STRANGER ON THE SHORE (c)2005, 2008
A One Act Play - by Sue Seaman


Cast: Jacob - an elderly man, Leo, his wife Rita and the Narrator

NARRATOR:
Leo was an artist. He had a studio in the beach house, which he owned with his wife Rita. Painting had become his life. After going to Art College, what was a hobby, was now a career.
Several of his unsold paintings hung in the house. He loved to paint the sea and the sky more than any other scenery.

Scene 1 Ė An artist's studio
Rita had gone into town, so Leo decides to put on an extra layer of clothes to keep warm and go down to the beach. He collects a sketchpad and some pencils and sets off from the house.
As he walks down the beach he sees two young men running away from something lying on edge of the beach. As he approaches the motionless object, the sea rushing over it Ė he sees that itís a man!
He hurries down the beach and drags the man clear of the water. The man has been beaten and is cut and bruised. The man momentarily opens his eyes but everything is fuzzy and blurred.

LEO:
Come on old fellow. Let me help you back to my house.

NARRATOR:
The man tries to utter some words, but falls silent. Leo helps him up the beach to the house and into the lounge where there is a roaring fire. He helps the man into an armchair.
After washing and dressing the old manís wounds Leo goes into the kitchen, fetches some hot cocoa and hands it to the man.

LEO:
My name is Leo. My wife, Rita is out at present. Weíll look after you until you are recovered.

NARRATOR:
Leo helps the man with his cocoa. The man is a little shaken after his ordeal.

LEO:
Now then, old friend. Letís get you out of those wet clothes and into some dry warm clothes. Can you stand and walk?

NARRATOR:
Leo helps the man out of the chair and up the stairs into the spare bedroom. He fetches some clothes out of a wardrobe and hands them to the old man.

RITA:
Darling Iím home.
As she closes the door Leo appears at the top of the stairs.

LEO:
Hi Darling Ė Iím glad you are back. Iíll be down in a moment.

NARRATOR:
In a moment he reappears at the top of the stairs with the old man

RITA:
Who is he (in a whispered voice)?

LEO:
Iíll just get him back into the lounge. Wait for me in the kitchen, honey.

Scene 2 Ė In the Kitchen

RITA:
What happened?

LEO:
I went down to the beach while you were out and saw two youngsters running off. I guess they must have mugged this old fellow. He was laying face down on the sand. So I did no more but bring him back here.

RITA:
How could anyone in their right mind do something like that? Do you think we should call the police?

LEO:
I donít think thereís much point really, I donít suppose they would ever catch them. But I do think we should pray for him.

NARRATOR:
Leo and Rita begin to pray, asking the Lord to help with the situation and for the man to make a full recovery.

LEO:
Well Rita, we have left it with the Lord now. Iíll go back into the lounge and sit with him.

RITA:
Iíll make some dinner and let you know when its ready.

LEO:
Thanks, honey.

NARRATOR:
The Old man sees a Bible on the table and manages to pick it up just as Leo enters the room.

LEO:
I like the Bible - itís a wonderful book. You seem to be familiar with it yourself.

NARRATOR:
The man glances up at Leo and nods in agreement.

LEO:
Are you feeling better? Dinner will be ready soon and my wife is a great cook. Well, youíll find that out soon. Maybe when you are feeling well enough to, you will tell us your name and where you live so we can inform your family that you are OK. They will probably be very worried about you by now.

NARRATOR:
The man says nothing so Leo is pleased when Rita calls him as she appears around the door.

RITA:
Dinner is ready.

NARRATOR:
Helping him out of his chair, Leo guides the man into the dining room and seats him at the table. Leo says the Grace, thanking the Lord for the food and they began the meal.
The man eats and drank heartily seeming to thoroughly enjoy the meal.
After dinner Leo helps the man back into the lounge whilst Rita clears the table and takes the dishes out to the kitchen.

LEO:
I expect you would like a nice cup of coffee. Iíll just go and make it - I shanít be long.

NARRATOR:
As soon as Leo has gone the man again picks up the Bible and begins to read, his wrinkled fingers slowly turning the pages.
Before long Leo and Rita re-enter the room with a tray of coffee. The man returns the Bible to the table and attempts to take the cup of coffee being offered. But still shaky, his hand trembles as he takes hold of the cup and Rita manages to take it off of him, before he spills it over himself.

LEO:
We have a guest room upstairs, you are welcome to stay the night - you look tired.

THE MAN:
I am tired. Thank you, I will stay.

NARRATOR:
The man gets up and Leo helps him upstairs.

RITA:
I hope you sleep well.

NARRATOR:
Rita sits down on the sofa and before long she is joined by Leo.

LEO:
What a breakthrough, Rita. Him speaking at last. Iím sure he will tell us more in the morning Ė after heís had a good nights sleep.

RITA:
The Lord is definitely answering our prayer. He understands exactly what that man has been through and what he is feeling inside. The story of the Good Samaritan comes to mind Ė how he helped a man who was left for dead along the wayside.

LEO:
Well it happened so suddenly that I didnít really get a look at the two youngsters who did it Ė or I would have marched them off to the Police Station right away!

Scene 3 Ė The following morning

NARRATOR:
As Leo and Rita are eating their breakfast the man enters the room.

LEO:
Come and sit down. Rita has cooked some bacon and eggs for us.

THE MAN:(Responding with a smile)
I like bacon and eggs.

LEO:
Well, enjoy it. Now my friend - tell us, whatís your name?

THE MAN:
Jacob

LEO:
Where do you live?

JACOB:
Not far from here Ė about a mile or so down the road.

LEO:
Do you have any family?

JACOB:
No, I live alone.

LEO:
Do you remember what happened yesterday on the beach?

JACOB:
Yes, I remember being attacked and beaten to the ground - two youngsters it was. They knocked me to the ground and robbed me. They took my wallet. The money for the rent on my bungalow was in that wallet. Then when awoke, I saw you. You have been so kind to me. But I must be on my way.

LEO:
Will you be alright? You can stay for a couple days if you would like Ė itís no trouble, we have the room.

JACOB:
Thank you all the same, but I am feeling much better. If I may just go upstairs and freshen up and then I must leave.
Do you have a pen and some paper? I need to write something down.

LEO:
Yes, I have some - just a minute.

NARRATOR:
Leo fetches a notepad and pen and hands it to Jacob.

JACOB:
Thank you. Iíll just go upstairs. Iíll be down in about ten minutes

LEO:
Do you want me to ring for a cab for you?

NARRATOR:
Jacob was just about to say that he had no money for the cab

LEO:
Donít look so worried. We will pay the cab driver.

JACOB:
No thank you Leo, itís a bright sunny morning. The walk will do me good and I need to stretch my legs.

NARRATOR:
Jacob goes upstairs.

RITA:
I do feel sorry for him, living alone like that. He seems such a nice man.

LEO:
Yes, he does. We should give him some money to make up for the money he had stolen, so that he can pay his rent and enough money for his shopping for the week.

RITA:
I think so too. Iím sure itís what the Lord would want us to do in the circumstances.

NARRATOR:
After a little while Jacob appears at the doorway ready to leave. Rita says her goodbye and disappears into the lounge - she does not want Jacob to see her with tears in her eyes.

JACOB:
Well, thank you for your kind hospitality to me.

LEO:
Thatís all right Jacob. You are welcome to come and visit us anytime. Rita and I would like you to have this money Ė to cover your rent and some for shopping.

JACOB:
Oh I couldnít take it!

LEO:
I insist that you do. Rita and I want you to have it.

NARRATOR:
So Jacob takes the money, and hands Leo a note. Leo opens the front door and lets Jacob out

JACOB:
Well, goodbye Leo.

LEO:
Goodbye Jacob - mind how you go now.

NARRATOR:
Leo watches Jacob walk down the garden path and along the pavement, then closes the door and goes back into the lounge. He sits down on the sofa where Rita is wiping the tears away from her eyes. She sees that Leo is holding a note in his hand

LEO:
Itís from Jacob. He handed me this note before he left.

RITA:
What does it say?

LEO:(Opening the note)
It says:

Dear friends, thank you for your kind hospitality, I thank the Lord for you both. When I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, When I was wounded you bathed my wounds When I was tired you gave me a bed for the night, may the Lord bless you and keep you.

Your good friend Jacob.

RITA:
You were right Leo. The Lord was in the situation the whole time. Jacob knew the Saviour just as we know and love Him.

LEO:
Yes, and out of it comes a lesson for us. We need to always help one another and be kind to one another. Just like Jesus commanded us to.

NARRATOR:
Jacob never forgot Leo and Rita and visited them often. He was never a stranger on the shore again, but became a good friend.


Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
ďThen the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
(Matthew 25:34-40)