There is never a shortage of drama at the Christian County Jail, but tonight was a little different. We are working our way through the book of Acts in our small group Bible study. After one of the guys read through the chapter my partner Brian Coatney suggested they put on a play about what we just read.
At first I wasn’t sure the guys were going to go for it, but once they agreed the rehearsals began. We usually meet in a gym so there is plenty of room. Brian and I moved over to one side and let them get together and discuss their parts. For about 30 minutes or so the five guys in Bible study stood with Bible’s in hand and discussed how to go about their presentation while Brian and I talked of other things.
As we waited for them to be ready I could see a guard in the control tower and it made me think about his perspective of what we were doing. All he could see was the five guys standing huddled together at the free throw line and the two teachers off by themselves talking. From his vantage point, and not knowing really what we were doing, I bet he thought to his self “What kind of Bible study is this?” The time finally came when the guys were ready for the play; so Brian and I turned to pay attention. You could feel the excitement and anticipation as one of them started to read as his job was narrating.
The first part had only three characters Jesus, Saul and Ananias. You could tell they wanted to really get into it when Jesus said in a low authoritarian voice “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Saul was kneeling on the floor covering his eyes from the effects of the great light that subsequently left him blinded. He said, “Who art thou, Lord?” as he looked up hesitantly. Meanwhile Ananias was getting ready to enter. As he laid his hands on Saul, so he might receive his sight, Saul took a little creative license as he rubbed his eyes he said, “Thank you Lord, Hallelujah!” which was met with a joyful response from the sold out capacity crowd of two.
As the scene shifted to the last half of the chapter and the new characters Peter, Aeneas, Tabitha, or Dorcas in the Greek, and some of the other widows, the excitement was growing. There was a little confusion as to who was who for a moment. Someone said, “You’re Aeneas aren’t you?” This was met with the reply “No, I’m the dead girl!” Of course anytime a full grown, obviously alive, man says, “No, I’m the dead girl!” it’s sure to provoke a laugh.
The dead girl Dorcas lay on a bench as Peter and the other widows played out the scene. The guy playing one of the other widows held out his hands to show Peter the garments Dorcas had created, but Peter wasn’t even looking that way. Just another one of those missed cue’s that makes for a great amateur play. As the play came to an end Peter turned to the others and said, “Ya’ll gotta get out” and with that he turned back to the dead girl, laid hands on him and helped her to his feet. As the narrator read “And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord…” THE END
As Brian and I walked down the hall to leave he said, “This will be one of those things I’ll remember when I’m in the nursing home.” We talked about the play on the way home and had a great laugh. I know those men will remember it too, and I’m sure they now have an insight into Acts 9 that will never be taken from them. When it was all said and done I felt it was an honor to be one of the two audience members at the Christian County Jail’s production of Acts chapter 9.
Written by Louie