BEHIND THE MASK (870 words)
(God sees our hearts. 1 Samuel 16:7)
by Deb Brammer
[uses a boy and girl puppet; props: 2 pair of novelty glasses with noses, and a sign with 1 Sam 16:7]
(Zach enters from one side of the stage and whistles or hums, amusing himself. Then Zoe enters from the other side, wearing a nose-and-glasses mask.)
Zoe: Hi, Zach.
Zach: Zoe? Is that you?
Zoe: Yup. It’s me.
Zach: I hardly recognized you in that mask. It’s really cool. Can I try it on?
Zoe: Well, I need this mask. But I have another one you can use. Come on.
(Both exit together. Singing or whistling is heard from backstage. Both re-enter wearing masks.)
Zoe: You really look funny, Zach.
Zach: You do, too. I can hardly remember what your real nose looks like. Take your mask off a minute.
Zoe: Sorry. I…uh…I think I’ll leave my mask on. Do you want to go play at the playground? We could see who can swing the highest. (swings back and forth)
Zach: Or we could play on the teeter-totter.
Zoe: You bounce too hard. Last time we teeter-tottered you teetered me right onto the ground. I had to totter around pretty carefully after that. (walks unsteadily)
Zach: OK. We’ll swing first. Last one there is a rotten banana!
Zoe: I don’t think we better run. With these masks on we might trip and fall.
Zach: Then let’s take them off. They’re getting a little hot and sweaty anyway. (exits to remove mask)
Zoe: (calls to Zach offstage) Uh…maybe we should just walk. I’ve got my good pants on and I don’t want to get them dirty.
Zach: (re-entering) Why do I get the funny feeling that you don’t want to take your mask off?
Zoe: I don’t know. I could take it off, I guess, but . . .uh . . .I just bought it and I want to get my money’s worth.
Zach: Is that the real reason you don’t want to take your mask off?
Zoe: Well, actually, when I woke up this morning I looked in the mirror and I found this big red pimple on my nose. (touches nose) I thought maybe if I wore this mask, no one would notice it.
Zach: Aren’t you a little young for pimples? You’re not even a teenager yet.
Zoe: I know. I asked my nose the same question, but it didn’t give me an answer.
Zach: How long do you plan on wearing that mask? Forever?
Zoe: No. I’ll take it off as soon as the pimple heals.
Zach: That could take days! And by the time that one is healed, you could have another one.
Zoe: I never thought about that.
Zach: I’m your friend, Zoe. I won’t laugh at you, no matter how awful your pimple looks.
Zoe: Thanks, Zach, but I think I’ll stick with the mask.
Zach: Why? I know you’ve got a pimple now anyway, so it doesn’t do much good to hide it.
Zoe: Well, maybe. Maybe I’ll take it off when I go to bed tonight. Then no one will be able to see it.
Zach: God will see it.
Zoe: (moaning, hanging head and covering head with hands) Oh no. It’s hopeless. I can hide it from people when I’m not alone, but God is always there. I’ll never be able to take my mask off. I’m doomed. Who would think that one pimple would ruin my whole life?
Zach: Really, Zoe, aren’t you over-reacting just a little bit? It’s just a pimple. And God sees it even when you’re wearing a mask. He also sees lots of other stuff that I can’t see even when you’re not wearing a mask. Don’t you remember that verse we learned in Sunday School? I think it’s in 1 Samuel.
Zoe: Oh, yeah. (sign pops up and they turn to read it) It says, “Man looketh at the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Mrs. Dooright said we can fool people by doing good things, but God sees what we’re really like.
Zach: Right. If we go to church, and put money in the offering plate, and get good grades, and stay out of trouble, some people think we are good Christians. But actually, some people who do lots of good things, aren’t true Christians at all.
Zoe: And some Christians do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. People think they are good, but God sees the sin in their hearts. (covers heart with hand) We can’t hide anything from God.
Zach: That’s right.
Zoe: Thanks, Zach. You have really helped me.
Zach: Good. I like helping people. You can take your mask off now.
Zoe: (shakes head) No. I don’t think so.
Zach: Why not? Didn’t 1 Samuel 16:7 teach you anything?
Zoe. Sure. (turns to look at sign) It tells me that God sees my pimple no matter how hard I try to hide it. But people look on the outward appearance so a mask works just fine for them. Let’s go swing.
(Zoe turns around and heads offstage, and exits.)
Zach: Girls! They’re hopeless! Hey Zoe! Wait for me!
(Zach follows and exits.)