Summer, as most Christians know, is the time for Vacation Bible School. For today’s blog I would like to write a scene that shows John Wesley talking to the students and professors at the Kingswood school. John pays special attention to the child who comes up to him inquiring why they rise so early. In all of my research there is very little interaction between John and young children. This allows me to take certain artistic liberties but I still plan on being as true to John Wesley as possible. I hope you enjoy the scene.
(Lights up. John enters a room with students sitting in rows waiting to hear from John)
Professor: Students, allow me the privilege to introduce you to John Wesley. He is the man that has helped created this fine educational establishment of which you all are educated.
John: Thank you professor that will be enough. Good morning children, I hear that your studies have been on schedule and that your knowledge grows by leaps and bounds on a daily basis. I am proud to see that your hard work will help you leave this place of education and you will contribute greatly to the society around you. I cannot stay long I am afraid, so if you any questions feel free to ask them now.
Student: Mr. Wesley I have a question for you if you will answer it for me.
John: Go ahead young student.
Student: Please correct me if I am wrong in this statement. Is it not your rules and guidelines that we must follow every day?
John: This is true. Is that your question child?
Student: My question is this. Why must we rise every day at four o’clock in the morning? Why must we never deviate from your rules and guidelines for the day?
Professor: This is the way it has been for years. How dare you child ask this of Mr. Wesley?
John: It is alright professor; the student is of age to ask such questions. Well child the answer is simple, by having a daily regiment one is able not to worry about the daily task of living but rather can focus on ones relationship with our Lord in heaven. This is the way all should be living. If you follow this practice as a youth you are far more likely to continue to live in this lifestyle as an adult. Is this a sufficient answer for you?
(To be continued)
I rather like this conversation between John and the student. He is very loving to the student when the professor yells at them. However, John is still very stern when dealing with answering the question. John sees nothing wrong in his ideas and guidelines that he makes the students follow. He sees this as the best option for the students and therefore they are better off following his lifestyle. I hope this scene, you feel, is true to John Wesley. I feel that it is, but I will let you be the judge.
For today I felt that I would go ahead and write more dialogue between the John Wesley and another person or persons. I am not sure what this scene will have in the show, if it will make it or not but I thought it would be a possible idea to have a character in which is a narrator of the show. Through this character, I can give the time for set changes, costume changes, and some interesting reflection between the narrator and the character of John Wesley. I see this narrator character to be a student researching John Wesley. By doing this I bring a context in today’s society and can play the difference between the two time periods. This scene below is further in the show as John is spending a moment writing a letter while he waits out a storm. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
(Lights Up, Student sits on bed reading. The sound of rain is played. John Wesley sits under a blanket as he writes a letter of reflection)
John: As the rain falls on my blanket brother I cannot help but remember that our journeys are never the easiest to travel. They are essential for the souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as our own souls.
Student: This is yet again, nothing but a letter to his brother. When will I find something I can use for this paper? John Wesley is all well and good, but I do not have the time to keep reading pointless letters to his brother.
John: Brother, I cannot share with you all of the horror I have seen in my journeys around these countryside. I fear for my life almost every hour of every day but I do not show fear as I did on the boat to the American colonies. I have had many run ins with mobs of men whom feel that what I am trying to teach is against their beliefs. As I have told you many times my brother, I do not wish to distance ourselves from the Church of England, but rather want to change the church for the better. I do not know how much more I can continue to journey with all this danger filling my days and night. I wish you nothing but the best brother but I wish you would travel to the areas around your home. Your family is one thing but the souls of the nation are what are truly important.
Student: So let me get this straight. John fears for his life every day, does not want to continue with this fear for his life and yet he wants his brother, who is happily married, to leave his family at home and travel spreading the movement amongst all this danger. Why does this man put himself through this torture all for a movement, and what does he get in return?
(TO BE CONTINUED)
After writing this I am not so sure if I will use a narrator for the show. Yes it gives a different perspective and breaks up the old English. However, by breaking up the old English there is a possibility of the show not having flow and becoming too choppy. This is far from what I would like the show to do. I thought I would try the idea out, this is just a rough draft and it looks like I most likely will not keep it. But we shall see what the finished product looks like in the fall. Who knows whether the narrator will continue to be a character or not, I guess you will just have to stay tuned.
I will be honest to you readers and say that this reading for today was a rough one because of its similarity to yesterday’s reading. So in lieu of this I have chosen to do what I did in my last blog…DIALOGUE BLOG. I hope you enjoy.
(Lights come up, the stage is bare. Samuel Sr. runs in from off stage)
Samuel Sr: Fire, Fire, Fire!
Susanna: Come along kids. We must get far away from the house. Keeper do you we have all the children?
Keeper: I counted heads Mrs., however we seem to be one short.
Susanna: Which child is still in our home?
Susanna: Samuel you must retrieve John from the house!
Samuel: He is already lost Susanna, we must be thankful for what and who we have with us now.
(Lights fade on stage. Lights up on side balcony. Young John is lying in bed while smoke surrounds the room. Young John wakes.)
Young John: Mother? Mother? Father? Brother Samuel? Sisters? Anyone here? (coughs) There is smoke (coughs) Mother where are you, I need you.
Susanna: (offstage) John, John, John
Young John: Mother please help me.
(John locates a chair and picks it up from the floor. Young John throws the chair offstage. A chair flies on stage.)
Susanna: John, my baby boy!
Young John: Mother
Susanna: Someone save my son.
(Extras enter from offstage begin to mimic rescuing Young John. Lights out in balcony and stage)
TO BE CONTINUED
This is a very rough beginning of the show. I want to build off of this scene to make it more dramatic. I will say that it is interesting having read the vast amounts of biographies and personal works, resulting in me now having to take this new found knowledge and put it to paper. This task, I will admit will not be easy, and those around me will probably be annoyed when I begin to start talking in Old English in order to accurately write in the setting of the show. I hope that you readers will continue to journey on with me as what I thought would be a short journey, may have well turned into a long journey full of me loving and hating the man I have studied for this entire summer. But the research journey is rounding the final turn. One more week of reading and reflecting, which I hope you have enjoyed, and taking time to storyboard. I am hoping readers to be able to share more another time. But it has once again come to that time in which I must ask you to stay tuned, because you never know what I will write next
The reading for today was John Wesley writing to many different people, of whom I feel, is not going to be important to the story that I want to portray on stage. So for today’s two blog posts I have decided to combine them and would share with you readers an idea for a scene that I have been mulling over in my head. I would like to lay out the scene so that you understand why the characters are acting in the way that they are.
To set up the scene you must picture John Wesley on the boat traveling to America. The boat is tossing back and forth as the waves come crashing along the side of the boat. John is a younger man and is traveling with his brother Charles to America. They have Moravian traveling companions whom seem to not be scared of the storm, as John and Charles are. Here is the scene of John Wesley and Charles Wesley on the boat to America.
(Lights up, John looks out over the water trying to keep his eye on the horizon. Charles enters)
Charles: My brother, there you are?
John: Charles this is not the time to be by my side.
Charles: But John the service has begun to start (singing begins off stage) Can you not hear the Moravians beginning to sing.
John: Believe me Charles I hear their voices, but I am in no proper physical shape to be preaching to them.
Charles: I understand, but it was you that always told me that it is our duty as Christians to preach to all those that will listen.
John: (yells) how can I preach when I have no words to share!
Charles: You are beside yourself John. What has gotten into you? You never have yelled at me in such a manner. I feel this sea air has put a damper on your spirit.
John: It has done so much more than just damper my spirit Charles. I fear this journey. With every moment that passes I feel closer to death. Then I look at the Moravians and they just seem at peace amongst the storm. It is as if they do not fear death at all. Do you fear death brother?
Charles: I do not know. I have never thought about death in the mass that you have.
John: How can you not consider death, it is what we have been planning for as we have shared the word with the English and the reason we are traveling to the American Colonies.
Charles: I know, but I know that what I am doing is the Lord’s work. If you no longer feel the same I do not know what to say. So I will leave you with your thoughts and will join the Moravians in their worship. I just pray you join as well. (Exits)
John: You brother may have the saving faith but I am no longer sure I do.
(Lightning flashing across the sky and screams come from off stage. John falls to the ground as the boat seems to rock back and forth. Peter Böhler enters)
Peter: Are you alright there Brother John.
John: Yes Brother Peter, I am well.
Peter: You say that you are well but I look into your eyes and see no happiness but rather fear. What are you fearing John?
John: Yes, Can you answer me this question that has been weighing on my heart.
Peter: Go ahead brother
John: How is it that you and your fellow Moravians can be on this boat during a storm such as this and sing hymns when everyone else around you shivers in fear?
Peter: Because we have faith in the Lord. May I ask you a question John?
John: Of course
Peter: Do you have faith in the Lord?
(To be continued)
Well there you have it readers. That is a very very rough draft of a scene for the show. I know I have to work more on my old English, and I hope to do that in my future posts. Tomorrow may be more of the same, or not. But I promise you readers, I will keep you on your toes, so stay tuned.
As I have for the past few days I will be writing a letter to the person that I read John Wesley wrote letters to. Today’s letter is addressed to Sarah Ryan. What you might find interesting is how John Wesley addresses the letter. This is not something that I chose to do, but how John actually addresses all his letters to Sarah Ryan. I have chosen to write more about the aftermath of the altercation between Sarah and John’s wife. I hope you enjoy this letter.
My Dear Sister,
It has been yet a few days since the incident at dinner with my wife. I cannot help but feel that I am partially to blame because as I have written earlier, it was my letter to you that led her to interrupt our dinner that night. I pray that you did not at any moment that night felt the sting of danger. I pray that your days have gotten better since this incident with my wife and that it does not deter you from continuing sending letters to me. Your letters often find me when I need them most, and for that I thank you. I pray that my wife has not scared you away from doing your Christian duty and serving God as you have been these past weeks. Stay strong in faith and in this movement in which we are a part of. Do not forget that the Lord loves and is the only judge when our earthly bodies breathe their last breathes, let no human, and whether that be male or female deter you from doing God’s work. I am eager to receive your next letter with excitement as always.
Your affectionate brother
After writing the last blog post about John’s communication with Charles I find it only fitting that the letter I will write be addressed to his brother Charles. In this letter, I hope to accomplish the love John has for his brother, but also the focus on the movement and improving that through Charles. I hope you enjoy the letter as much as I have writing it.
I apologize for writing you later and less frequent than our usual pattern of conversing. I have been traveling visiting the band groups here in the north preaching to all who come forward to listen. You must be busy with the same based on your previous letter the bands in the south seem to grow. I cannot help but praise God for the great works you have been accomplishing in these past few weeks. Remember brother that we have been given a gift and this should be spread to the world. Let us not forget that we are the head and the heart of this movement and we must be with Christ at all moments in our lives. I have told you many times that if we fall short the movement follows. I pray that you and your family are well.
Your Loving Brother
For today’s letter I felt that I should write a letter from John Wesley addressed to his mother while he is at school. This is from a time in his life that I feel that John would be down in the dumps as you could say. There were moments of weakness in his school years, so here is my attempt at a letter during that time in his life.
I apologize for my letter being later than I have promised in my previous letters, one of my friends has fallen ill with fever with which I have also have acquired myself. Pray for not only my health but the health of my fellow students. My studies go well but I am tormented by the different theologies and discussions I have with some of my superiors and professors. My faith has become shaken to the point I do not know if I can carry on. Samuel says that this is not unusual but I look to my classmates and their faith seems to grow every day. Pray for my soul as it is tempted by the society I live in at the school. I pray every day for the family back at home. Please to continue to write me about “Old Jeffrey” because I am interested in him highly.
Your grateful son,
As I stated in the other blog today, John had a high standard for the Methodists and that even came to the clothing that they wore. So for today’s John Wesley voice blog, I have decided to write a piece that is intended for the modern Christian. This is what I feel John Wesley would voice as his opinion on the dress of today.
To My Christian Friends,
It has come to my attention that you may have not been given the opportunity to read my statement on appropriate dress for Christians. I have stated many times that the dress of both ladies and gentleman should be simple, clean, and appropriate to their station in life. As I have observed your churches and societies, I am astounded to find that this is far from the case. Articles of clothing are being used to grab the attention of the opposite sex when the attention should be focused on the words of God. You spend valuable time shopping for clothes that only make you more uncomfortable, when you should be focusing your spare time and energy on your inner souls other than your outward appearance. I will pray for God to guide you next time you purchase goods in which you will wear not only in public but in the church. Remember to put the focus not on goods of this world but on the Lord who is good not only in this world but in the next.
Your Humble Servant,
I hope you have enjoyed this letter; it was a fun one to write. I cannot wait to begin writing the show, which is slowly beginning with storyboarding. Stay tuned followers; the journey is beginning to get more interesting.
For today’s John Wesley writing, I have chosen to go on a similar statements that I mentioned in my previous post. As you will see there are two different statements to two different types of people. I did this because I was unable to write a second post yesterday so I am making up for it today. I hope you enjoy these statements, and might get a laugh out of the people that John Wesley is writing to.
A WORD TO A SEMINARIAN
Dost thou believe there is a God? Hast thou no knowledge of God in this world or the next? Does not God fill heaven and earth? These questions should be no problem for one of knowledge in our Heavenly Father or his grace fulfilled in our savior Jesus Christ. Must you understand, however, that power lies not in your word but in the word of our Lord. One may become overzealous and believe that their knowledge gives them power to judge others. This is not the case; the only judge is our Lord in heaven. Use your blessing of knowledge to not judge but to educate those who have not known the love of God and Christ. Teach faith and love, not works and judgment.
A WORD TO A RICH MAN
Are you no different than your brothers and sisters whom beg in the streets? Have you not begged to a mother or father? Remember as you walk past those around you, that their father in heaven has blessed them with life just as your father is theirs and has blessed you with life as well. You have been blessed with more than enough funds that you should share these with your brothers and sisters lest fortunate than you. Do not judge them for their shortcomings but let the Lord Judge. Be loving to them as they are to you, and share your wealth with them in any way that you can. Be gracious in your blessings, but also be gracious in your giving to your fellow man.
For today, I have read the appeal that John Wesley wrote and I feel that I should try to write something similar in his voice. I will tell you right now that mine will not be even close to the length that he wrote in, but I hope you enjoy.
Dear Gentleman of Reason and Religion,
Before I enter into the unpleasing task of answering the opinions of some of you, I beseech you brethren, by whatever love you bear to your God, to your country, and to your own souls, do not consider who speaks, but what is spoken here in this letter. Every day there is judgment towards me and those who are fellow Methodists. I am writing to clear the air as it were to you fellow Christians.
The movement, which is given the name Methodist, has been seen as troublemakers and lawbreakers. Have not you broken the same laws as the Methodists? Have you not read the canon’s of the Church of England and broken the canon just as we have? You hold us to a higher standard and judge us when we falter but it should be yourselves that you hold to a higher standard. We believe that all should love one another as neighbors and help each other receive eternal life from our Father in heaven. I pray for you and your families.
Your humble servant,