Dear Reading Friends, “Christian Close-up” is a fiction short story based on an actual occurrence. The story comes with a reminder to pray for the Church. The event was centered on a news reporter doing an exposé by interviewing Christians as they exited a church building after a Sunday service.
by D.I. Telbat
Reporter Jenn Littman leaned against her news van across the street from a community church. Just then, the double doors of the church opened. She knocked on the van window, signaling her cameraman.
“Here they come,” she said. “Follow me. I want close-ups. Full facials this time.”
“I got it, Jenn.” He held up his media camera. “Maybe we’ll get better results this time.”
Jenn approached the first man to exit the church and held up her mic.
“Excuse me, sir. Jenn Littman with KRS Evening News. What’s your first name?”
“Uh, Curt.” He straightened his shirt. “I’m gonna be on TV?”
“You just attended the service in a t-shirt?”
“Yep. I attend every Sunday. Does the t-shirt matter?”
“It’s just telling. Listen, I have one more question for you.”
“Go for it. I have no secrets.” He winked at the camera as more people gathered around. “Want my number?”
“Actually, no. Can you tell me what the title of the sermon was?”
“Oh. Uh . . .” Curt patted his pockets. “I think I have the bulletin here somewhere.”
“No, tell me from your memory—the title of the sermon. You just attended. How about just the main subject?”
“Well, let’s see here. He said something about the cross. Um . . .”
“How about you?” Jenn held her mic up to a pretty young woman in a low-cut blouse. “What’s your name?”
“Susan. You want to know the sermon title?”
“Hi, Susan. No, I have a different question for you. From what passage in the Bible did the preacher teach?”
“What Scripture passage?”
“Well, there were a few. Let me think . . .”
“How about the main book of the Bible he used?”
“It was in the New Testament, I’m pretty sure.”
“Ask me a question.” A man in a flashy suit ran his fingers through his perfectly styled hair. “My name’s Franc.”
“Okay, Franc. You just attended the service?”
“I sure did.”
“You listened to the sermon?”
“Sure. It was about consecration from the Book of Second Timothy.”
“Oh, that’s not my question for you. We’re getting to it. You’re a born again believer?”
“I am.” He held his chin up higher. “My whole life.”
“And you take your Christian faith seriously?”
“As seriously as anyone, I guess.”
“Then, where’s your Bible?”
“My Bible?” Franc looked down at his empty hands.
“Yeah, you’re a real Christian, right? Did you lose your Bible?”
“No, I have like ten at home.”
“Are you embarrassed to carry a Bible?”
“No, of course not. This is America. It’s no big deal.”
“What if you were in Saudi Arabia? You act like you’re in Saudi Arabia, Franc, the way you don’t want to be seen or bothered with a Bible.”
“Saudi Arabia? What do you mean?”
“Bibles are illegal in Saudi Arabia, Franc. Why don’t you bring your Bible to church here in America?”
“Oh, well, they have them in the back of the pews.”
“So you don’t study regularly?”
“I already know the Bible. I read it all the way through when I was a kid.”
“Isn’t studying different than reading?” Jenn moved closer to him through the press of the crowd. “Don’t you think it’s a contradiction to say Jesus means something personal to you when you don’t even carry His Word when you attend a worship service?”
“What is this?” Franc frowned. “Are you trying to make me look like a fraud?”
Jenn turned off her mic and tucked it into her pocket.
“We’re done here,” she told her cameraman, then turned back to Franc. “Sadly, Franc, you don’t need me to make you look like a fraud. You seem to be doing just fine on your own.”
Jenn pushed her way through the crowd and walked back to the van with her cameraman.
“That’s four churches in four weeks.” She sighed. “I think Christianity has become a joke in America—a tradition no one takes seriously anymore.”
“You want to keep doing this?” The cameraman climbed into the van. “Maybe your weekend project isn’t worth finishing.”
“No, I want to do three more churches for a total of seven, then we’ll send each church a digital copy of our report. We have our own church to go to, but let’s face it, people need to wake up!”
How would you respond if you were interviewed after a church service? Me? It makes me feel the need to pray more urgently. The end must be near when the faithful seem so few.
On my knees,
Find other unique Christian Fiction with a Faith Focus by D.I. Telbat here.
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