STRUGGLE

Author: Tony Stuckless, Spaniards Bay, NF, Canada. Written about May 31st, 2002.

Author's Note: This dramatisation is written solely for the glorification of God. It is not copyright protected and is freely available for all those who will use this drama in God's name. At the end of the drama you could finish with an altar call, if appropriate. You have the author's permission to use the drama as often as you like, but please keep the focus of the message intact. It is, in many ways, my testimony and my struggle. As I write this the struggle goes on in my life but, with God's help, I will carry on.

Setting: A church platform or stage with a small table and chair. The actor or actress should be sitting quietly in the chair as the drama starts and the lights come up.

Characters: One actor or actress.

Opening Comments: (to be read by clergy, layperson or whoever introduces the drama) Jesus never promised us a life without struggle. In fact, He went so far as to say we will have struggles, doubts, and so on. He did say that we are not to be overcome by our struggles because He Himself had overcome the world. Many of you know what it is to struggle. Some of you may be struggling now. Look deep within your lives and you will overcome your struggles with God's help and with time. Listen to this drama and feel the speaker's struggle as he reaches out for help.

(as the drama begins we see the actor sitting in a chair next to a table. He or she looks up slowly and looks over the audience.)….. I have been asked to tell you of my struggle. ….. You know, when you think of a Christian's testimony you usually think you are going to hear exciting stories of how a person's faith has gotten them through a crisis in their lives. (sighs and pauses) My story is a little different. …. I am still struggling with my crisis. At times I even feel it will overwhelm me. If it wasn't for God, I would have given up on finding my way through. Let me tell you my story.

(stands slowly and begins quietly). All my life I have fought for acceptance in a world that only wants to keep you faceless. ... I have struggled often to be someone I am not and over time I paid the price. Finally, some years ago, I began a real Christian walk. …. ( looks down and softly speaks ) . Good thing too as life started throwing me one curve after another. My wife got sick and over the years has had many surgeries and all of them nerve wracking experiences. But the last 3 years…(pauses and raises head with emotion clear on his/her face)… the last 3 years have been too much. She had 3 surgeries in less than 3 years….. She seems to be feeling somewhat better now, but she was so sick the last time I thought I wold lose her…. What a feeling to believe the person you love isn't coming home. … (pauses and looks around) I guess many of you have had that experience in some way. … Anyhow that one took its toll on me. I struggled with depression and it seemed we were all alone and that no one cared. Even our church showed little interest in what we went through. ….. (voice breaks) If I could tell you what it does to your mind to have to go to work and leave your spouse at home by themselves and still recovering from surgery…. Yes, my boss gave me some family leave but that was only a couple of weeks. … It takes quite some time for a person to recover from surgery that leaves you in hospital for almost 3 weeks before you can go home. …. (looks down at his hands) During that time it was like no one even cared ….. (quietly) Sad isn't it and you can imagine how feeling so isolated made my fears for her health that much worse. She recovered but we were both left damaged in spirit because it seemed no one cared. …. (looks around) We are still struggling with this, but I do know that if it was not for God carrying us then I would not have the courage to stand and speak today.

Now, it gets worse. (sits down)… Last fall my wife's uncle died first and then in November I got one of those 3 AM phone calls that told me my only sister had died suddenly. (puts face in his hands for a second and puts his hands on the table for support). … I have no other brothers or sisters. She lived with my parents and kind of looked out to them…. Me, I'm 5 hours drive away. …. I had been feeling the strain of the struggle I had been going through and now this on top of it. .. (stands and looks around) How much can a person take?…. It even turned out she did not have to die. Somebody missed the diagnosis of her condition. That is the hardest part of all I think. (pause)……So now, as the executor of the estate, I had to beat my way through the paper and red tape to carry out her last wishes. …(sits down again) My parents were devastated; especially Mom. ….We are still struggling with the loss and the fall out. …. During all of this my duties at my office job kept growing and the stress at work just got worse and worse. … In the middle of winter my wife's aunt, who we were both close to, died of cancer. This was another blow. ….. Besides this my wife's health continues to be questionable and both our parents have medical problems themselves ….Now you have a picture of why I struggle….. Oh, I know there are lots of people out there going through their own private struggles, but you can only really feel your own. ….You have to live the pain to know just how it feels.

(stands) You know the poem Footprints?… I feel like that. I imagine myself as being carried by God and like the person in the poem I look back to wonder why when I needed God the most I could only see one set of footprints in the sand…… In my heart I hear God's reply to my question that when I see only one set of footprints that then God was carrying me…. I guess He is carrying me a lot in the last 3 years and is still carrying me.

Perhaps you are wondering why I have any faith at this point? (pause) All I can say is that if I had no faith, then I would now have no hope at all. Because my life is turned upside down and I am hard pressed on every side does not mean that God or Christ has abandoned me. It does not mean I am defeated…..Instead it means I have to trust God more. I have to work that much harder to let my fears go and trust it all to God. …. (pause) Easy to say isn't it? …. It is harder to do….. I know because there is so much pain in my heart, I wonder if it will not eat me alive….. I do know my only hope is Christ. I just have to learn to let it go and lay it down at the foot of the Cross. (emotional and looking to heaven) My very soul cries out for the peace I need! (voice returns to normal and looks at the audience again) …..Meanwhile as I struggle with all this and my own humanity, please pray for me but, while you are at it, look around you to see who is hurting where you are. One thing that Jesus really emphasized is that we are to help one another. So look around and reach out to people for (slowly with great emphasis) the very love of God. (pause and go on normally)

How many people here now are in crisis themselves as we speak? ….Think about that will you? ….. When you reach out to help others, you will be helping me. ….. I am going to make it, but not if I remain alone. God will help me yes, but Christians need to reach out to each other too. We are, after all, God's hands on this world. Now lets put the arms those hands are attached to around each other to lift each other up. …… (smiles softly and looks around) Can't we all use a caring hug?

(At this point the drama is essentially over but the actor can elect to go slowly to the mercy seat, as a gentle appeal song plays or is sung, for prayer and while this is done perhaps some one could lead a soft and gentle appeal. A song I like here is by Rick Cua called 'Somewhere Tonight).


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