WHO HAVE I TOUCHED?

PASTOR:
(Talking on phone in living room or home office) Of Course Judy, we'll be sure to keep you in our prayers. (Pause) I know. I wish I had an answer for you. (Pause) I never thought he'd leave either. I'm so sorry that our counseling sessions weren't more effective. (Pause) Yes. (Pause) Well you know that all the counseling in the world can't force a man to be faithful if his mind's made up not to. (Pause) Sure. (Pause) Well we hate to see you leave but I certainly understand. (Pause) Oh yeah, Pastor Taylor has a very good church. (Pause) We love you too. (Pause) Of course I'll give her your best. (Hangs up phone, drops head)

GAIL:
(Enters) Who was that?

PASTOR:
Judy Meyerson (Sighs and looks down)

GAIL:
What's wrong?

PASTOR:
Bill left.

GAIL:
No.

PASTOR:
He left a note I feel so bad, like I failed them.

GAIL:
You didn't fail them. You spent hours counseling them. You aren't responsible for his sin.

PASTOR:
I know that. But shouldn't I be able to have more of an influence on people? This is the third marriage to break up in this church in under a year. Why am I not reaching them?

GAIL:
Don't beat yourself up. You deliver the message. It's up to them to act on it.

PASTOR:
I've been starting to wonder if I made a mistake becoming a Pastor.

GAIL:
Jerry!

PASTOR:
Maybe I wanted to be a pastor more than God wanted me to be one.

GAIL:
Honey, you can't let this get to you like this.

PASTOR:
There must be another way he can use me…where I can make a difference.

GAIL:
These people love you.

PASTOR:
Maybe they just pity me.

GAIL:
Oh stop it!

PASTOR:
I pray for the sick and they die. I counsel married couples and they divorce. I give an altar call and you'd think I invited them to jump in front of a moving train.

GAIL:
But attendance keeps growing, and…

PASTOR:
What good are numbers? We aren't here to be a social club. I could open a nightclub and have a song and dance routine.

GAIL:
Are you in this for God or for you? You need to get on your knees and seek God. Besides, we can't open a night club... you can't sing. (Nudges with elbow)

PASTOR:
You're right. Don't worry, I haven't written a resignation letter to the board…yet. Is that the mail?

GAIL:
(Shuffles through stack of mail) The usual. Bills. (Reads) You could be our next millionaire!

PASTOR:
That's for me right?

GAIL:
(Looks closer at one of the envelopes) This is from the prison. Oh my. It's from Josh Renfield.

PASTOR:
Another one of my success stories.

GAIL:
(Hands him the letter) It's addressed to you.

PASTOR:
(Takes envelope and speaks mockingly): Dear pastor, why couldn't you reach me?
(Opens envelop and begins to read.)
Dear Pastor Jerry. I just wanted to write and let you know what is going on with me. I don't get out much (Ha Ha). Really I wanted to thank you for being the kind of pastor you are. One of your congregation members has been visiting me the year I've been here. He wants to be kept anonymous to you and the rest of the congregation because he says he doesn't want his motives tainted by what he calls the praise of men. He started bringing me your tapes, and I've been listening. Three weeks ago my friend from church led me in the sinners prayer. I'll be getting out of here in five months. I hope you can help me select a bible college. I want to start a ministry that goes into the prisons. I just wanted to let you know that you've played a part in changing my life. Sincerely, Josh Renfield

GAIL:
That's wonderful! See God is using you to touch peoples lives.

PASTOR:
Wow. I had no idea. I mean this blows me away.

GAIL:
Not to mention the fact that you've had enough influence on someone in the congregation to go on his own into the prison.

PASTOR:
It's nice to hear some good news. Praise God.

GAIL:
I'd say that He's trying to tell you not to be discouraged.

PASTOR:
I guess, but why do these victories have to be so few and far between?
(Knock at the door)

GAIL:
I'll get it.
(goes to door)
Hello?

JOAN:
Is this Pastor Stewart's house?

GAIL:
Uh, yes…

JOAN:
I'm so sorry to just show up like this, but I'm in town on business, and I was hoping I could talk to him.

GAIL:
Why, uh… sure. Come in.
(Joan enters) Jerry this is (realizes she doesn't know her name) I'm sorry…

JOAN:
That's okay. I'm Joan Philips. (Shakes pastors hand) I'm sure you don't remember me. I was here for my cousin's funeral. Beth Jacobs.

PASTOR:
Oh yes. Poor Beth. We were all shocked. It was so sudden.

JOAN:
I was devastated. I was bitter. We had been very close. When you gave the invitation to meet Jesus the only thing I could think was A lot of good it did Beth. But then on the plane home, I couldn't get your words out of my head. I kept hearing you describe where Beth is now. I tried reading the magazines and listening to music, but your voice over rode everything. When I got home, I visited a church in our tow. I told the pastor there what was happening, and he prayed with me. I guess I answered your altar call a few days later a few hundred miles away.

GAIL:
That's wonderful! (Hugs Joan)

JOAN:
I had to come back here on business. I looked up your address. I hope you don't mind.

PASTOR:
Oh no.

JOAN:
I just thought…well the phone is so… I just wanted to look you in the eye and say thank you. I'll never be the same again because of you.

PASTOR:
Give God the credit.

JOAN:
Yes of course, but he used you. I've got to run. I'm due at a meeting across town. God bless you! (Exits)

PASTOR:
This is unbelievable.

GAIL:
I think it's quite believable. God's got you right where He wants you. In a position to help people find Jesus.

PASTOR:
Thanks for being there to encourage me. (Looks at watch) I've got to start working on Sundays message. I've got a congregation to reach for Jesus.


Copyright © 2001 by Robert J Lee

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