My initial years of writing were spent in exploring poetry and then one day as a sixteen year old, through the efforts of my mother, I started writing radio plays for a radio station in Addis Ababa , and then into regular plays, one of which comes to my mind today.
A play called ‘Muscle Power’. A few years ago, someone from Dubai, said he’d seen the play as a youngster and asked if I still had the script. I fished into my old bags and found the script, old and dusty, typed it all over, since there were no computers those days for me to have had a soft copy, and strangely found I didn’t have to change a single word or dialogue.
The play was based on Peter and Andrew who had joined Jesus as his disciples. It showed Peter, burly, muscular and strong, literally trying to be the bodyguard for Christ, and then being brought home weeping by his brother Andrew after denying Christ at the trial. Andrew, smaller built, and shorter holds his brother and says, “Peter, Jesus didn’t call you to be his bodyguard! He called you so He could be yours!”
That play moved out of the walls of the church, was mentioned by a newspaper columnist who had come to see it, in one of her reviews in Mumbai, and is still remembered by a few.
But what I remember is the altar call given in different churches after the play was enacted.
Those who came forward were not weak, suffering, and people who the world considered failures, no, those who came to the altar were the strong, the brave ones, single mothers who told me that they were done with being known as strong and brave, successful businessmen who I was shocked to see, broken and crying like babies.
One scene shows Peter in the boat during the storm, trying with his muscle to hoist the sails, and battle the storm with his bulging muscles and then in sheer helplessness turns to his sleeping master, who smiles, gets up and says, “Peace, Be still!”
And yet later, he tries again and again to protect Jesus, hardly realizing that those hefty muscles the world saw were too puny to handle circumstances, till His Lord did just that. It was only after a broken Peter realized whose muscle it was that mattered, that Jesus made use of him and said, “Feed my sheep!”
I can still hear the voice of Jesus in the play, calming the ferocious winds.
Or are you too busy to run to Him for help, instead, wearily using your own puny muscle to calm those ferocious winds battering your life?
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