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The Loophole: 9. "I AM THE WEDDING RING"

By Arthur Vess

      Note -- This Dialogue may be used and acted out in young people's meetings, missionary societies, etc.

      Part 1

      "I am the Wedding Ring, who are you?"

      "Why, I am the Class Ring, not so few."

      "But what right have you here? Do you not know that this is the church?" said the Wedding Ring.

      "I have as much right here as you. Do I not worship too?" retorted the Class Ring.

      "But you are worldly, sinful and vain, while I am sacred and true," replied the Wedding Ring.

      "Why are you so sacred and I so sinful? Are not both made of gold that perisheth?" argued the Class Ring.

      "True, but it is what I represent that counts. I stand for love and loyalty of wife to husband."

      "But do I not stand for intellectual attainment and love and loyalty between class mates? I remind my wearer that he is educated."

      "But if it were not for me, none would suspect that my mistress were obligated in marriage to her husband."

      "But for ME, none would suspect my master to be educated."

      "Nonsense; if your master were really educated he would not need to be labeled. That's cheap advertising," replied the Wedding Ring.

      "The same back to you; if your mistress and her hen-pecked husband really loved each other and showed it, you would have no place. It is warm love that binds hearts; not cold gold," retorted the Class Ring.

      "Not so hard, but I must have a constant reminder of my love and loyalty to my husband to keep my love warm, and to keep away other lovers," interposed the mistress of the Wedding Ring.

      "Mistress, where did you come from? If I had been you I would have kept still," snapped back the Class Ring.

      "But I had to defend my ring, husband or no husband, church or no church."

      "But you have ruined all the arguments of your idol, your Wedding Ring. You have confessed that a dead ring cannot keep your affections from other lovers, nor theirs away from you. You need something on the inside to keep you pure and true," concluded the Class Ring.

      "You win, you win; I lose, but I shall try my luck on another," cried the Wedding Ring.

      Part 2

      "I am the Wedding Ring, who are you?"

      "Why, I am the Lodge Ring," said the other.

      "Well, what are you doing here? This is the church, not a lodge hall," replied the Wedding Ring.

      "You are impudent, narrow and foolish too. My master worships in the lodge hall and in the church also," answered the Lodge Ring.

      "Why does he not wear a Church Ring too? Does he worship his lodge god more than his church God? Most men do."

      The Wedding Ring went on saying, "Tut, tut," with a strut, "but I represent the sacred love of a wife for her husband, and protect him from the intrusion of other lovers.''

      "No more of that; did I not hear your argument with the Class Ring? A pure wife must be protected from other lovers? Such folly."

      "But you must be reasonable and stop meddling," cried the Wedding Ring.

      "You impudently brand all the rest of us rings as worldly and vain. May I ask you one more thing?" replied the Lodge Ring.

      "Yes, just one more and no more," replied the Wedding Ring, ill at ease.

      "Why is it that a supposed Christian wife who claims to belong to the called out ones, and be separate from this vain world, uses the same symbols to represent her love and loyalty that the men of the world use to show their loyalty to organizations which do not even recognize Jesus Christ? Answer me; if Christ cannot save the church from the world, how can He save the world through the church?''

      "I lose, I lose; have it as you choose. But I shall try one more opponent. But I shall let my mistress do her own talking. I am tired of being made the dunce for her vanity," sighed the Wedding Ring.

      Part 3

      Vanity came bounding in and exclaimed, "Oh Mother, look at this beautiful ring which Jane gave to me. I shall never forget her for this."

      "My dear child, do you know that it is vanity and pride that makes you want to wear that sparkling ring, and that many more will be thrust on you as you grow older," replied her mother.

      "Why M-o-t-h-e-r, I am so surprised and shocked at you. You have always worn a ring; why can't I?" demanded Vanity.

      "But my darling, Vanity, can you not understand that there is such a difference in your ring and mine: my ring stands for all of my love for your father and my husband which is very sacred."

      "Yes, but Mother, this ring represents my love for Jane and her love for me. Is not our love sacred too?" asked Vanity. "If rings will keep you pure, they will keep me pure."

      "My Child, you cannot understand until you are older, but all my love for your father is wrapped up in this ring."

      "I never will understand as long as you wear that ring. But your love for Father must be wrapped up in that ring or a 'napkin,' for you have been so cold toward him all this week. You never speak to him unless you want some money or something done. Sometimes Jane and I do fall out and fuss, but we soon get over it. I'll wear this ring as long as you wear yours," replied Vanity, peeved.

      "Not so severe, Vanity; none of us are perfect, and we all sin every day; but there is a difference in your ring and mine," replied her mother.

      "You may sin every day, but there's no use pouting ALL day and week too. Poor old dad looks so tired and discouraged when he comes in from work. But Mother, one more question: Why is it that all the dancers, and movie stars wear wedding rings just like you do, and some of them have been married four or five times, just like the Woman of Sychar who had no husband because she had five husbands? Rings do not keep them true to their husbands, or pure and virtuous. Can't you find some more respectable way to show your love for my poor old Dad," pleaded Vanity.

      "Oh my Child, at last you have awakened my poor cold heart. Please forgive me, if this ring has so tempted you to pride and vanity. I see now that I have used the name of your father to defend my pride and vanity. If my ring offends you, I shall wear no more rings while the world stands."

      "But, Mother, what will Father think when he comes home and finds your ring and all your love for him gone?" inquired Vanity.

      "Vanity, he shall find a different kind of love in place of the gold ring and the cold heart. I shall have for him kindly words of confession and love from a true heart, cleansed from pride and vanity that needs no dead symbol," tenderly replied Mother, with a trembling voice.

      That evening when Mr. Mainard returned home things were so different. The house was tidied up to greet him; the table was filled with the things he liked, and that a tired man needed at the close of day. Mrs. Mainard met him at the door with tears wreathed in smiles, and the following conversation ensued:

      "Darling, I have taken off the false symbol of waning love, and have decided to love you so that you can feel it instead of just seeing it. I want it to fill my heart and break out in all my words and actions toward you. Vanity awakened me by her childish sincerity," said Mrs. M.

      "That sounds mighty good, wife, but I am all bewildered. You talk so differently, and everything seems so lovely and home-like. If this is what we are to have in place of the wedding ring, I suppose we shall not fall out over it, or even miss it," tenderly replied Mr. Mainard, half confused.

      "Yes, husband, if you can forgive me for the past, I promise you that the future will be different. Besides, I have decided to sell this diamond and give the money to Mrs. LaVan, our poor neighbor who is dying with Tuberculosis. I am sick of consuming so much on my own vanity while so many are in need all about us. Also I have determined to set a better example of true motherhood and Christianity before my Children, especially Vanity who was named after my chief weakness."

      All was silent for a moment while Mrs. Mainard wiped the slow tears from her eyes and Mr. Mainard looked up and out the window to hide his feelings, now creeping up into his eyes.

      Then Vanity broke the silence and cried out, "Oh Mother," then waited with trembling chin until her throat cleared up more, and went on, "Mother, your confession and new example has awakened and transformed my life. I see my own vanity. My nature is changed and I want my name changed. You have taken away the stumbling block and set a new ideal for my life. I want to take the money over to the sick woman we have neglected so long for our vanity." "For so much as ye have done it unto the least of these my little ones, ye have done it unto me."

      THE END

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See Also:
   Preface To The Third Edition


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