Playwright Caroline Turner Cole explores Jude 1:20-23 through the lens of addiction and the path of recovery in this one act script with a reading performed by Stacy Ann Strang, Alexandra Hulme, and Taylor LeBaron.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.


(parental discretion is advised)


Written by Caroline Turner Cole. 2017
Vocal performance featuring Stacy Ann Strang, Alexandra Hulme, and Taylor LeBaron


Read the script: Steps


From the Artist:


This piece is a mix of my own experience and an image that kept reappearing grotesquely in my head as I read through Jude. While I am not an alcoholic, I have been through the 12-step program with a group of wonderful ladies as a way of discovering and recovering from co-dependent tendencies. It dramatically changed my life, how I relate to other people, think of God, sin and myself. While the program was originally created to help alcoholics get sober, it translates beautifully to work for any kind of addiction. And if we’re truly being honest, we’re all addicted to something – some things are just more culturally appropriate than others.
Jude tells his readers to “show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh”. To always show mercy first, but to simultaneously not condone behavior that is harmful or hurtful. This garment stained by the flesh kept lodging itself in my brain as a sweater soaked in vomit. A garment more literally than figuratively stained by the flesh. Stinking, rotting, putrid, something you’d plug your nose to avoid and want to help your friend out of as soon as humanly possible. In this piece, this garment comes into play at a character’s absolute rock bottom point. The point that moves her to finally admit her weaknesses and seek help and recovery. At some point or another, most have had a similar moment, that moment where we realize we can’t do this life on our own, the moment we finally ask for help or guidance from a friend, a group, or God, the moment that changes forever the path we’ve been on and propels us in a new, better direction.
My prayer is that this piece reminds you of those moments that changed you and the moments you helped changed others; that it moves you towards your next life changing moment and reminds you to look upon other struggling humans first with mercy, then plug your nose and get that sweater off them.




Photo by Johnathan Stafford

Photo by Johnathan Stafford

Caroline Cole is a theatre maker based in Dallas, TX. She works as an actor onstage and behind the voiceover mic, a writer, and a teaching artist. She is a proud playwright and actor with The Aviary, supporting local playwrights and creating an incubation space for new plays. Caroline studied theatre at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, CT, finished her undergraduate degree in theatre performance from Rice University and graduate studies in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She firmly believes that nothing delights our Creator more than his creation being creative and is humbled by all the opportunities she has been given to tell stories.






This work was curated by Lauren Ferebee.

All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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