The Sense to Believe
a Christian Drama Play
by Elizabeth G. Honaker
Interview with Elizabeth G. Honaker:
Interview with Elizabeth G. Honaker:
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Elizabeth G. Honaker. Welcome Elizabeth! I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Elizabeth: Certainly. I am the “wise side of 60,” and I love a number of things:
Writing plays and novels; learning about Scripture; reading fiction, biographies, and informational texts; teaching college English; planning projects for Husband Allen; speaking with my children; speaking with my grandchildren (3 boys and 1 girl, all under the age of 8); and watching reruns of the first four series of Star Trek.
I started writing short skits for our church’s family service when we lived in England from 1976-1988. When we transferred back to the U.S., I was asked to coordinate our church’s Holy Thursday presentation of the original Lord’s Supper. That morphed into full-length scripts, where I focused on one or two Biblical characters’ interaction with Jesus. I just assisted with my 28th production (although we have repeated some of the plays I’ve written). The plays are presented yearly in Hanover, Maryland, but we have moved to Tennessee. Therefore, our interaction is limited to a yearly pilgrimage to help with the dress rehearsal(s) and the Holy Thursday presentation.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Elizabeth: This particular play started with a sermon – as many of them do. However, the preacher was a Methodist lay-speaker, and the sermon was so good that I envisioned this individual as the principal character. I “warned” Danny – a good friend of ours – that I was going to write a play with him as the lead – and he didn’t flinch.
One of the scenes that means a lot to me is Act IV, Scene 2. In it, Daniel – the formerly blind person healed in Jerusalem (see John’s Gospel, chapter 9) – explains the meaning (“the sense”) of the Crucifixion to the audience. Danny / Daniel did it SO well!! And then he and his two “parents” led the audience from Christ’s entombment to the Resurrection. Much of the material came from what Danny had preached that Sunday, so the scene was special to both of us.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for the title of this play – The Sense to Believe?
Elizabeth: Titles are often the most difficult things to produce. Allen and I often brainstorm for days on this and other aspects of presentation – cover design, internal layout, etc. I wanted to form a link between the character Daniel and his possible witness to Christ’s power and mercy. I can’t honestly remember which one of us came up with the final title – but I am married to a wonderfully clever word-smith!
The gift of sight, as John’s Gospel points out, is multi-faceted. There is the physical aspect of seeing God’s creation, and then there is the mental capacity to understand – to “see.” Jesus, of course, used all sorts of physical realities to explain spiritual truths, and the blind man’s healing led to Jesus remonstrating with the Pharisees and Temple leaders that they were “blind” because they claimed to “see.”
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Elizabeth: I have two projects “on the boil” right now. The first one is a scrapbook / fun book for the youngsters who are planning to come to my family’s 2017 reunion. Two cousins will be collaborating with me. Of course, the finished product has to be done and published in time for July 4th – the date of the reunion.
I am quite passionate about the second one, but I haven’t had much time lately to work on it. It will be a historical novel on the life and martyrdom of Polycarp, 2nd-century bishop of Smyrna. I have uncovered a ton of information and have a fair amount of the timeline worked out; the college teaching is almost over, and our large garden beckons…so we’ll see what develops during the summer.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Elizabeth: Husband Allen jokes about how I lock myself into a room and instruct him to slip food and water under the door, but that’s not how I’ve done it the last 9 years. (Yes, in the distant past I did tend to tell the kids that the room I was in was “off limits”!) Now, with my beloved laptop, I stick around Husband, so that I can request additional research from the person with the perfect Smart phone!
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research this book or any other?
Elizabeth: I just mentioned that Danny gave me a lot of the foundation of the play’s development. However, whenever I use Scripture to glorify the Savior, I want to take great care to be true to His Word. C.S. Lewis spoke about “sacred imagination” – envisioning a new way to explain the Gospel – and I have worked hard to use it responsibly. So I do a lot of Scripture reading, consult devotionals, and surf reliable websites to gain insights and learn more background.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Elizabeth: Wow! That could take a while! Let’s start with C.S. Lewis… then I would mention Ravi Zacharias and Beverly Lewis and Calvin Miller. As an English professor, I love to teach William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer and J.R.R. Tolkien and O. Henry and Ray Bradbury. There are many more, but I am sure the readers’ eyes would glaze over if I mentioned them all!
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Elizabeth: So far, I’ve published a treatise on the medieval mystery plays and a writing guide aimed at 8th-graders. Allen & I followed the trail of the Swamp Fox (a Revolutionary War hero) for a week last summer with two of our tutees – and produced a photo / travelogue from and for them. Then there are the 18+ full-length scripts I have written (around 10 are in print). I have also written an historical novel on the martyrdom of Paul the Apostle.
I’ve written poetry, but I haven’t published any of it because I envision it being accompanied by artwork – what kind will be the problem! I have several friends who paint and draw, and I love taking photos, but nothing is really solidified.
I would love to produce books that my four grandchildren would take delight in. I just love to communicate via the written word, and I would love them to remember me that way.
About The Book:
The subject of light is a theme found throughout the Bible: God created light on the fourth day of Creation; Moses’ first revelation of God came through a burning bush; several of the prophets reported encountering beings of light who delivered messages from God; and then there is the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. As with any dramatist, I wanted to explore my chosen subject in a fresh way. I “lit” on the miracle of the Jerusalemite who was healed in a wondrous way by the Master Healer Himself. As I read and reread portions of John’s Gospel that contains this story, I was fascinated by the new insights I “saw”: the yearning of a blind man who knew his need; the disdain of the religious leaders who already believed they “saw”; the amazement of people who witnessed a decaying corpse infused with abundant, new life. I saw that these are much more than a string of stories, somehow related because of the area in which they occurred. Instead, they are a Grand Theme designed by a Father of Light who wants all to see Love in action.
Genre: Christian Drama Play
Amazon Buy Link
Amazon Buy Link
Author the Author:
Elizabeth Golibart Honaker hails from Sparta, Tennessee, where she teaches writing support and English at Motlow Community College. Her undergraduate degree is in Liberal Arts, and her first MA is in Theology. This has given her the breadth and scope to write over fifteen full-length passion plays in the last twenty years – seven of which are in print with others being prepared for publication – as well as dozens of shorter scripts, short stories, and poems on Christian topics. Her first historical fiction novel, Come Before Winter, was published in 2014. In that same year, she completed her second MA in English and Creative Writing (Fiction) at Southern New Hampshire University.
When she is not writing or tutoring, she spends her time devising new home projects for Allen, her husband of 45 years. She also enjoys communicating with her two wonderful grown children and buying (and making) trinkets for her four lively grandchildren. She is passionate about sharing Christ, missional activities, and her local church. She also loves gardening, sewing, piano playing, and Star Trek as time permits.
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