Close up of white blossom and young yellow-green leaves on stems with thorns

Samuel: the prophet who lived with conflict (six duologues)

For lent and Easter 2022, I wrote six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict.

Having written to Samuel in the last of my series on the great ‘cloud of witnesses’, I wondered what I might write that could start with Samuel and continue for lent. There is so much we can draw from his life, after all.

However, as I flicked through my Bible it seemed that he dealt with conflict at every turn. Maybe that was the answer: to write a series on living with conflict. It was certainly timely.

These duologues are with: the young girl from Israel (2 Kings 5), Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Peter’s wife, Jonathan and, finally, Jesus.

They talk about conflict in a variety of different settings — but when you stand back and look at them as a whole, really they speak into feelings of failure. In 2023, I had the chance to edit them as a collective whole, so if you read the earlier versions, then know that these are tighter and give a better arc and payoff for Samuel as a character.

SceneGuestLengthThemesStrapline
1The young girl from Israel (2 Kings 5)2,700Forgiving enemies, feelings of failure and insignificance.Choose obedience over bitterness.
2Ezekiel2,400Vocation, the nature of prophecy.Mathematics is prophecy.
3John the Baptist2,250The limits of perspectives, self-doubt.This whole place is a parable.
4Peter’s wife2,300The nature of worship, how fame corrupts, how God sees us.It wasn’t fame that chose him, it was Jesus.
5Jonathan1,700Family conflict, betrayal, imagination.I was curious to reimagine my life.
6Jesus1,800Death and burial, anger with God.I am the first-born from the dead.

The individual scripts are accessible from the individual posts below (along with notes about what inspired me to write each one), but if you want one PDF with all six scenes, you can download that here.

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Photo by Carrie Borden on Unsplash


Text on black background with a thorn motif in the corner: Scene 1: Samuel talks with the 'young girl from Israel' Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places Living with conflict and 2 Kings 5: A duologue between Samuel and the ‘young girl from Israel’ March 13, 2022 - Ronit shares what happened after Naaman was healed and how she wrestles with feelings of failure, but ultimately chooses obedience over bitterness. 
Text on black background with a thorn motif in the corner: Scene 2: Samuel talks with Ezekiel. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Ezekiel March 27, 2022 - Samuel asks Ezekiel whether he'd rather be a prophet or a priest. Ezekiel answers that he'd be a mathematician.
Black and white photo of a church where the ceiling has fallen in. The photo shows the broken pieces of the ceiling and the top of the high altar where a cross with INRI over the top is placed. This is my tent: a poem for passion week (with pictures) April 10, 2022 - This is my tent, Now torn and spoiled.
The word “Easter” in rounded letters against a pale blue background with words over the top: This is my body (a poem for Eastertide) Faith in Grey Places This is my body: a poem for Eastertide (with pictures) April 17, 2022 - This is my body, Fitting and familiar, Co-companion in my joys and sorrows, Co-conspirator against the darkness.
Scene 3: Samuel talks with John the Baptist. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and John the Baptist April 24, 2022 - Samuel discovers John has chosen to make his dwelling a flat expanse of desert. John wryly recounts the things people say to him when they interrupt his solitude.
Text on dark blue background: Scene 4: Samuel talks with Peter's wife. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places. Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Peter’s wife May 1, 2022 - Samuel goes to a heavenly copy of St Peter's Basilica and meets his wife there. They discuss the hazards of fame and the role of art in helping people approach God.
Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jonathan May 15, 2022 - Samuel meets Jonathan amongst a colonnade of marble pillars. Jonathan shares how Michelangelo’s David prompted him explore stories from other traditions and see echoes of his life in them.
Scene 6: Samuel talks with Jesus. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places. Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jesus May 22, 2022 - Samuel finds himself standing with Jesus outside the Philistine city of Beth-Shan, after Saul and his sons were defeated in battle. They talk about Saul’s life, the silence of death and the dead.
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