KEEP THE LIGHT ON (c)2005, 2008
A One Act Play - by Sue Seaman
The next morning:
Her mother (holding a note):
Frank, why did she leave? We could have sorted things out.
Donít upset yourself Mary. We gave her everything we could. Maybe that was the problem. She didnít want for anything. But she has chosen to turn away from the God she excepted as a child. She has chosen the world.
Do you think sheíll be OK? She has left without any of her warm clothes and sheís so young and there are so many dangers and...(tears form in her motherís eyes)
Donít cry. Iím sure sheíll come home once her money runs out. We have to believe that the Lord will watch over her and that she will remember who she can turn to when things gets hard.
Her mother (remembering back to her daughterís childhood):
She loved church. She loved Sunday school and the youth club - until her friends started to slip away one by one. And she just followed.
Where did we go wrong?
We didnít go wrong. She grew up. She grew up and she made her choices - even if they were the wrong choices. We can bring her before the Lord tonight at the prayer meeting. Why donít we leave a light on in her bedroom? If she passes, she will know that she is still welcome here.
The next morning:
I feel so much more positive then yesterday, Frank. I really feel our prayer has been answered. I believe that our Meg will come home - when she comes to her senses.
She knows that we will be here for her.
And she knows that we love her.
We will keep that light on every night in her bedroom until she returns!
Ten years pass but every night the light in Megís bedroom burns brightly. There is hope in their hearts. The Lord has given them the hope and the light keeps burning.
Meanwhile Meg has started to see that that the world was not such a pleasurable place when you were living in a bed-sit. The partying, the drinking, the drug taking and live-in partners Ė none of them really satisfied. She was as far away from God as she could ever be. She was moving from one town to the next working as a barmaid in pubs and clubs. But had God abandoned her? He was beginning to re-light the flame that once burned in her heart Ė one that would never go out - even in the darkest hour.
One morning after a night of drinking Meg awoke with her head pounding. But she also began to come to her senses. Reaching for her handbag next to the bed, she opened it and rummaged inside for the one photo that she had kept all those years. Her parents smiling at each other on their 25th wedding anniversary. Tears began to stream down her face. She got out of bed, dressed and packed. Within ten minutes she was leaving a note for her partner telling him she was going home.
By the time Meg pulled up in her car outside her parentís house it was late evening. She pulled over and turned off the ignition. Looking up she saw a light in her bedroom window. It was a warm comforting light. It was a light that seemed to say ĎIím homeí. It spoke to her of warmth and love. The love she now realised, she had missed these last ten years. Now she was home.
She had missed the parents who had nursed her back to health when she was small. Missed the parents who had helped her through her studies at school. The parents who had brought her up to go to church and encouraged her until she had made a commitment to God that day at Sunday School. Overwhelmed within she began to pray and ask Godís forgiveness.
Inside the house Mary and Frank have climbed the stairs to turn in for another night when Mary has a peace come over her. A peace she canít explain. A peace and comfort.
Is something wrong, Mary? You look quite different.
Iím fine Frank. I just feel such a peace inside. I feel that God is working in our situation. I believe our Meg will be coming back to us.
Mary love, you have been saying that for ten years. What makes tonight any different?
I canít explain it. I just know.
Iím going downstairs to wait.
Well, if you are sure - then Iíll come downstairs too. Weíll welcome her together!
Outside the house Meg has finished praying. She gets out of the car. Now she is walking up the path. She fumbles in her bag for the key to the door. ďKeep the key. You may need itĒ, her dad had said to her all those years ago.
She didnít need it. Her parents were walking to the door before the key touched the lock. The door was opening and there before her was Mum. There before her was Dad. There before her was love - acceptance - forgiveness.
Arms embraced, tears flowed. Joy and happiness overwhelmed them all and they welcomed home their prodigal.
Jesus told a parable about the return of a prodigal: