Writings and Christian Artwork
by
Ray and Gail Keffer

 

One Way

A Evangelistic Drama by Ray Keffer

The Cast

The cast can be made up of people of all ages: intergenerational, youth, adults, et al, who know the person who is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Witnessing for Christ is a difficult challenge for many, but a challenge which every Christian must deal.

  • Arnie Schwartz: a loud, self assured person who has an opinion on every subject, but not the knowledge on those subjects.
  • Babs Schwartz: an easy going person who handles wells the mood swings and assured personality of her husband . Her feet are on the ground, ans she is a solid Christian.
  • The Narrator: An important who provides transition for the drama with a variety of voice inflections to help set the tone of the forth coming scene.
  • Peg Berlin: A friend of Arnie who is a society good deed doer, fund raiser who found time for many social causes. Peg had knowledge of Jesus, she did not have time to hear her Messiah call her to a life with Him.
  • Person A: A person who did not accept the way to salvation and now is
  • spending eternity in Hell.
  • Person B: Another lost soul who chose the wide path of life and eternity
  • In Hell.
  • Mose Shariff: A successful businessman and a friend of Arnieís who has a knowledge of who Jesus is, but finds his family ties to Islam stronger than the way which leads to Jests and salvation.
  • Doc Black: Arnieís personal physician who is a self made person. He owes his medical skills and success only to himself and his own talents. He had no time for God while alive.

Stage Setting 

Scene I: Schwartz Living Room.  Chair and a TV set which faces Arnie. Lights up as Schwartís enter the living room at one corner of the stage.

Scene II: Arnie in Hell.  Three chairs at the side of the stage, with Peg Berlin on a soap box giving her pitch. Two chairs face the audience for Peg and Arnie after the pitch is over.

Scene III: Another Part of Hell.  Two casual, patio type chairs upon which Arnie and Mose can relax and chat.

Scene IV: Hellís Safe Haven.  Doc Blackís office waiting room.

Scene V: The Schwartz Living Room.  Chair and TV again with a bright light coming from the TV.

Preface

NARRATOR: Arnie and his wife Babs are returning home from seeing the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, "Jesus Christ, Superstar," when Arnie makes a wrong turn onto a "One Way" street only to get a traffic ticket. Arnie is not a happy camper, and he is in a fowl mood as he and Babs enter their home from the garage.

One Way

Scene I: The Schwartz Living Room

ARNIE: I can't believe that I got a traffic ticket. I've never gotten a ticket in my life. Dumb cop! How did I know they changed the direction of that street to "One Way"?

BABS: You drive in that section of town all the time,

Arnie, didn't you see the signs that the street was about to be changed to a ONE WAY STREET? Those signs have been up for weeks! (Mood Change) Besides, wasn't "Superstar" wonderful. (singing) "I don't know how to love Him...."

ARNIE: Had I seen the signs, do you think I would have driven down that street just to get a ticket after one million miles of ticket free driving?

BABS: Well, you deserved that ticket, especially after you told that policeman he owes his job to a political hack. I think you can spare $50.00 to pay your fine. (Mood change) Didn't you like the cast tonight? I thought the gal who played Mary Magdalene was superb.

ARNIE: How can you keep yakking about the musical when I got a $50.00 ticket? I'm not paying the $50.00 without a fight? Never! No, sir! I plan to appeal the ticket. After all it was a dark, rainy night, and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, let alone a stupid "One Way" sign! 

BABS: Gee! I could have sworn there was a full moon tonight, and that yellow flashing light clearly said, "Do Not Enter". (Thinking) You know, tonight you would have been a great Peter - loud - stubborn - self assured - brassy! (pause) I'm too tired to hash this over with you tonight, I'll not let you ruin my evening after that wonderful musical. Pay the $50.00 and forget it. YOU WERE IN THE WRONG! (pause) I need my beauty sleep to be fit for church tomorrow. It'll be a long day with Reformation Sunday, communion, new members reception, and a special evening worship service. Our Sunday school class has the program for tomorrow evening; maybe you can read the part of the Devil who confronts Martin Luther in a debate? You'd be a wonderful Devil. Don't change your mood. You're perfect as you are! (laughing) Goodnight dear!

ARNIE: ...Oh, goodnight! Devil indeed! Why that cop was probably the Devil himself inflicting pain on a poor, honest Christian like myself. We'll see Monday. The Devil will get his due when I present my case in court. Fifty bucks? (yawn)

ARNIE: I'll just watch a little TV until I can settle down enough to go to bed. (shouting) I won't watch that, it's the "Gun Fight at the Okay Corral." I need to find a program to calm me down, not pour gasoline on my fire. (mood change) Oh good, Doris Day. I love to hear her sing "Sentimental Journey." This will be a good movie to watch. "Gonna take a sentimental journey, gonna set my heart at ease...."

NARRATOR: As Doris Day sings, Arnie falls asleep in his favorite chair. His sleep will be like no other sleep he has ever had. His dream will be more than a "Sentimental Journey." He'll discover a deeper meaning to his "One Way" ticket dilemma.

(Lights dim as a lone spots lights centers on Arnie, then a black out.

SCENE II: Arnie in Hell

Scene II begins with Arnie standing below the stage at the audience level taking in the scene)

NARRATOR: Arnie's dream begins in a large auditorium where the lecturer is all ready speaking to the large crowd. Arnie notices some hostility among the audience towards the woman as she nears the end of her fund speech.

PEG: ... and so ladies and gentlemen, the cause needs your support if they to survive this year. War, pestilence, flood, and famine have taken its toll on the helpless population. Your help is badly needed by those the disasters has affected so they can survive and give some meaning to their lives. Won't you dig down deep and make a donation to this worthy cause? Each gift is tax deducible, and there are tellers in the audience to receive your gift. So give generously and get your IRS tax deductible form. After all, (chiding)you can't take it with you.

NARRATOR: As the speaker, Peg, concludes her speech about giving, the audience rises up and throws rotten fruit and vegetables at her. Some spray a liquid on her from bottles. Other torment her with foul language.

ARNIE: (Standing and shouting) Stop! Stop! How can you be so rude to this lady. What kind of people are you? That's no way to treat a lady. (pause) Stop I say. You're hurting her.

PERSON A: Mind your own business. buster. Say? Where's your bag of fruit and vegetables? How come your aren't throwing things as you're supposed to ?

ARNIE: What do you mean as I am supposed to? I'm not a rude person like you and this crowd. (Reflecting) Say! Where am I anyway?

PERSON A: What are you a kook? You're in Hell, just like the rest of us. Where did you think you were, Heaven?

ARNIE: Hell? What am I doing here? I don't belong here.

PERSON B: Yeah, that what we all said too. We all earned our place here, just as you did. Just as that lady did. We're all in Hell now. We are destined to spend eternity here. Without hope! Without light! Without purpose! We missed the ONE WAY to way to escape Hell while we were among the living on Earth.

ARNIE: What do you mean you missed the "One Way" to escape Hell. What "One Way" are you talking about?

PERSON A: Why didn't you ask some Christian when you were alive about the "One Way" to escape this place?

ARNIE: I'm a Christian...a true believer. I don't belong here. Honest!

PERSON B: (laughing) He guys, this guy is a Christian, a true believer, and he doesn't know the "One Way" to keep out of this place. Sounds like a true card carrying Christian to me!

PERSON A: Yeah! Right!

NARRATOR: The crowd laughs and leaves the auditorium. Arnie is puzzled as to the events he has just witnessed, and he has not yet come to grips with his being in Hell. The chagrined lady on stage tries to wipe her face and clothes free of the garbage which was thrown at her.

PEG: (Looking up) Arnie? Arnie Schwartz is that you?

NARRATOR: Looking puzzled, Arnie tries to focus in on the lady who is calling his name.

ARNIE: Peg? Peg Berlin? Is that really you?

PEG: Yes, it's me all right.

ARNIE: What are you doing here? Why did those people throw those things at you?

PEG: Welcome to Hell, Arnie. This is the reward I got for all those years of fund raisers and do "gooder" activities I used to perform. I had more causes to work for than the American flag had stars. What did I get for all that fund raising? I got Hell!

ARNIE: Hell?

PEG: Yes, Hell. Those people are part of my eternal damnation. I make fund raising speeches everyday, and they throw things at me, everyday. Day after day, week after week, year after year, it's the same rotten routine.

ARNIE: But with all of your good works, how did you end up here?

PEG: Good works was not the answer, Arnie. Jesus is the answer, I went through life and rejected Jesus, the "One Way "to salvation. Time after time I rejected Him as my personal savior. In my religion, I was taught that the Messiah had not yet come. When I heard the message of Jesus, I refused to hear it, let alone accept it. From the time I was able to think for myself, my family taught me that the Messiah has not yet come. So I missed Jesus, my long awaited Messiah. He died to save me from my sins. So for my rejection of Jesus, Hell is my reward. It's faith not works that leads to heaven and salvation. Some how I missed the right path to follow.

ARNIE: Where did you learn about faith and works down here? Martin Luther discovered the writings of Paul in the New Testament to set the world straight that faith alone, not works is needed for true salvation. Works follows faith as a matter of Christian growth.

PEG: I had heard of Paul and Martin Luther, the reformer, but I never took their ideas any more seriously than I did of Jesus, your Messiah, until now.

ARNIE: I knew that you had heard the word that Jesus, the Messiah, had come. I was at church services with you when Jesus was identified as the Messiah. However, I did not think church was the right time for me to discuss the matter of Jesus with you since you were a guest our church.

PEG: And why not? What are church services for? (stare) We also shared a great deal of time raising funds for various charities together, you certainly had those opportunities if you really wanted to talk to me about Jesus.

ARNIE: That's true, Peg. But I didn't want to OFFEND you by talking to you about Jesus knowing your religious belief. I valued our friendship too much. I thought such conversations would ruin our friendship, and I certainly did to want end our friendship!

PEG; Offend! (Pause) Ruin our friendship! (Pause) Thanks a lot, Arnie! (Angry) What a cop out. So by not wanting to OFFEND me and RUIN our friendship, you allowed me to come here, Hell, after I died. Some friend. Some concern. Some Christian witness you are!

ARNIE: I thought you'd get the message knowing that I had someone special guiding my life, and that you'd ask who that someone special was....

PEG: Yeah, that someone special was Babs. Without her, you're nothing. She's the glue that makes you a Christian. You're too weak to have made that decision by yourself. Rather than point me to the ONE WAY to salvation, you walked away from your Christian responsibility. Didn't you,...you worm.

ARNIE: Now wait a minute, Peg. I know there is only "One Way" to salvation, but there never seemed to be time to talk about such salvation with you.

PEG: I'll give you time to talk salvation. Here how about some rotten vegetables as my thanks to you for not giving me time to accept Jesus. Your silence allows me now to spend eternity in Hell rather in heaven with Him. (Throwing garbage at Arnie)

ARNIE: (He cries out) Babs! Babs, help me. Peg's throwing garbage at me.

Babs, where are you?

 SCENE III: Another part of Hell

NARRATOR: Arnie has run away from Peg. He was terrified as he didn't know where to turn to seek refuge in this strange place called Hell. Suddenly in the middle of his confusion, a voice cries out, Arnie! Over here. Who would know Arnie in this place? The voice turns out to belong to a former friend and business colleague, Moses Shariff.

MOSE: Arnie, in here. It's alright, it's me, Mose Shariff.

ARNIE: Oh, Mose, am I glad to see you. Peg Berlin has gone nuts. She was screaming at me at the top of her lungs, and she's throwing garbage at me. She said she is in Hell because of me. Me, Arnie Swartz. She's really violent.

MOSE: Now, now. Calm down.

ARNIE: Oh, Mose. I'm dying of thirst. Do you have anything cold to drink? A Coke? Pepsi? Water?

MOSE: Cold? Here? You always were a jokester, Arnie. In Hell, we have no ice. No snow. No sleet. Everything is hot!

ARNIE: Hell? What do you mean Hell? Mose, you mean this place really is Hell, and that you are in Hell too?

MOSE: Have you ever seen me frequent dives like this? If we were not in Hell, do you think that I would be spending time in a place like this? You know that I always had excellent taste. I had the very best of everything. My father was a successful merchant, and I followed in his footsteps. We Lebanese are excellent businessmen. With us, success is a habit.

ARNIE: I knew you were successful, Mose. We talked all the time at Rotary about your business branches, sales, taxes, the market.

MOSE: Yes, we talked about all of those things, but we never talked about the one most important thing in life, the "One Way" to salvation.

ARNIE: You know about Jesus and salvation? That doesn't make sense. You helped to organize the local Muslims to build a mosque in town. It was the only mosque in the state. You received many honors for your contribution to that project. How was I to know that you were interested in Christianity with your devotion to Islam.

MOSE: And why wouldn't I be interested? Did we not have conversations about your Bible and Jesus? Did we not discuss that Jerusalem as important holy city to we Muslims as well as Christians and Jews. The Koran has many similar passages to your Bible in it. Abraham is as revered in Islam as he is in both Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, Jesus is thought to be a great teacher...

ARNIE: (Interrupts Mose) Mose, Jesus was not a great teacher, He was the greatest teacher that ever lived. He used parables to teach so all could understand. He ministered to the poor. He fulfilled the scriptures. He healed the sick, and in an act of pure love and unselfishness, Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice so all humans would find the "One Way" to God, His Father.

MOSE: What you say NOW is very true, Arnie, but you never brought this truth to me while I was alive so I could consider Jesus to be my personal Savior? NEVER. Not after the opening prayer at Rotary. Not during our religious discussions. Nor at the time I almost dies of cancer ten years ago.

ARNIE: Well Mose, I didn't feel comfortable addressing the subject with you, I mean your being a zealous Muslim and all. You had a better knowledge of Islam than I had of Christianity. I didn't know how to combat your beliefs with my own Christian beliefs. 8

MOSE: Why didn't you pray for guidance to tell me of the "One Way" which Jesus offered? Would He not have guided you on this matter?

ARNIE: I suppose he would have, but I'm not good at praying.

MOSE: Were you not taught the Lord's Prayer?

ARNIE: Of course I was, but.

MOSE: But nothing, if God told you to ask for the necessities of life like bread, would he not provide you with the knowledge to witness for Him?

ARNIE: Well, I guess He would have....

MOSE: Do you not love Jesus?

ARNIE: Of course I do.

MOSE: Jesus said, "If you love me, feed my sheep." I was one of his sheep, why didn't you feed me.

ARNIE: I never considered the Muslims one of His sheep that needed fed.

MOSE: When Jesus told the Jews that not all of His sheep are in this pasture, He was referring to all non-Jews like us Arnie, The Gentiles of the world. Jesus knew His fellow Jews would reject Him, so He commanded His disciples to take His message to all corners of the world. So why didn't you feed His sheep?

ARNIE: To be honest with you, I was hoping since you are a decedent of Ishmael, that God would save you without my telling you about Jesus. After all you are descended from Abraham.

MOSE: Abraham yes, but that cannot save me, only Jesus can do that. Did Jesus not say, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no come unto the Father except through Me.

ARNIE: Wait a minute, how is it you know so much about Jesus and His teachings? How is it that you are so sure that Jesus is the One Way to salvation and yet be condemned to Hell?

MOSE: I am in Hell because no one took the time to confront me with the truth of the Gospels. In Hell, my eternal punishment is to read the New Testament of your Bible, and lament the fact that I missed the "One Way" sign to spend eternal life with Jesus. (Pause) You could have directed me to that "One Way" sign, Arnie, but you chose not to.

ARNIE: I meant to share His message of salvation with you, but the right time to share it with you never came about. I thought I would do it the next time we met. I didn't know you would die so young. (Reflecting) Why aren't you angry with me as Peg was for not telling her?

MOSE: Because Arnie, there's a building next door to me here in Hell with your name on the mail box! You'll be in Hell with me, and that makes Hell a little easier to accept. (Laughing) Hey everyone, meet Arnie, my new neighbor. (Laughing.)

ARNIE: (Running away) No. No. I'm not suppose to be here. I have accepted Jesus as my savior. I know the One Way to salvation. There must be a mistake.

MOSE: There's no mistake, Arnie. It's too late for you to turn you life the right way. Your have gone the wrong way on a one way street. Welcome to Hell, Arnie. (Laughing)

NARRATOR: Arnie seemingly has fainted from fright and disbelief. Was Mose correct. Has Arnie really died and gone to Hell. Did Arnie really miss his change to take the One Way straight and narrow street to Jesus? (Pause)

SCENE IV: Hellís Safe Haven?

NARRATOR: Arnie awakens in a doctors office as he renews his cry for help. The doctor is an old friend as it turns out. Is Arnie safe at last now that he is with another old friend?

ARNIE: Where...where am I?

DOC: You're in my office, Arnie. Don't you recognize my office after all the time you spent here?

ARNIE: Yes,..yes I do recognize it. Dr. Black. Jon Black, of course. How did I get here?

DOC: My nurse found you in the driveway, and we carried you in here. You have been moaning something about being Moses' new neighbor.

ARNIE: I had the most awful dream about Peg Berlin and Mose Shariff being in Hell and each blamed me for their eternal damnation. They claim I didn't tell them about the One Way to salvation and Jesus while they were alive, so they died a unbelievers.

DOC: Indeed, that was a dream. There is no heaven or hell. we both know that. When we die, we return to being dust. All that matters is the here and now and what we can do to make life easier for the poor souls on this planet.

ARNIE: Poor souls on this planet? Doc, God's plan for your life was not the dismal, pessimistic attitude you just expressed. What has happened to you?

DOC: Arnie, you know there is no God and there was no Godly plan for my life. Man evolved from nature, and man will return to nature after death. The belief in God is merely a state on mind which man created to help explain his very being.

ARNIE: Doc, you an evolutionist? Nonsense! How can you believe that evolutionist garbage after the lifetime you devoted to help save lives and mend broken bodies. Each person is a unique being created by God, otherwise you could have treated all of your patients with the same medical procedures like they were clones.

DOC: The physical being of mankind was the same; they were all attacked with diseases, famine, and maladies which stalk this world to make life miserable for mankind. Why did your God do that!

ARNIE: God didn't put disease, famine, and maladies in the world, only an evil person would do that. God is not evil. God loves mankind. He gave gifts to people like you to be able to combat those diseases which attack man, plus knowledge to others to overcome other maladies present in the world. Do you think the knowledge you had to deliver all those babies in your lifetime was done with your talent alone? God gave you the talent to heal people. That was God's gift of love for you to use to better serve His people.

DOC: My talent a gift from God to better serve His people? Nonsense, Arnie. Medicine was just a job. Nothing more. Medicine provided me with a nice life, plenty of money, lost of friends, and many great opportunities to see the world. God had nothing to do with it. I had a successful career due to my own hard work and dedicated study.

ARNIE: Doc, I can't believe I am hearing you correctly. Just a job? A nice life? An opportunity to travel? Your success is solely due to your own efforts, not God's purpose for you? Doc, God gave you those special talents and abilities to heal others. When you deny God, you deny the gifts He gave you.

DOC: Arnie, there is no God. I am an atheist. The God of which you speak does not exists. People like you created Him because you are weak and cannot stand on your own two feet. You created God to explain things which you cannot control or understand. Those of us in science and medicine have hard data and facts upon which we can rely to provide a meaning to life without having to create a divine being.

ARNIE: Is that so. Well how do you explain the recovery of our mutual friend, Tom, whose recovery from that terrible auto accident in which his wife died? He was given no chance to live by your so called godless medical professionals, but the prayers to God by people who knew and loved him, sparked his miraculous recovery. God gave Tom his life back, not the medical professionals. I can name other friends which you treated medically who still live and have the use of arms, legs, sight, hearing when you said you had done all you could do for them. Prayers which God answered, and the will to live which God gave to mankind was the difference.

DOC: You're talking rubbish, Arnie. You're hallucinating from your bad experiences with Peg and Mose. I'll give you a shot to bring down you temperature and restore you to your senses.

ARNIE: I am in my right senses, Doc, and you're not giving me a shot of anything. I'm hot because Hell is hot.

DOC: There is no Hell, Arnie, I told you that.

ARNIE: There is a Hell, and for some reason I'm in it. I must find the "One Way" out of here before I'm consumed by people like you who are apart of Hell. Jesus, I pray you show me the "One Way" out of Hell that I night come unto you.

DOC: Cry out to Jesus all you want, Arnie, there is no "One Way" because there is no God.

ARNIE: There is a God, Doc, and He loves you. He always has. He gave you abundant gifts, and you rejected Him.

DOC: If there is a God, why did you wait until now to present such a strong case of His existence? You had plenty of times to tell me about the so called "One Way" to Jesus so I could escape Hell while I was still alive on Earth.

ARNIE: Would you have listened if I did tell you? I wasn't on your social level, Doc. My contact with you was a professional one for the most part.

DOC: You seem to be a great believer in prayer, did you pray for me to find the "One Way" to salvation? Did you?

ARNIE: Well, no, but I often thought I should have prayed for you, Doc. Honest. I guess I didnít have enough commitment to seek hep to witness to you.

DOC: Even thought I don't believe in Hell, I know that I am not on Earth as I knew it. If you're correct that I am in Hell with Peg and Mose, I can get some satisfaction and even score with you. I think I'll perform some plastic surgery on you, or maybe some experiential surgery. I'll just give you this shot now, and....

ARNIE: No! No shot. I'm getting out of here. I'll find the "One Way" out of here yet.

NARRATOR: Arnie is fitfully turning in his sleep. He acts like he is fighting off the devil himself and running away to somewhere.

ARNIE: There, over there, there's a bright light. (Stage black, bright light off stage)

NARRATOR: In his dream Arnie hears: " Arnie, come unto me."

ARNIE: I know that voice. It's the voice of the shepherd calling His lost sheep. I'm coming Master, I'm coming. I can see the way now. I know the "One Way." I knew you'd find me, Lord. (Runs off stage towards light.)

Scene V: The Schwartz Living Room

BABS: Arnie! Arnie, wake up. What are you doing on your knees in front of the television set? The bright light from the blank screen is not good for your eyes.

ARNIE: What...! Oh, Babs. I must have been dreaming, but it seemed so real.

BABS: What are you talking about? I went to bed after our discussion about the ticket you got for going the wrong way on that one way street, and you must have fallen asleep while watching television.

ARNIE: Oh, Babs, I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I was in Hell, and that I met Peg Berlin, Mose Shariff, and Doc Black there. They all said that they were in Hell because I didn't take the time to tell them about Jesus and the "One Way" to salvation. I gave them all excuses for my being so lax about their personal salvation. They all blamed me for not witnessing to them while they were still on earth.

BABS: Well, Arnie. Have you witnessed to them about Jesus being the "One Way" to salvation?

ARNIE: No, I haven't. But it's not too late. I'll start on Monday to see each of them. Iíll process Christ in witnessing to them which I should have been all these years.

BABS: Monday? You can't see them Monday dear, you have to go to traffic court to protest your ticket for going the wrong way on that one way street tonight.

ARNIE: Oh, Babs, how can you even think of my going to court Monday? I was wrong. I'll put a check in the mail tomorrow. I have to be about God's work. I can't let my friends spend eternity in Hell . I have to expose them to God's love and the plans that He has for them. Let's go to bed. We have a big day at church tomorrow. (singing) I don't know how to love, Him.... You were right, Babs, that is a great song. Oh, and the actress was great who played Mary Magdalene too.

BABS: Can you believe him? Maybe he'll have to be Martin Luther tomorrow instead of the devil. Who would have thought that making a wrong turn on a one way street would wake Arnie up to the truth that there is only "One Way" to salvation which is through Jesus? As long as you are breathing, there is still time for you to achieve your own personal salvation through Jesus. Do it now. Donít delay! God is waiting to hear from you!

Curtain closes

 

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