Scene 4: Daryl versus Greed
The scene opens with Daryl and Jenny sitting at a table in a back room of the church on Sunday morning. A Sunday school class just met in this room and let out. A few people with Bibles are standing around, talking quietly. They slowly walk out of the room. Once they are alone, Daryl and Jenny start talking.
JENNY: (looking scared, talking urgently and quietly) I am so afraid of this lack of money! Daryl, we have medical bills and a dying van that we can’t possibly afford to pay for. But we also have to pay for insurance and gas and other things. Thankfully, the church pays for our house, but that’s about it!
DARYL: (gives Jenny’s hand a squeeze, gets up and walks to a nearby window and stares out) I just don’t know what to do about all this. The church money isn’t enough right now. What about you going and getting another job waitressing? That might help us out.
JENNY: The kids are almost old enough to leave home alone for a while. Can you do more of your church work at home?
DARYL: I suppose I can do that and kind of watch the kids, too. But so much of my pastor’s work is out driving around, visiting people in the hospital, prayer meetings, lunches, and other things. I can try that. The other option—my old jobs—isn’t a very good one. I could go back to logging. But there’d be no part-time with that job. I would have to resign as pastor. Bouncing, I could do on week nights, but that never paid very well.
JENNY: (gets up and walks to the window and puts her hand on Daryl’s shoulder) No. Please don’t even consider those jobs. Logging sure paid you better, but it has long hours and I don’t want you in that danger. The bouncing job is too dangerous. I know you are a very strong man and are great in a fight, but all it would take is one fight to go bad and you could die. Or accidentally kill a man. Please don’t consider those jobs, Hon!
DARYL: (turns from window and looks at Jenny) Okay, Babe. I won’t. But we are in a tight spot right now. Can we look into the local restaurants tomorrow to see about getting you a job?
JENNY: (gets a determined look) Yes, of course. That’s what we’ll have to do. And pray and ask God if that is what He wants us to do. We cannot forget God.
DARYL: No. Of course not. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Deuteronomy 8:11
JENNY: Very good. I didn’t get a chance to hear you practice your sermon, but you got it done, right?
DARYL: I did procrastinate a lot. In fact I am so depressed about this whole money thing that I was downright slothful yesterday, but I did still manage to get a pretty nice sermon on John 15:1-8 prepared.
JENNY: Great! Hey, it’s almost time for the service to start. Do you want walk me to the sanctuary? (starts moving toward the door)
DARYL: (takes a step then looks around the room) No, Babe. Go on over, I want to get this room cleaned up. There are tables and chairs and Bibles all over the place! (turns to get to work cleaning the room)
JENNY: (walking out) Okay, see you in a few, then!
A moment after Jenny leaves the room, Daryl’s cell phone rings. He looks at the number and shakes his head. Then answers.
DARYL: Hello? … Yes this is Daryl. … We owe how much for that ER visit? … But we have insurance! … They didn’t pay for ANY of it? (exasperated) … You want the money by the 30th? … Well I don’t have it. … You’ll accept it in two payments? (gets angry and talks louder) … Well that’s still more than I can scrape up. I’m really busy right now. I’ll have to talk to my wife, but I’m not optimistic about you getting any of my money soon. Bye. (hangs up)
Daryl pulls a chair back really roughly and flops into it. He puts his head down on the table. His Bible is nearby. He grabs it and flips it open and takes the note cards of his sermon out and drops them on the table. He flips them over from the sermon on John 15:1-8 to the blank back sides. He clicks open a pen and starts frantically thumbing through his Bible and jotting notes like a madman. After a few minutes, he gathers up the cards and sits back, looking off into the distance. Susan pokes her head into the room and knocks on the door. Daryl turns and looks at her.
SUSAN: Pastor, they are ready for you out there. Is everything okay?
DARYL: Yes, Susan, I’ll be alright. Thank you. I’ll just follow you in there.
They leave the room and walk down the hall. Susan opens a side door and sneaks back to her seat. Daryl walks past Jenny and his kids and goes up to the front of the sanctuary. He sighs and sets his Bible down on the pulpit. The room is silent. Everybody in the small congregation is looking at him. He flips the Bible open and pulls out the note cards. He takes a look at both sides, and then holds them so he’s looking at them straight on.
The demon representing Greed suddenly shoves the double doors in the back open. He is tall and lean and dressed impeccably in a dark business suit and carrying a brief case. Daryl’s head snaps up and he looks at the demon.
GREED: (haughty) Money, money, money. You might not love it, but you sure do need it. And buddy, I’ve seen just how badly you need it. (as he talks, he walks slowly down the aisle toward Daryl)
DARYL: Jenny and I can make this work. Sure, we owe a lot. But I make a salary here, and she can make a fair amount of money waitressing part-time. We trust God. He will provide!
GREED: Surely God will not provide for you! You just took a call only two minutes ago. Yet another bill that you cannot pay—will not be able to pay. No matter what your intentions are. Preach your second sermon now. Aren’t these people richer that you are? Do they work as hard as you do? Doesn’t Susan—your loyal church secretary—have a husband who has never worked a day in his life, yet he is a millionaire? How is it fair that you would toil and struggle your whole life and he drives whatever car he likes around town and fishes all day for the fun of it? How is that fair? Just he alone… could pay all your bills with a single check today. Look at your other church members! How many of them tithe as God has commanded? You owe it to yourself and to these people to preach your sermon on giving. Shame them into giving more than they do. Tell them how many bills you have. They will give you all the money you need and more. Have them take an extra offering just for you. Threaten to quit unless they reevaluate your pay. Do all this today. You will have money and be happy! (he’s now walked up to the first row, only a few feet back from the pulpit)
DARYL: Demon, I cite Matthew 6:25-34.
GREED: Will God put cash in your wallet? Will God give you a check TODAY that you can give to your debt collectors, the garage, and the insurance company? You are in debt today. Your angry exhortations today will make you debt free tomorrow!
DARYL: You cannot cause me to sin. I am stronger than you!
GREED: Prove it! (tosses briefcase off to the side and goes into a strong fighting stance)
Daryl starts to growl from deep inside. In a moment it is a full-throated bellow. The sturdy oak pulpit, weighing more than 200 pounds is suddenly hefted over Daryl’s head. He bounds forward and off the steps and takes the pulpit crashing down onto Greed. Greed is plowed backward and the pulpit smashes the ground and breaks. Daryl hops over the smashed pulpit and dashes forward while Greed is stunned and lands a vicious shoulder to Greed’s midsection and Greed goes flying. Greed’s fighting style is taekwondo, so he does lots of high kicks at Daryl’s head. But Daryl is fast and big enough that he slips under the kicks and is able to strike the head and body of Greed, sometimes Daryl even does some low kicks and sweeps that knock Greed off his feet. The fight mostly travels up and down the aisle, then in the back and front of the sanctuary. Daryl is beating Greed quite impressively, so Greed gets to his briefcase and opens it. He pulls out a pair of nunchucks and starts whipping them around. After Daryl takes a couple of blows from the nunchucks, he falls to the ground. Greed rushes up behind him and hooks the nuchuck chain around Daryl’s neck and pulls. Daryl falls limp. Greed vanishes.
The sanctuary is in its original condition. Daryl is in front of the unbroken pulpit and he’s got the cards on edge. He quickly flips them to the side of the sinful sermon on giving (sermons on giving are not usually sinful unless they are written with sinful motivations and are not from God). Daryl starts preaching with more passion than he usually has, and is beating the pulpit, waving his Bible around wildly, and sweating, spitting, and with wild hair as the scene fades out. We can show images of the people in the sanctuary’s faces looking surprised. Then show clips of hands tossing checks and cash into the offering plate.