FOOT IN THE DOOR
(Ephesians 4:26-27, handling anger, resisting Satan)
[needs three child puppets and one adult; one sign that says “Instant Life Replay” and has a button on it, and another sign with Ephesians 4:26-27 on it]
(Mrs. Beazley enters from one end of the stage, Arthur from the other. Arthur has a band-aid on his face. They meet each other in the middle.)
MRS. BEAZLEY: Hello, Arthur. Dear me. What has happened to you?
ART: (hanging head and mumbling) Nothing much.
MRS. B: Nothing much? But you look terrible! Did you have an accident?
ART: Not really. You know that bully, Luke, from school? He beat me up.
MRS. B: Why would Luke beat you up?
ART: I caught him smoking.
MRS. B: Well smoking certainly isn’t a good thing to do, but why would Luke beat you up because he was smoking? Was he afraid you would tell the teacher?
ART: I don’t know. He just got mad and beat me up. It’s kind of hard to explain. You had to be there.
MRS. B: Dear me. I just don’t understand how it happened. With all the new technology they have today, you’d think we could rewind a bit of our lives and re-play it—like instant replay.
[The instant replay sign pops up.]
MRS. B: (looking at the sign) My goodness. They think of everything these days. Hit the button, Arthur, and we’ll try to sort this out.
(Mrs. B. and Art drop out of sight. Luke and another puppet enter, hover to one side of the stage with backs turned to the audience. Art enters from other side of stage, (remove band-aid before entry), notices them and comes over to them.)
ART: Hey what are you guys doing?
(Luke and puppet friend turn around.)
LUKE: What’s it to you?
ART: You’re smoking, aren’t you? You shouldn’t be smoking. It kills your lungs and fries your brains and messes up everything in between.
LUKE: (mock horror) Oh, no! We might hurt ourselves. We shouldn’t smoke because Smartie Artie says we shouldn’t and Smartie Artie knows.
ART: Don’t call me Smartie Artie.
LUKE: (continuing to mock) Why not, Smartie Artie? You always think you know so much. You think you’re the Smoke Police. Are you going to turn us in for smoking? Maybe they’ll throw us in jail because Smartie Artie thinks we shouldn’t smoke.
ART: You know you shouldn’t be smoking. Our teacher told us all the horrible things smoking does to your body. And once you get started, it’s really hard to stop. Smoking is stupid.
LUKE: Are you calling me stupid, Smartie Artie?
ART: I’m saying it’s a stupid thing for anyone to smoke.
LUKE: So I’m stupid?
ART: You’re going to be sick if you keep on smoking.
LUKE: Oh, so now I’m stupid and sick, is that right Smartie Artie?
ART: Yes, Pukey Lukey, that’s right.
LUKE: Don’t call me Pukey Lukey.
ART: Why not? You called me Smartie Artie, Pukey Lukey.
LUKE: I told you not to call me that.
ART: Why not? If you’re going to smoke, Pukey Lukey fits you. You look kind of sick, Pukey Lukey. I’m going to tell the whole class to call you Pukey Lukey.
LUKE: You better not!
ART: Why not?
LUKE: ‘Cause I’ll beat you up.
ART: I’m not scared. You’re too sick to beat anyone up, Luke the Puke.
LUKE: Am not. (pushes Art)
ART: Are, too. (pushes Luke)
LUKE: Am not. (pushes back)
ART: Are, too. (starts to fight in earnest, finally falls from stage)
(Mrs. B. and Art rise straight up to their places and the instant replay sign falls out of sight. Art’s band-aid is in place again.)
MRS. B: Oh dear. You know I don’t like smoking, Arthur, but it didn’t help Luke to fight about it.
ART: (hangs head) I know. I want to show people at school that I am a Christian, and then I do dumb things like that. I didn’t mean to get into a fight, but it makes me so angry when people call me Smartie Artie.
MRS. B: Actually, Arthur, being smart is good. Next time someone calls you that, you should thank them for the compliment.
ART: (angrily) But I hate that name and everyone knows it.
MRS. B: The devil knows that, too.
ART: What do you mean?
MRS. B: Satan wants you to sin. And he knows when people call you Smartie Artie, it makes you angry. So when Satan gets someone to call you that name, it’s like putting his foot in your door.
ART: I don’t understand.
MRS. B: It’s like a salesman that comes to your door selling something. You don’t want to buy it, so you try to close the door. But he puts his foot in the door so you can’t close it. That way he can keep talking to you.
ART: But how is that like the devil?
MRS. B: Well, the Bible says, (sign pops up) “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath; Neither give place to the devil.”
ART: If the Bible says, “Be ye angry,” I guess I’d better obey and get really mad.
MRS. B: This verse isn’t telling you to be angry. It’s saying when you feel angry you’d better be careful because it’s very easy to sin when you’re angry. Satan likes to come around when you’re angry and put his foot in your door.
ART: How does he do that?
MRS. B: Normally you don’t get into much trouble, Arthur. But the devil knows if someone calls you that Smartie Artie, you’ll get angry, and if people push you, you’ll sin.
ART: So I have to shut the door on the devil before he gets his foot in. That means when someone calls me Smartie Artie and I feel angry I have to make sure than I don’t let that make me sin.
MRS. B: That’s right, Arthur. And maybe you need to apologize to Luke.
ART: (angrily) Apologize to that mean old Lukey Pukey? He pushed me before I pushed him! And he called me the Smoke Police. And he shouldn’t have been smoking, anyway.
MRS. B: Arthur, I think the devil has his foot in your door again.
ART: Oh, no. I did it again. I guess I did say some things to Luke that I should apologize for, even if Luke doesn’t. I wish the devil would keep his foot out of my door.
MRS. B: He will if you just shut the door.
ART: Right. I’m going to slam that door so hard that the devil’s foot will ache for a long time.
MRS. B: Now you’re talking, Smartie Artie!
ART: (shakes angrily) Mrs. B!
MRS. B: Yes?
ART: (sighs and calms himself) Thank you for the compliment.