are my logs of crimes committed against me. I’m just doing my weekly review to make sure I don’t forget any. This one is “The Log of Crimes Committed by Amber Wilson Against Lisa Hatcher”.
(LISA clears her throat then begins reading from
the diary with an haughty, self-righteous attitude.)
LISA: Incident #3: 1966, July.
. The culprit: Amber Wilson.
. Location: a neighborhood sandbox.
. My faux pas: not following the ridiculous
. procedures of a 4-year-old’s tea party.
. The crime: Amber Wilson throws sand in my eyes.
. To this day I still have problems tearing up.
(WOMAN turns the page and reads.)
LISA: Incident #4: 1966, still July.
. The culprit: still Amber Wilson
FRIEND (interrupting): Wait, what happened to incidents 1 and 2?
LISA: I don’t remember them! That’s why I started keeping these logs - but I’m pretty certain AMBER WILSON did SOMETHING horrendous to me. She ALWAYS did. And it’s a long list. I knew her for 17 years. Like later, in 1978 incident #269 (LISA FLIPS THROUGH PAGES UNTIL SHE FINDS THE ONE SHE WANTS) – ah, here!
FRIEND (interrupting again): Wait, that whole book is about Amber Wilson?
LISA: Of course! On this particular occasion, in front of all the kids in our class, Amber Wilson made fun of my jumpsuit.
FRIEND (trying not to laugh): Your jumpsuit?
LISA: So YOU think it’s funny too? I’ll have you know, jumpsuits were “very in style” back then. But Amber Wilson’s comment still made me feel this small.(motions with her fingers how small) I just wanted to die.
FRIEND (sympathetically): Oh, that must have been awful. (Picks up another book.) So what’s this one?
LISA: My list against Bruce Dempsey. It’s a fairly long list, also.
(WOMAN holds up a bigger diary.) My LONGEST list would be against –
FRIEND: Wait, wait, wait. Do you bring these with you everywhere? (LISA nods). Don’t they get heavy? Why don’t you just forgive these people and let these lists go? I bet you’ld feel a lot lighter.
LISA: What? I can’t just forgive them and let it go! (Lisa starts gathering all the books into her arms throughout these lines until she is struggling to hold onto them by the end of the paragraph.) These are the miseries that have shaped my life. This is the proof of all the injustices that have been committed against me. Besides, if we just forgave everyone, WHAT would we hold on to? And HOW could we ever compare ourselves to anyone? HOW - could we ever feel GOOD about ourselves? And I might need these lists someday!(looking furtively from side to side) I mean, what if THEY ever bring out THEIR lists against me? Don’t you have your lists prepared?
FRIEND: (Taking some of the books from Lisa and setting them down. Lisa keeps at least two though). Lisa, what if I told you that I’d found one book that could take the place of all your books and lists?
LISA: One book? That would be much easier to carry. Wait, I bet you’re talking about one of those e-book things like a computer that can hold tons of information. Why didn’t I think of that?
FRIEND: No, I’m talking about this book (shows Lisa a Bible).
LISA: (LISA takes the Bible in exchange for all the rest of her books, but one) A Bible?
FRIEND: Yes! The Risen Christ gives us the power to forgive and be forgiven by one another! And even better, no matter how long the lists against us are, thanks to Jesus, we know that God is forgiving! God doesn’t keep a list on us!
LISA: God would forgive the entire list against me? Are you sure?
FRIEND: Yes! And God wants us to do the same: to be the presence of forgiveness in the world today. That means we have to let go of our lists against others. It’s hard, but as you can see from your heavy load, hanging on hurts us way more than any one else. .
LISA: I have to give up my books? My lists? Forgive everyone who has hurt me?
FRIEND: Yes! You have to try. Don’t worry, each day, God will help you. Aren’t you tired of carrying those heavy books with you everywhere anyway?
LISA: They are awfully heavy………I could leave my past behind me and move on?
FRIEND: Yep. God already has. Let it go and let Jesus rebuild your life with hope and love. (LISA after looking conflicted hands the Bible to her friend and starts gathering her books – her friend looks disappointed.)
LISA (as she exits): What are you waiting for? Help me find a trashcan big enough for these things. And bring that Bible, please! I’m going to need it!