Meryl hesitates when given the opportunity to do something "big" for God.
by Laura Milner
Romans 8:5-11 "Life in the Spirit" sermon
Meryl A Christian Radio D.J. who yearns for more ministry opportu- nities.
Voice The "still, small voice of the Holy Spirit" in Meryl.
Situation: At the close of his radio show, Meryl hears from the "still, small voice" and hopes to hear from God about a big ministry opportunity, but finds that his struggle will be more difficult than he dreamed. He has become attached to his possessions, particularly his motorcycle.
As lights come up, MERYL sits at a microphone with a headset on, finishing his closing remarks for his Christian radio program.
MERYL Well, that wraps things up here at The Lighthouse FM. Don't forget, Jesus is the Light of the World and He'll be up all night. Good night and God bless. (pushes boom mic away, takes a deep breath and stretches back in his chair, then says a quick prayer, eyes closed) Thank you, Lord. Thank you for blessing our listeners, for blessing the work of this station. You just-we just ... I don't know what to say, Lord.
VOICE (Speaks from a location offstage) You did fine, Meryl.
MERYL (Opens eyes, glances behind him. Finding no one, briskly shakes his head and rubs his face trying to become more alert and muses) The voices in my head are getting louder. My wife said this would happen one day. Oh, well. (looks at watch, places both hands on desk to stand, but pauses, weary but smiling, eyes closed)
VOICE Nice show, Meryl. You wanna know something? (MERYL opens eyes, looks behind him again, looks puzzled and closes eyes again, to listen harder) You know something, Meryl?
MERYL (Opens eyes, excited) Wait a minute. I think I know who you are. Are you ...?
VOICE Of course, Meryl. I am 'the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.'
MERYL The 'still, small voice.' I knew it! I knew you were real. (opens eyes briefly, then closes them again) I knew it.
VOICE I've heard every prayer. I'm going before you, Meryl. I am equipping you for-
MERYL (Finishing the VOICE's sentence, passionate) For ministry! For the work of ministry, right?? Praise God! Praise God!
VOICE Meryl, the Father has searched your heart and He knows-
MERYL Yes, yes!! I told my wife this would happen, but she didn't believe me. (wipes at his eyes as though brushing away tears) But I told her. I said, "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord." I know the plans. (looks toward ceiling) That's in the Bible!
VOICE Yes, I know. I know. The Lord has answered all the desires of your heart.
MERYL I know, I know. He's so good! He's so ... He's-
VOICE He wants you to know something.
MERYL (Suddenly calm, determined) I'm ready. Where does He want me to go?
VOICE Well, in the isolated tribal peoples of Africa, centuries of empty sacrifices to false gods has turned to true worship of the one living God-
MERYL AFRICA!! This is-Oh! This is big!! The natives in poverty. The African sun baking the parched land. Home of African lions and panthers and gigantic flying insects carrying diseases, like malaria and dysentery and- Wait. (wilting) Oh, no. Oh, no. I can't do it. I can't go. (ad libs: oh no, no, no ...)
VOICE Meryl ... (always gentle) Meryl, what is it? Why can't you go?
MERYL You know!! I'm allergic to wasp stings ... and who knows what else? I swell up and my tongue gets huge, my throat closes up, then I wheeze and choke and ... and ... my eyes roll back in my head until-
VOICE Meryl. Meryl. You're not going to Africa.
MERYL (Still hysterical) Then they stick big, sharp needles in my whole body and- (alert) What?
VOICE You're not going to Africa.
MERYL I'm not?
VOICE You're not.
MERYL But you said-
VOICE You didn't let me finish.
MERYL You stopped talking.
VOICE No, Meryl, you stopped listening. Okay. Well, let's see. You've been patient in trials, passionate in worship and faithful in many small things. Hm. Many, many, many small things. You have a childlike heart.
MERYL (Beaming) That's what my wife says.
VOICE Meryl, just south of the border, in a tiny Mexican village, the children descend the canyon walls on narrow, winding foot paths to reach the valley below, where they-
MERYL They wait to hear a word from the Lord, the maker of Heaven! And earth! And canyons ... and valleys! Waiting for fishers of men bringing the Word of the Lord with the full armor of God and a Bible. That's me! Me and my trusty motorcycle, Trigger! And the clean, fresh air. Canyon air.
MERYL I can smell it now!
MERYL And my Bible and ... did I already say Bible?
VOICE Meryl, a Bible is good, but you'll need something else, some well designed, sturdy footwear.
MERYL That's right! BOOTS!! And leather chaps and a new motorcycle helmet. I love being a missionary. I need a new BIKE, too. Ooh, I know the perfect-
MERYL No? Oh. The old bike'll do. I can live with that.
MERYL (Focusing more fully) I don't need new chaps either, do I?
MERYL (Good naturedly) Or a new helmet.
MERYL (Bravely) No chaps, no helmet. All right. Anything else?
VOICE No bike. (MERYL's face goes blank) There. The Father has read your heart. He is well pleased. Jesus has placed within you a servant's heart, and His Spirit. You have found favor with the Lord. Meryl? (no answer) Meryl, are you still listening?
MERYL (His face contorts into a pained expression as he covers his face with his hands) My chest hurts.
VOICE I see.
MERYL My stomach doesn't feel very good.
VOICE I know. Do you know what that is?
MERYL (Hands still covering his face) No. Well, yes. I think so... I guess I don't know.
VOICE That's the Flesh, Meryl.
MERYL It hurts.
VOICE That is its nature.
MERYL (Finally straightens, uncovers face) I've got to think about this. Just let me think about this. This is hard, this Flesh stuff.
VOICE I know, Meryl. That's why I'm here.
Lights dim to blackout.
Word count: 1002