DARYL: Is that your bus? (They watch a bus go by and then they see it stop just beyond them)SONYA: I’m not sure. I’ll ask that man that just got off.STRANGER: (Enters walking quickly)
SONYA: Excuse me. Is that the downtown bus?
STRANGER: Yes…It is.
SONYA: Then I gotta go! See ya Daryl! Say hello to your wife for me!
DARYL: Bye! Nice talking with you!
STRANGER: (Notices the money on the ground and picks it up) Excuse me…did you drop this?
DARYL: Huh? Oh! Wow! Yeah…I guess I did. Thank you!
STRANGER: You’re welcome! It’s good to hear you say those words!
STRANGER: I was beginning to wonder if they had fallen out of your vocabulary.
DARYL: Excuse me?
STRANGER: Those two words… thank…you. I haven’t heard them much lately. Not from you anyway.
DARYL: Do I know you?
STRANGER: No. But I know you. I have known you for a very long time.
DARYL: I don’t get it. What’s this all about?
STRANGER: I just want you to realize what has been happening to you. You seem to be forgetting who is taking care of you.
DARYL: Look. I don’t know who you are…you are starting to freak me out…and if this is some kind of a joke…
STRANGER: No. No joke. Of course you need proof. I understand that. You see, I’ve been helping you for a long time. Who do you think stomped on that brake pedal just now?
DARYL: Stomped on… brake… how did you know…?
STRANGER: You said yourself that you don’t even remember stepping on the brake. I had to do it for you.
DARYL: Wait a minute!
STRANGER: And who do you think tripped you while you were jogging? It wasn’t a coincidence that the paper was right there and the ad circled! That was me.
DARYL: No one tripped me… wait… were you listening…?
STRANGER: And when you were five and fell out of that tree… who do you think caught you and put you on the ground? You never could figure out how you kept from getting hurt that time.
DARYL: Are you trying to say that you are my guardian angel or something?
STRANGER: Well, that’s not our term. Humans came up with that. I prefer “messenger of God” if you have to give me a title.
DARYL: This kind of thing only happens in movies!
STRANGER: Yeah… I know… and they never do get it right. Normally we don’t reveal ourselves, but this seemed like a special situation.
DARYL: So…you have been watching out for me my whole life? What about other kids? They fall out of trees and break their legs!
STRANGER: A broken leg wasn’t in God’s plan for you. Now let’s get back to why I’m here talking to you. I have a very important message: You have forgotten to be thankful for all that God is doing for you. All those prayers being offered for your little Angela –great name, by the way- and I never heard you say thank you.
DARYL: Are you taking credit for that one too?
STRANGER: I don’t take credit for anything. I’m just the messenger. I do as I’m told. I can’t heal your little girl, and I can’t get you a new job. But there are things that I can do to get you from one place to the next, or simply keep you safe.
DARYL: So… you say that I’m not being thankful?
STRANGER: That’s about the size of it.
DARYL: But, I think I remember thanking the doctor at the medical center…
STRANGER: Oh sure. Like he had anything to do with it! Who do you think took away Angela’s headaches in answer to all those prayers?
DARYL: God did. I know. And I never thanked Him.
STRANGER: Now you got the picture! I was beginning to wonder if you were just thinking it was luck, or karma or fate or something silly like that. God has really been watching out for you lately! I think a little gratitude is in order.
DARYL: I feel just awful. I can’t believe I have been so ungrateful when He has done so much for me!
STRANGER: Well… stop feeling awful and start feeling thankful!
DARYL: Right. Please tell Him that I’m sorry and that I’m very thankful…
STRANGER: Stop! Nope! Sorry pal. It doesn’t work that way. I don’t deliver messages back. Not like that. You have a direct line you know. Just bow your head in prayer and you’re right there in His presence. That’s a great privilege…something else to be thankful for.
DARYL: Yeah… I knew that. Hey! What about Sonya and Rob? They need help right now. He’s unemployed and the baby is coming…
STRANGER: They’re not on my watch. But they will be taken care of. Those two are very thankful people. They have been thanking God already for things that He hasn’t even given them yet.
DARYL: Wow. I guess that’s something I should do.
STRANGER: It wouldn’t hurt you to hang around them…it might rub off on you. My job is done. See ya around! (He exits and then Sonya enters.)
DARYL: Sonya! What happened?
SONYA: It was the wrong bus! I had him let me out down the street. Hey, I might just take you up on your offer of a ride. I don’t know when my bus is coming.
DARYL: Sure! That would be fine. I’ll take you wherever you need to go. I’m so glad you came back. This is for you! (Hands her the money in his hand. He puts it into her hand and then closes her hand around it) Please let me do this for you. God has been so good to me lately…and I’m very thankful…and I just want to do something for someone else.
SONYA: Thank you so much, Daryl. I can’t believe this.