godspeak (a two-person play)

written in 2000



Jesus:   I have stayed here for forty days, forty nights.  I have not eaten, not rested.  I have wandered these woods as I made the Israelites wander for forty years.  I am ready, Father.  You know I am yours, you I am prepared.  From here, I begin my ministry, from here, I step forward.


(Satan crawls out from offstatge) 

Jesus:   I am hungry. 

Satan:  Hungry are you? 

Jesus:   I knew you would come. 

Satan:  I’m glad you were thinking of me.  We haven’t talked in a while, you and I.  How are things in the Silver City. 

Jesus:   The happenings there do not concern me now. 

Satan: That’s right, you’re still trying to get used to this thing these humans of yours call time.  You never thought it would be so hard, did you?  These frail bodies you created… so close to the image of you.  Never thought forty days without social contact would be so hard.  No food to eat, no place to go, not even an angel to comfort you.  Poor would-be king.  Look what you’ve become. 

Jesus:   You know why this had to be done, now get on with it. 

Satan:  My word!!! I thought love was patient.  No, no, Jesus.  I’m not going to make this hard on you, don’t worry.  It will be over soon enough.  It’s just that I miss being in your presence.  Since you’ve been down here, I’ve been so busy I seldom even get a chance to think about the City.  Do you miss it as much as I do? 

Jesus:  What I long for concerns you not. 

Satan:  I’m just trying to catch up on old times.  Open up to me.  You used to. 

Jesus:   Yes, I used to. You also used to love me. 

Satan:  Don’t let my hate fool you, Jesus.  I’m still highly interested in you. 

Jesus:   Only for your own foolish desires and manipulations. 

Satan:  Picky, picky.  Of course I’m only interested in you for my own plans!!!  But that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested.  C’mon, now Jesus… would it be so bad to let me know just a little bit about how you’re feeling. 

(Satan begins eating a fruit) 

Jesus:   Your servant, the snake. He was fond of fruit. 

Satan:  That plan was almost too simple.  The poor reptile never thought about anything… the wretched old thing crawling around on his stomach all the time now.  He still thinks I owe him something. 

Jesus:   You owe many people many things. 

Satan:  And even more owe things to me.  Would you like a bite? 

Jesus:   How like you, Lucifer.  Using the very fruit that the snake used to tempt Eve against me.  But I won’t give in that easy – I thirst for no more than the living water and bread of life. 

Satan:  No Fruit of Knowledge for you? 

Jesus:   What need would I have for such a thing?  I am the Word, I am knowledge.  There is nothing that escapes my grasp. 

Satan:  There are some things.  How can you know everything?  You have no idea what sin feels like – unless things have changed in my favor. 

Jesus:   I have no need to know what sin feels like.  That would defeat the purpose of me. 

Satan:  Might I inquire into your infinite knowledge, oh master of the cosmos? 

Jesus:   And what, please tell, would you admit to not knowing? 

Satan:  Tell about the bread of life. 

Jesus:   I am the bread of life.  Whoever eats of me shall live forever. 

Satan:  Make a morsel then. 

Jesus:   Excuse me? 

Satan:  For old time’s sake.  Make us something to eat.  Make some bread, that’s simple enough for you, isn’t it?  There – those rocks.  Tell them to become bread.  I hunger.  And, I am sure, after forty days with nothing to eat, you are too. 

Jesus:   Forty days, and no food. 

Satan:  Nothing to fill the shrinking human stomach.  It’s ok – you never expected it to be this hard.  You never had to work one of these skins before.  There is so much about them you never got to experience.  Starvation isn’t fit for a king.  Make those stones into bread. 

Jesus:   A simple task. 

Satan:  Not even a simple task!!! It’s a mere thought!  Just for a second, just for a moment, think that you want some bread to eat.  You are Lord of the Universe!!! Surely, they would be willing to serve you at a moment’s notice!  Go on Lord, make them comply to your will. 

Jesus:   A mere thought.  A mere thought, and light arises from darkness.  A mere thought, and the waters are told where to stay.  A mere thought, and fire reigns down on Sodom and Gomorrah.  A mere thought and an ass speaks.  A mere thought, and the most beautiful of all angels is created.  A mere thought and my human hunger, vanquished by the service of these rocks. 

Satan:  Just one, measly thought. 

Jesus:   Leave my hunger to myself, Satan.  It is written, Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God.  It is written, and so shall it be.  This hunger is for me to endure, not for me to end early.  My hunger is for God – not for a piece of simple bread.  Leave my hunger to myself, Satan.  It is my burden, not yours.