One couple. Easy set, a few pieces of furniture. 10 minutes.
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Written by Warren Sager
Scene opens in a small apartment living room. Angie enters and picks up the phone to call.
ANGIE: Hi Mom. I have some news to tell you….. well maybe you better sit down. (pause) No, this is not bad news, really. Just listen a minute. You know how we have been praying that Brad can get that promotion at work? Well, he got it. (Pause) yes… we are really excited. It will mean a big pay raise. (pause) Well, yes, we are both happy, ecstatic really. (Pause) What do you mean I don’t sound happy? (pause) Oh, that. Well, what I meant was that it is good news, but there is some bad in it. Well, depending on how you look at it. You see, along with the promotion, Brad is also being relocated. (pause) California. (pause) I know it’s a long ways away, but it is such a good opportunity. (pause) Yes, I know. You can always come and visit us. They have the ocean there, and the weather is great all year round…(pause) I know. The kids will really miss you, too. We will have to take lots of videos and send lots of pictures. (pause) I know it’s not the same. But we just have to get used to it. (pause) No, I don’t think Brad should turn down the promotion. He has wanted this for a long time. Mom, they are going to move us. They are helping us find a house. We will have a real nice house with a yard. It will be great for the kids. They will have more room….and Brad will be making a lot more money! (pause) Oh hi, Dad. You heard, huh? Yeah, he is getting a huge raise, like 3 times what he is making now. (pause) But we are so cramped in this tiny apartment. (pause) No, we haven’t told the kids yet. But I think they will be excited. Especially when they find out that Disneyland is close by. (pause) Yes, they will miss you. It will be hard for me, too. But it’s such a good opportunity for us. It seems to be the way that God has answered our prayers. (Pause) No, Mom, I don’t see how we can stay here and get into a house. It would be such a struggle. And houses in California are really going up in price. So in a few years, we could have a lot of value in our home. (pause) What do you mean? You will always be good grandparents! Even if we are far… (Brad enters) Mom and Dad, Brad is home, so I better go. I’ll talk to you later, (pause) Bye.
BRAD: So you finally told your folks, huh?
ANGIE: Yeah, I just decided to get it over with.
BRAD: How did it go?
ANGIE: What do you think? They are very upset.
BRAD: (Speaking in an understanding and encouraging manner, not negative, throughout the scene.) Can’t they just be happy for us?
ANGIE: You have to look at it from their point of view.
BRAD: Yeah, I know, and they should look at it from our point of view as well. I’ve wanted this for a long time! We’ve prayed for this. This is a blessing from God!
ANGIE: Well, Mom doesn’t look at it that way. She thinks that families should stay together.
BRAD: We are a family, and we are staying together. Sometimes you have to leave your parents. I think they will be okay. They can come and visit us.
ANGIE: That’s what I told her. But she just kept saying how terrible it was. She even suggested that you not take the position.
BRAD: Honey… not accept the best offer I have ever had? I don’t think they have taken time to look at the whole picture. We are barely making it here in this tiny apartment! My company sees something in me that they like and they have a spot for me. I will be making three times what I make here! It is what I have dreamed about and prayed about for a very long time! This is from God.
ANGIE: But you didn’t know it was going to take you to California…
BRAD: Well, actually, I sort of knew that it might.
ANGIE: Really? You never told me that.
BRAD: Well, I figured there was no point in bringing it up just in case it never happened.
ANGIE: So, you have known all along that we could end up moving to California?
BRAD: I said I sort of knew. I wasn’t really sure. There were some possibilities here as well.
ANGIE: Could you get one of those jobs?
BRAD: What jobs?
ANGIE: The ones here.
BRAD: Other people got those. What are you saying? You don’t want to go now?
ANGIE: Brad, it is going to be very hard. I have never been away from my parents. Our kids have never been away from their grandparents. It will break their hearts to have their grandkids so far away.
BRAD: Well, maybe they can move to California, too.
ANGIE: They can’t afford to move to California! And Dad has his job here. He can retire in a few years. They are just going to be so broken hearted.
BRAD: I understand that, Dear, but we have to realize what God is doing in our lives and follow Him. Your folks will be okay. I don’t think anyone would ask me to give up the best thing that has ever happened to me?
ANGIE: No, of course not. I know how much you have wanted this.
BRAD: Not just me! You have wanted it too, haven’t you?
ANGIE: Yes, but I didn’t really think it would happen like this.
BRAD: Well it is. God has a reason even if we don’t understand it. And I am so excited to finally get a big break like this, and it would be wonderful if my wife was excited with me. Instead, I’m starting to feel guilty because I am breaking up the family or something.
ANGIE: Well, I think family is important.
BRAD: So do I, Honey, really!
ANGIE: Well, you don’t seem to mind moving far away from them. What about your family? What about your parents? They’re going to go through the same thing, you know.
BRAD: Actually, I called my dad today from work. He was very happy for me. He was talking about how we have worked hard and prayed and now the Lord is pouring out His blessings on us.
ANGIE: So your folks are not even upset?
BRAD: Dad said that it was going to be very hard for them to say good-bye and they would really miss us and the kids, but he totally understands that this is a great opportunity and we should definitely take it.
ANGIE: Yeah, well, I bet your mom won’t say that.
BRAD: Sure she will. They understand that God is bringing this about, and He knows what He is doing. If you just look at it with the right mind set, you can accept it. I think my parents are doing that.
ANGIE: Brad, you need to think about how it feels for us. I have lived here all my life. I have never been away from my parents except when we took that long honeymoon.
BRAD: Wait a minute. When you said, “us”, you weren’t referring to you and me, where you? You were referring to you and your parents. Remember, Honey, you don’t live there anymore; you’re married to me now. We are the only “us.”
ANGIE: I know, you’re right…I didn’t mean it to sound like that. I was just trying to show you how it is for me. I’ve gone to that church most of my life. You and I met at that church. Your folks are friends with my folks and we got married in that church. That is the only church I have ever gone to.
BRAD: I don’t understand what all this has to do with it?
ANGIE: I’ve never known anything else! I’ve never gone to another church!
BRAD: That’s not a reason to stay here, just because you have never gone to another church! As soon as we get there, we will find a good church and you will have gone to another church.
ANGIE: It’s not just that…
BRAD: Okay… I’m listening, and I’m trying to understand. What did your mom say to you?
ANGIE: She just sounded so upset… so did Dad.
BRAD: I think they’ll get over it.
ANGIE: Dad said, “How can we be good grandparents with you guys living way out in
BRAD: Oh… no wonder you are feeling the way you are. That would make me feel guilty, too. Let’s think about this for a minute. How can they be good grandparents? Well, what about your grandparents? I think they are great grandparents! And they live in Ohio! And what about mine? They live in California. I don’t really think that their location has anything to do with it. I hardly ever get to see my grandparents. But now we can go and visit them more often. It’s just a change, that’s all.
ANGIE: (getting upset) I don’t want us to fight about this.
BRAD: We aren’t going to fight. But we are discussing something very important. I’m trying to be very understanding.
ANGIE: You are.
BRAD: I didn’t realize that this was going to become such a sticky issue. Oh…maybe in the back of my mind, I saw it coming. But we cannot let what other people say to us cause us to doubt what God is doing in our lives, and His direction for us. I think they were just reacting from the gut, and not taking time to see it from God’s perspective
ANGIE: Mom didn’t mean to upset me. She is just sad and doesn’t want us to go. She didn’t do anything wrong.
BRAD: Perhaps. But you have become much more emotional about this since talking to her and you seem to be having second thoughts. You were all excited yesterday when I came home with the news.
ANGIE: It just doesn’t seem right that we should take the children away from their grandparents.
BRAD: When did you move away from Ohio?
ANGIE: When I was a baby. That’s different.
BRAD: I don’t think it’s different. I think it is exactly the same thing.
ANGIE: My dad didn’t come here because of a job; he came here to go to school.
BRAD: So, why didn’t he go back to Ohio, then?
ANGIE: Because he found a job here, and they really liked it here. But we go and visit Grandpa and Grandma a lot and they come and see us a lot.
BRAD: That’s right, and your folks will do the same thing. Everyone makes choices in life and sometimes it takes you away from people you love. I believe God is bringing this about, and if it is what He wants for us, then it doesn’t matter what other people think. Remember when we were thinking about becoming missionaries? We could be living somewhere in Africa right now! How would your family like that?
ANGIE: Well, that would be a ministry.
BRAD: I see my job as a ministry. I see it as the place where God wants me right now. I don’t think I should turn down this offer…this blessing from God.
ANGIE: What if it isn’t from God? What if this is a sign that it isn’t God’s will for us to go?
BRAD: Do you really think that?
ANGIE: Have you thought about looking for a different job around here that would pay better?
BRAD: No. I don’t want a different job. I like what I do, and I am very excited about this promotion. I can really do well at this, I believe. I want to do this…but I need my wife to support me.
ANGIE: I do support you. And I was excited about it….until I talked to my mom.
BRAD: You see?
ANGIE: Brad, my mom and I are really close.
BRAD: (carefully) Maybe a little too close?
ANGIE: (disappointed) Brad!
BRAD: I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. I’ve just always thought that if you weren’t the only child that it would be a little different.
ANGIE: I’m sure it would. But that is just the way it is. My mom is my best friend.
BRAD: (teasingly) Well, I don’t know if that is really neat, or a little weird. Honey, my best friend is Stu, and I’m going to have to move away from him. We have to accept change. This is what God is doing in our lives right now, and it is a very good thing. I want you to be happy with me. Like you were yesterday! As for your folks, well, it is only the first time they heard about it. Maybe they will get used to it and take it better. Maybe my dad can help them with the proper attitude. But now I am concerned about us. Can we get to a good place here? Can we get past this?
ANGIE: You’re right. You are my husband, and I love you. I support you in all you do, so I will trust you in this, too.
BRAD: Don’t trust me. Trust God.
ANGIE: It does seem that God has answered prayer and this is the way He answered it. It is from Him and I accept that. Now we just need to pray that my dad and mom can accept it, too. And pray for me, because she is going to call me back and I need to be strong when I talk to her. It’s not going to be easy.
BRAD: Why don’t we pray right now? (He sits next to her on the couch and they take hands and bow as the lights go out.)
Copyright 2004 Warren Sager