Before & After

Biblical Text: Matthew 10:17-22
Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity:

Helps us put a biblical narrative into an imagined context so that we can better see cause and effect, preparation and consequence of potential decisions and patterns of behavior.

Items Needed:

Bible. Paper and pen.

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  1. Read the Mark 10:17-22.
  2. Write a “before story” about the man who ran up and knelt before Jesus. Give him a name and a home. Where was this man before this narrative opened — at work? at home? in a meeting? playing with his son? Where was he yesterday, or last month, or at some critical point in his life some years ago? Write as many “before stories” as you wish. What brought this character to this place in the story. Give him a history.
  3. Write an “after story” for this man. What happened next in his life, after the biblical narrative ended? Where did he go? Whom did he see? Or, give a snapshot of this character some months or years down the road. What became of him … as a result of his or her actions or non-actions in the biblical narrative?

In Closing . . .

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

Playing with Narratives
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture ARCHIVES

Creative Commons License
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at