Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
TITLE: Click For Candor or Downright Crazy
By DK Landers
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Believing that every customer deserves attention, Carrie often worked overtime to read each letter and to send a response to those requesting one. The problem was sorting out the honest comments or legitimate complaints from those scamming for passes--or from those worthy of the "downright crazy" file. Among those, she had received a scary manifesto that rambled communist conspiracy theories, a letter and photo spread from a 70 year-old child star who wanted to be cast in a movie (she still remembered her dance routines), and a complaint from a guy who didn't like how extraterrestrials were portrayed in films because they didn't resemble the ones that he knew.
It had been a year of trying to keep up with the ever-increasing customer emails among her other duties, and Carrie began to suffer burn out. What she might have considered humorous in the past started irritating her. Her Christian spirit felt the weight of how the world sets priorities.
She couldn't imagine lying to get something for free, but many people lied to get two free movie passes. Customers cited projection problems at a time when the film was not being shown; refunds were demanded because patrons didn't understand the movie plot; others falsely reported encounters with everything from hypodermic needles in seats to rats running amuck inside theatres.
To keep from being deceived, Carrie had to create a database to keep track of the repeat offenders, which added to her schedule. With multiplexes nationwide, some patrons perpetrated the same scam at different locations, but would ask for passes to be sent to their home address. What was wrong with these people?
The scammers and crazies didn't outnumber honest movie-goers, but sometimes it seemed that way. The negative transmissions were significant enough to affect Carrie's faith in people. In a conversation with a coworker, it became clear that her change in attitude needed adjusting.
Pete, one of the employees developing weekly movie schedules for the theaters, mentioned that a Tom Cruise film was selling out at several locations.
"What a surprise," Carrie said, sarcastically. "People flock to see violent thrillers, yet I get letters from Christians complaining that we don't show films that glorify God."
Pete raised his eyebrows. "Hey, aren't you a Christian?"
She nodded. "Yeah…"
"You sound pretty cynical. Christians probably don't connect what's playing to how many tickets are sold at the box office. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've heard that there are more Christians in the U.S. than non-Christians."
Carrie felt the color rise in her cheeks. "That's true," she said.
"Well, seems to me that a Christian in the position to encourage other Christians to band together in support of a particular type of film could make it happen. It's like voting. Every ticket sold counts. If Christian films start making more money than the rest, more of that film type will be produced and shown. Think about it." Pete walked away.
Carrie spent her lunch hour at a nearby park reading her Bible and praying. Her conversation with Pete had opened her eyes. As a Christian, she hadn't been doing her part to let Jesus shine through her. She had allowed the world to harden her heart, yet she knew that faith in God could overcome all.
In the weeks to come, Carrie received emails from Christians asking for a soon-to-be released Christian film to play at Multiplex Theatres. Instead of giving the pat response about contractual obligations with the studios, she took the time to explain how Christians can influence the Film Industry, and she prayed for God to bless every response she sent out.
In a short time, the emails from Christians requesting the film grew to over a thousand. Carrie reported the numbers to the Sr. Vice President, and he brought the information to the Executive Board. The movie was added to the schedule, selling out for several weeks.
Hebrews 11:30 (NLT) It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.
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