Read an Excerpt
the word on the street Copyright © 2003, 2004 by Rob Lacey formerly titled the street bible
This title is also available as a Zondervan ebook product.
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2004107534
This edition printed on acid-free paper.
The story on pages 489-92 is copyrighted © 2002 by Rob Lacey. Use only if author acknowledged.
As of the date of publication, the websites listed in the main text of this book were fictitious. Although some of the site names used in this book have been registered, at the time the book was written there were no live sites at these addresses.
The copyright holder's permission need not be sought for public reading/performance of this material when done on an amateur basis. For permission to read/perform this material on a professional basis please contact Rob Lacey, Mail Box No. 238, 61 Wellfield Road, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3DG, Wales, UK.
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Interior design by Beth Shagene
Printed in the United States of America
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The Big Picture
To work, to grab the attention, you need a story that impacts the audience. What about a film to launchthe movement? Clearly, you'd need a genuine hero. Someone everyone will empathize with. Someone noble but common. Safe but dangerous. Pure but streetwise. Gentle but confrontational. Someone with supernatural powers used only for the benefit of the community.
Then you'd need a "baddie". An enemy force. Something all-enveloping, ruthless, sinister. Ideally this battle should have a back-story centuries old, only now coming to a climax. Maybe you'd kick off with an exciting opening sequence of genuine horror. Why not open the film with shocking scenes of babies being murdered and one family, babe in arms, racing from the infanticide?
Having established the scale and intent of the opposition, you'd show the hero growing to confront this evil and discover his mission, to save the planet from this insidious, all-consuming power. A small group of followers would supply different viewpoints through which you'd see him begin to fulfill this mission. They'd work well to draw out the principles of his radical thinking. They'd also provide humour and light relief with their mess-ups.
The danger facing the hero would gradually build as he confronts the authorities, who are the prime suspects in a conspiracy theory of the control of the masses through a dominating worldview and an elaborate political system ensuring the subservience of the people. Time-honored blockbuster stuff.
Eventually, inevitably, it'd build towards confrontation and the tragic betrayal of the hero by one of his own crew. Rifle-fire scenes propelling you through his false trial and execution at the hands of the corrupt authorities. Slow up to show his heroism prevailing right to the end with his harrowing call for his executioners to be forgiven for what they're doing. The crowds would turn against him and the hero would die an unheroic death. Long pause. The shell-shocked cinema audience would rustle their bags and make to move - but the credits would refuse to run.
It can't stop there. There has to be a reversal, a twist. Something that changes the worst thing that could happen into the best thing possible. You'd need to have a visual mechanism, maybe 3D film footage, to give an insight into the supernatural side of events as they unfold below the surface. You'd see the dead hero travel into the underground headquarters of the enemy and wrestle Death himself into submission. Bloodstained and scarred the hero would walk away with the power over life and death. He'd come back to his crew with a package that would change their lives for ever.
Then the credits could roll with God right at the top so no one misses it while groping for their bag.
Genesis / Stuff Starts Up
Something out of nothing (Genesis 1:1-2:3)
1-2 First off, nothing . . . but God. No light, no time, no substance, no matter. Second off, God says the word and WHAP! Stuff everywhere! The cosmos in chaos: no shape, no form, no function - just darkness . . . total. And floating above it all, God's Holy Spirit, ready to play.
3-5 Day one: Then God's voice booms out, "Lights!" and, from nowhere, light floods the skies and "night" is swept off the scene. God gives it the big thumbs up, calls it "day".
6-8 Day two: God says, "I want a dome - call it 'sky' - right there between the waters above and below." And it happens.
9-13 Day three: God says, "Too much water! We need something to walk on, a huge lump of it - call it 'land'. Let the 'sea' lick its edges." God smiles, says, "Now we've got us some definition. But it's too plain! It needs colour! Vegetation! Loads of it. A million shades. Now!" And the earth goes wild with trees, bushes, plants, flowers and fungi. "Now give it a growth permit." Seeds appear in every one. "Yesss!" says God.
14-19 Day four: "We need a schedule: let's have a 'sun' for the day, a 'moon' for the night; I want 'seasons', 'years'; and give us 'stars', masses of stars - think of a number, add a trillion, then times it by the number of trees and we're getting there: we're talking huge!"
20-23 Day five: "OK, animals: amoeba, crustaceans, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals . . . I want the whole caboodle teeming with a million varieties of each - and let's have some fun with the shapes, sizes, colours, textures!" God tells them all, "You've got a growth permit - use it!" He sits back and smiles, says, "Result!"
24-31 Day six: Then God says, "Let's make people - like us, but human, with flesh and blood, skin and bone. Give them the job of caretakers of the vegetation, game wardens of all the animals." So God makes people, like him, but human. He makes male and female (for the "how", see later). He smiles at them and gives them their job description: "Make babies! Be parents, grandparents, great-grandparents - fill the earth with your families and run the planet well. You've got all the plants to eat from, so have all the animals - plenty for all. Enjoy." God looks at everything he's made, and says, "Fantastic. I love it!"
2:1-3 Day seven: Job done - the cosmos and the earth complete. God takes a bit of well-earned R&R and just enjoys. He makes an announcement: "Let's keep this day of the week special, a day off - a battery-recharge day: Rest Day."
Then we rewind a bit for the detail on people's arrival on the scene. -Rob
First of billions (Genesis 2:7-9)
7 God takes some mud from the ground, and moulds the essential chemicals into the shape of a man. Then he breathes his life into the body and the man starts living.
8-9 God places the guy in the special garden he's planted, called "Eden". God's planted loads of types of trees in the garden - they look great and their fruit tastes great. Smack bang in the middle of the garden are two one-of-a-kind trees: "the tree of life" and "the tree of knowing right from wrong".
We get some detail on the local rivers making the area fertile, and then . . . -Rob Adam needs a partner (Genesis 2:15-25)
15-17 God gives the man a job: warden in the Eden Garden. Job spec - to protect and till it. In God's Contract he clearly states the man has free pickings of anything that grows in the garden, except the tree that tells you the difference between right and wrong. If you eat from that tree, the rules are pretty direct - you'll die.
18 Then God says, "He's doing all this solo and it's wrong. Adam needs a partner."
19-20 God parades all the animals in front of Adam to see what names he'll give them. God doesn't dispute any of his names, no limits on the wacky scale: whatever he calls it, that's its name. Adam gets through the lot - the cattle, the birds, the beasts - but none is anything near partner potential.
21-22 So God puts the man under some sort of divine general anaesthetic, carries out a ribectomy, then closes up the gap in his side. God works on the rib until he's sculpted it into woman-shape, and then he presents her to Adam.
23-24 "Whoa! Now we're talking!" says Adam. "She's like me . . . only not. Same bones, same skin, same shape . . . only not. She's . . . uh . . . sexy. If I'm 'man', she's . . . uh . . . 'woman'." (Which is why when people get married, they leave their parents behind and set up their own family unit. Sex makes them one person: you can't tell where one stops and the other starts.)
25 They're both stark naked, not that they've noticed - they've got no hang-ups about nudity.
Enter "Mess" stage right (Genesis 3:1-24)
1 Now the snake was top of the Animal Cunning League. Undisputed King of Sly among all God's creative work. He sees the woman, slithers up to her and asks, "Are the rumours true? Did God really slap a ban on eating the fruit off these trees?"
2-3 "We can eat what we like," answers the woman, "apart from the fruit off the tree right in the middle. If we eat off that, we'll die."
4-5 "Die?! Unlikely!" sneers the snake. "God well knows that if you eat off that tree, it'll open your eyes to a few things. You'll know the difference between good and evil, just like God does - so you'll be like God!"
6-7 The woman eyes up the fruit and thinks, It does look pretty tasty - especially if it's instant wisdom in a couple of bites. So she grabs herself a juicy one, and takes a large chomp out of it. Then she hands it to Adam, and he takes a mouthful too. Straight off, their eyes are opened and they realize they're stark naked. A new feeling - embarrassment. They stitch together some fig leaves and cover the necessaries.
8-9 Later in the day, the heat has eased off a bit and they hear God's footsteps in the garden. Seconds later they're hiding from him behind some bushes. God calls out, "Adam, where've you got to?"