CURTAIN OPENS ON THE HEAVENLY THRONE ROOM. THE KING IS SITTING ON HIS THRONE HOLDING A SCEPTER WITH TWO COURT ANGELS STANDING ON EACH SIDE OF THE THRONE. THE ANGEL ON THE LEFT SUDDENLY FALLS BEFORE THE THRONE ON HIS KNEES, BOWS AND WORSHIPS.
The three in One, the One in three, the God of mystery, the God of simplicity, the God of humility, the awesome One, the great and terrible, the wonderful God, the high and lofty One, the God of splendor and beauty, the God of majesty, might and power, I praise you!
SOUND OF THUNDER FILLS THE THRONE ROOM AS THE KING SLOWLY RAISES HIS SCEPTER IN RESPONSE. THE ANGEL RISES AND TAKES HIS POSITION AGAIN. AN ANGEL APPEARS. HE STANDS BEFORE THE KING, BOWS AND ADDRESSES HIM.
Almighty Almighty, the God that knows no difficulty, I praise you!
THE KING SLOWLY LIFTS HIS SCEPTER IN RESPONSE
My King, the man whose family you saved and fed
during the famine that devastated the land of Owomi
has come to thank you. My King, He approaches now.
AS THE ANGEL YET SPEAKS THE SOUND OF TALKING DRUM AND SINGING RENDS THE AIR. A WELL DREESED MAN ENTERS WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN FOLLOWING, DANCING AND SINGING.
We thank you. We thank you. There is
none like our King. The merciful one,
whose merciful fills us
each day. We thank you.
THEY PROSTRATE BEFORE THE KING AND FINALLY SETTLE ON THEIR KNEES BEFORE THE THRONE
Our God who is there and who is here, and who is
everywhere, a present help in trouble, the shepherd
of our souls, we thank you. Oh King, what can we
offer for the great things you have done for us?
HE LOOKS AT HIS FAMILY FOR AN ANSWER, THEY SHAKE THEIR HEADS.
Yes, Nothing. When hunger dried the fattest and the richest amongst our neighbors, bending their backs like question mark, you fattened us. When men sold their houses for food, you made us rich in the midst of famine, and made our house a house of refuge for the hungry and the thirsty. We thank you.
Our God, our maker, with our last breath we shall praise you!
SOUND OF THUNDER. THEY SING AND DANCE OFF STAGE. THE ANNOUNCING ANGEL APPEARS AGAIN.
Almighty Almighty, the God that knows no difficulty, I praise you!
The man whom youÖ
THERE IS LOUD COMOTION OUTSIDE THE THRONE ROOM. A MAN NEATLY DRESSED BUT LOOKING A BIT FRAZZLED APPEARS. HE IS EXCEEDINGLY LIVID. HE IS TALKING AND SINGING AT THE TOP OF HIS VOICE AS HE HEADS TOWARDS THE KING.
Today today, today today, this King
must answer me today today!
THE ANGEL STOPS TALKING AND WATCHES THE APPROACHING MAN FOR A WHILE; FINALLY, HE BOWS TO THE KING, TURNS AND WALKS AWAY. THE MAN STOPS SINGING
Where is He? Where is He? What nonsense! Does he think I am afraid? Does he think he can scare me? What else can he do to me that he has not already done?
HE STEPS ON STAGE, STOPS AND GLARES AT THE KING.
What have I ever done to you for you to deal with me so harshly? Eh, what? Tell me?
THE KING SAYS NOTHING. HE JUST STARES AT JUSTICE AS JUSTICE STARTS SINGING.
Tell me what did I do to deserve all these pain? Tell me what have I done that you should try to wipe out my name? Tell me what did I do after all Iíve done in serving you? Tell me what did I do to deserve all these pain?
HE STOPS SINGING
You said if I gave you my life youíd satisfy me with good things,protect and provide for me, deal with all my enemies and finally take me to heaven.
And what did I do? Against my parents desire, contrary to my bosom friendís counsel,in opposition to my village chiefís prophetic warning that youíd fail me, what did I, Justice, son of Oghara do? I believed you. Yes I did. And how did you repay me? How did you compensate me for all the energy, time, faith IÖ
AS HE SPEAKS, THE ANNOUNCING ANGEL APPEARS.
Almighty Almighty, the God that knows no difficulty, I praise you! Your worshippers are Ö
JUSTICE RESPONDS HARSHLY TO THE ANGELíS INTERRUPTION
What is this? Canít you see am talking to Him?
Please, I got here first. Is there no order and
respect in this place? Wait your turn.
AS JUSTICE YET SPEAKS A GROUP OF FOUR APPROACH THE KING SINGING AND DANCING.A MEMBER OF THE GROUP IS ON CRUTCHES
You are worthy to be praised forever, yes Lord, you are worthy to be praised forever hallelujah. You are worthy to be praised amenÖ
THE WORSHIPPERS DANCE AND FALL BEFORE THE KING. JUSTICE, STANDING WITH ARMS AKIMBO, STARES AT THEM WITH SCORN AND DISDAIN.
Our King, we thank you!
We thank you!
Our King, we praise you for redeeming our lives from destruction,for shutting the mouth of the destroyer so that he couldnít tear us apart with his teeth. For savingÖ
Sharrap, you lair! Saving you from what? Tell me, from what?
Well, we were traveling in my car to the North when we had an accident. But if it had not been the good Lord, we would all have perished. So, here we are, to give Him thanks.
THE OTHERS NOD IN CONSENT.
To thank him indeed. Tell me you pretenders, where was He when the accident took place? Why didnít He prevent that from happening? Eh? So you are telling me you all came here to actually thank Him
HE POINTS AT THE KING
for ruining your fine car and endangering your precious lives? And you on crutches, are you here to thank Him too? For this?
HE CLAPS HIS HANDS IN RIDICULE. THEY ALL LOOK AT EACH OTHER
Further more, I thought this was a holy place,
for saints like me, so tell me, who granted that
POINTING AT ONE OF THE MEN.
thief entrance into this place?
Are you not James, the same James, the civil servant who collects bribe from all the contractors who do business with the ministry of finance? You donít know me? Oh, you thought you could sneak in here without being recognized?
But I am not the same person.
You are not?
I am now born again. I met with Jesus Christ and
my life changed. I donít do those things anymore.
JUSTICE: (He Sings)
You can never change, you can never,
youíre a thief and a rogue and not
welcomed here, you can never change!
HE STOPS SINGING
People just keep making a mockery of spiritual things. Can you imagine, a thief and I together, in the presence of the King? What insult!
We are not here to exchange words with you.
We are here to praise the King.
To praise the King indeed. Charlatans, you all!
You can say what you like. Itís my car that was damaged not yours. It was our lives our King saved, not yours. And it is our mouths we are using to praise Him and not yours. So mind your business.
THEY ALL NOD IN CONSENT AS SOME REPEAT ĎMIND YOUR BUSINESSí IN DIFFERENT DIALECTS. THEY SING AND DANCE OFF STAGE.
Praise Him praise Him, the Lord is good praise HimÖ
Praise the Lord our God the Lord is good praise Him.
THE KING LIFTS HIS SCEPTER. SOUND OF THUNDER AS THEY RETREAT
I donít blame you. If not for this Christianity we are
all practicing I wouldnít rub shoulders with the likes of
you; thatís why you could open your dirty mouth
and talk to me; Paupers!
HE TURNS TO FACE THE KING
As I was saying before those clowns rudely interrupted me.
I thought serving you would be a thing of joy but on the contrary, serving you has become a thing of burden. I am not like those people who canít tell you the truth, who come here praising you for their calamities and woes! No, I am not. I will tell you the truth, how I feel. To start with;
HE STARTS COUNTING OFF HIS FINGERS
One: After praying to you and lobbying in the office, why did you allow that empty headed enemy of mine Mr. Dele to be promoted and not me? All those all night prayers, and offerings I gave, all for nothing! I suffered and sacrificed for nothing!
Two: And where were your so called guardian angels
THE ANGELS LOOK AT EACH OTHER
when those armed robbers came last night? They dispossessed me of my money and goods, leaving behind that worthless old bible. As if that was not bad enough, on their way out, they asked me if I paid my tithe, when I said sometimes, they slapped me and advised me to be faithful in paying my tithe and read my bible.
Three: Where were you, tell me, where were you whenÖ
THE ANNOUNCING ANGEL APPEARS
Almighty Almighty, the God that knows no difficulty, I praise you!
The woman you sent Angel Gabriel to last night is here.
THE KING LIFTS HIS SCEPTER. THE ANGEL BOWS, TURNS AND LEAVES
What is this again? Wont you people allow me finish my case?
AS HE SPEAKS A WOMAN WITH HER HEAD BOWED, OBVIOUSLY IN AWE, APPRAOCHES THE KING. SHE FALLS TO HER KNEES BEFORE THE THRONE. SHE BEGINS TO CRY. SOFT MUSIC PLAYS IN THE BACKGROUND
Now, what does this one want again? Eh? Wont they let this King rest?
THE KING LOOKS AT JUSTICE, THEN BACK AT THE WOMAN. JUSTICE, SULKING, MOVES TO A CORNER WHERE HE FOLDS HIS HANDS ACROSS HIS CHEST, WATCHING. THE WOMAN LIFTS HER HEAD
My Father, for how long?
I am tired and I donít know what else to do.
Itís, itís as if you are not there. As if you donít see
what am going through. Or you no longer care about my family or I?
JUSTICE, SURPRISED, AND WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE, TAKES A FEW STEPS TOWARDS THE WOMAN
At last! Someone who thinks just like I do! I was beginning to
think I was the only one thatís being ill treated, physically
and mentally afflicted, financially crippled, spiritually
manipulated, exploited and wickedly subjugated by this King!
GESTURES TOWARDS THE WOMAN
Oh, hae! Look at this poor old woman!
HE TURNS TO THE KING
Look at her! What did she ever do to you that
you should cause her such pain? Eh? What did we do to you?
HE TURNS TO THE WOMAN
He doesnít care for you any longer. Believe me.
I know what I am talking about.
Is it true what he is saying, that you no longer care? My King, Is it true?
THE KING ADJUSTS HIMSELF. HE IS PENSIVE.
JUSTICE MOVES TO THE WOMAN
Itís all right woman. You are not the only one. Donít make too much noise; He wonít take notice of you. I have been here long and He hasnít said a word to me. Is it you that just came He will answer? Forget it. Just take it as you find it. Thatís what I always tell people I love. Take it as you find it. The King has decided that it should be like that. So what can we his viciously oppressed subjects do?
TURNS TO THE KING
Itís not fair o. What you are doing is not fair!
THE WOMAN WEEPS LOUDLY. HER DAUGHTER COMES ON STAGE CRYING. SHE GETS TO HER MOTHER
SHE FALLS BESIDE HER MOTHER. THEY HOLD EACH OTHER CRYING
Eya! Her daughter! Itís all right. Donít kill yourselves over it. Go home and sleep. By tomorrow, youíll be all right. Sister, take your mother home. Prepare hot water for her to take her bath, and if you have any food at home, eat. Save your strength for tomorrow. Your problems are not over yet. Eh, sorry, prepare for them. Eh, go home. Sorry.
THE WOMAN LOOKS UP AT THE KING, WIPES TEARS FROM HER EYES
Was it not you who saved me from my motherís
womb when she started bleeding at the eight month
of her pregnancy? I came out alive.
JUSTICE SHAKES HIS HEAD IN PITY
My King, were you not the One thatís been
providing for us these many years after my
husband, her father, died from kidney failure?
You have even killed her husband.
I was wondering why she came here alone sef.
HISSES AND SHAKES HIS HEAD.
Father, when my daughter, Nene here, fell sick and the doctors
could not diagnose what the problem was, were you not the one that lead us to your servant Pastor Dele who prayed for her and she was whole again? Was it not you?
When Depriye was admitted into secondary school and we had no
money to pay his fees or even get to the school to acknowledge
the offer; who supplied the money we needed, taking away
shame from our eyes, was it not you?
Mummy, letís go home.
No, I will not go home. Nene, I will not.
I donít know what this rhetoric will get you.
I want you to know that you are wasting my time.
I got here first. Please take your mother home.
Are you not the One that has dealt bountifully with us? Are you not the impartial potentate, our God who does not fail, neither goes weary? Are you not the unchanging changer, the faithful, the consistent, the immutable, the unfailing, the constant God, the same yesterday, today and forever, the One that speaks and repents not, the One that cannot lie, that keeps covenant: That seals His oath with a colorful bow in the heavens, the One I can rely on?
My father, my confidence, my strength, the One that makes
the barren fruitful. The balm of Gilead, the healer of all
my aches and pain. I will yet praise you!
THE WOMAN TURNS TO JUSTICE
Yes, Iíll praise Him.
But, why? After all He has done to you?
Yes, after all He has done for me. He has not done
anything to hurt me, rather He has done all to aid me,
raise me, and so, Iíll praise him!
You canít be serious! I thought you were sensible.
But I guess all your suffering has turned your head up side down.
SHE STARTS TO SING
Majesty, majesty, majesty I praise you name
My my my my, majesty I praise you!
SHE SINGS TWICE, HER DAUGHTER WHO IS ALSO SURPRISED WIPES THE TEARS FROM HER EYES AND JOINS HER MOTHER. AS THEY SING, THE KING SLOWLY RISES FROM HIS THRONE. THE ANGELS BOW. JUSTICE SOLILOQUISES
The King is rising up! But He didnít rise up for me. This is unfair!
But IÖI donít understand. Why is she doing this?
After all sheís been through?
THE KING RAISES HIS SCEPTER. THE ANGELS MOVE TO HER, THEY REMOVE THE OLD GARMENT AND WEAR HER A BEAUTIFUL DRESS. THEY DO THE SAME TO HER DAUGHTER. THE WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER SING AND MOVE OFF STAGE
Justice, my son; It is not the state of your affairs, but the state of your heart.
Recognizing my presence in your circumstances, seeing my hand in your situation. Justice, I am not a spectator in the affairs of your life, I am a participator, a contributor and your benefactor.
THE KING POINTS IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WOMAN
She has learned to trust me, her King. Even when sheís hurting, she knows that I am always on her side, always there for her, for she has come to understand that I am her ardent, most passionate and devoted supporter. Do you understand what I am saying?
I think so. ButÖ
THE KING MOVES TOWARDS JUSTICE, THE ANGELS FOLLOW
Come now Justice, faith in me doesnít mean that there wonít be times when you doubt my intentions, periods when you think am not there for you, that is not strange. But, at such times, if youíd recall my awesome deeds towards you in times past, if youíd call to mind my mercy and compassion, and lie down in my pastures of trust, youíd not only be opening to yourself a door of hope but a floodgate
of events that will culminate in peace for you.
JUSTICE NODS IN UNDERSTANDING. HE FALLS TO HIS KNEES
My King, I am terribly sorry. I didnít understand.
Please forgive me. I only wanted to express my feelings.
When I said, ďCome now, and let us reason togetherĒ,
I didnít mean you could come and fight me in my throne room.
THE KING LAUGHS HEARTILY
I meant you could come and have a round table discussion with me,
where we could together plan, arrange and program your
life for great peace.
Come; let me show you the beauty of my kingdom
THE KING PUTS HIS ARM ROUND JUSTICEí SHOULDERS TALKING AS THEY GO OFF STAGE, THE ANGELS FOLLOW AS MUSIC CONTINUES
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