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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: Final Act
By JoAnne Potter


At last, Iím all alone. Here, at the beginning of Act Four, almost no one ever waits in this little area behind left stage and I look forward every night to this short quiet time. I locate a wall in the darkness, put my back up against it, and slide down to a comfortable squat. Although strictly forbidden, I pull the black curtain aside an inch or two to sneak a peek at the audience.

Tonight, as for every performance, more than four hundred people have watched for more than three patient hours as the life of Christ unfolded before them. Jesus has taught and healed. He has cleared the temple and questioned Nicodemus. He has raised Lazarus and battled Satan. He has died and risen. Now both cast and audience sit in the dark, but the play isnít over yet. This is the moment of expectation. Other cast members begin to arrive in my backstage sanctuary. I let the curtain fall and stand up.

John the Baptist comes in first. Beneath his animal skins and ragged wig, he is a chiropractor whose son is doing time for drug possession. Heís followed by a high-strung leper who used to practice witchcraft and still hasnít shaken her fear. A pharisee, adjusting his beard, follows. He works a day job as a utility repairman, and has a reputation for being pushy.

The group grows as we gather in earnest. Martha comes in, a lunch lady who doesnít much like children. Then Peter, whose neighbors complain because he revs his motorcycle past midnight, and the Samaritan woman at the well, who wears too-tight jeans to church. Next enter Thomas, who occasionally overcharges customers he doesnít like, Mary the gossip, and Philip the whiner. The group tightens up as everyone crowds in, more than a hundred cast members, plus stage hands, the costume, makeup, and prop crews, runners, stage managers, sound and lighting techs, and ushers. Everyone waits in expectant silence for the final scene, overflowing from this little room into other backstage areas. We stand in the same dark as the audience, but separated as sheep from goats.

Jesus said, ďBy this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.Ē He was right. It takes love; love to have patience, love to have mercy, love to cover our multitude of sins. In our worst moments we donít look very different from anyone else, but in this place, we know what joins us. We know Who waits for us. On stage, Jesus is standing beside His judgment seat.

The music rises and blue-white lights split the darkness. Everyone backstage turns toward the impossible glow pushing past the edges of the curtain. An angel I no longer recognize as my sonís schoolteacher pulls open the entry. I look up at Jesus. Struck by the glare from every spot and flood, I forget He is a plumber in a robe and wig. Instead, I stand with my flawed brothers and sisters in the light of hope. We hear Him call us by name and step forward together in faith, finally coming home.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 10/18/07
I love how you told about each character of the play. Was a little confused at the end, though, but good writing.
Dee Yoder 10/21/07
Very good and descriptive writing here. I love how you bring out the possibilities, the flaws, the troubles of each person, and then cover them all with the grace of Jesus. Truly enjoyable reading story.
Joy Faire Stewart10/22/07
Very unique take on the topic...I love the vivid descriptions of each character. A great reminder that we are all flawed and loved just the same by our Heavenly Father. Excellent writing.
Debbie Wistrom10/22/07
I loved it all. Would like to know more about all these less than perfect people who choose to spend time in a ministry such as this.
Sheri Gordon10/25/07
Congratulations on your highly commended. I really like this story. Very original, and well written. Great job with the topic.