Imagine a conversation - Jesus and Tess of the d'Urbervilles - by James Archer
Editable and printable version
Scene: In Tess’s prison cell the night before her execution.
Jesus I love you, Tess.
Tess You’ve got a funny way of showing it, after all I’ve been through. What about Sorrow?
Jesus I love her too. She’s one of my favourites.
Tess But you wouldn’t let her be buried in the churchyard because she wasn’t baptised.
Jesus I didn’t say that. Anyway, she was.
Tess Don’t toy with me – I can’t cope with it.
Jesus I’m not. I loved your baptism ceremony – it was wonderful. So much love and faith – it made me cry.
Tess But it wasn’t proper!
Jesus Proper enough for me. And the burial – I look at her grave every day.
Tess You mean …. it’s OK?
Jesus Of course. I’m not bothered about rules like baptism and burial. I look at the heart.
Tess And what did you see?
Jesus Your love, your faith, your grief. It was very special being with you through it.
Tess You were there then? I didn’t know it. What about later?
Jesus I was there too. When you met Angel, when you told him the truth, when he left you, when you were desperate.
Tess So why didn’t you help me?
Jesus I did. I sorted things out with your mother-in-law. But when she came out to give you a big hug, you’d gone.
Tess So I didn’t need to sell myself to Alec.
Jesus No, and you didn’t need to kill him either. You could just have walked out when Angel came back.
Tess I’m sorry. I’ve blown it. It’s too late now. I’ll be gone in the morning.
Jesus They killed me too – like a common criminal.
Tess So how come you’re here talking to me?
Jesus I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will not perish, but lives for ever.
Tess I do believe and trust in you.
Jesus Do not be afraid. I have overcome the world. I love you. I am with you always.