Monday, December 07, 2015

Never Too Late

We talk almost daily about forgiveness in my classes. Most of the time, the object of our forgiveness is another person. Sometimes, it's a company as in this entry from January 18, 2009.

As I've mentioned, a number of my students blessed me at the holidays with presents. One of those was Laura, a girl in my fifth period sophomore Bible class. Laura, an excellent student, presented me with a gift card from BLOCKBUSTER. Since I do not have a membership to that video/DVD outlet, I decided to use it in Wichita while staying with my family. Shortly into the visit, I told Scott and Karen- who love movies- that I had a gift card and would treat them to a free film. Scott offered to drive. He gritted his teeth when I mentioned that the freebie would come from BLOCKBUSTER...and I knew why.

Scott has no love lost for the video giant. A number of years ago, he turned in a movie a day late into the slot and assumed they would simply pay the late fee when they made another rental. Instead, Scott began getting letters and calls from the company, threatening them with bill collectors and damaged credit. Scott took care of the situation but the scenario repeated itself when Karis, a college student at the time, turned in a movie late. There were again letters and calls warning of dire consequences simply for a late fee. I don't know if Scott took a vow never to enter BLOCKBUSTER again before he died ...but he might as well have. But, then, he could not forsee THE GIFT CARD.

As we entered the store, providentially only a block from their house, Scott stood in line to see if his membership was still valid. The young man at the register could not have been nicer. And, imagine my brother's reaction when the BLOCKBUSTER employee informed him of the following:
"Mr. Hawley, I see it has been more than one hundred days since you rented anything from us. We want you back in our store so your rental tonight is free! We want your business!"
I immediately put my gift card back in my wallet! Scott had a dilemma. Does he hold onto to his anger or does he give them another chance? The guy at the counter wasn't the same one who caused him grief in the first place- I'm sure it was a company policy- and he sincerely wanted Scott to resume his role as a customer. (I should interject that Scott and Karen have gone the NETFLIX route.) How can you stay mad at someone who so obviously is trying to win you over? I teased Scott as we left the store but we've all been there. Do we ever stay mad because we like to be mad? I had a teacher's aide several years ago who freely admitted she enjoyed being angry; she would let it go when she had fulfilled her quota of glee. But as we mature in the faith, we must let our anger go and move on. I'm not sure if we are under obligation to forgive corporations....but we are to forgive one another. In the meantime, since I still have Laura's gift card, Scott and I will venture back into his favorite business come Spring Break. Reconciliation is a slow process!

Applicable quote of the day:
Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don't want the other person to forget that we forgave
Ivern Ball

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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