Rain beat the windowshield as I pushed the pedal to get me to the movie theater on time. Stealing time for pleasure comes at unexpected opportunities.
Trusted friends had told me that I had to see the movie War Room. Therefore, I was battling slick streets, heavy traffic, and the urge to speed in the storm. Clear concentration plus rounds of fire power prayers, I parked the car with five minutes to spare. The umbrella shielded me from the barrage of crystal clear pellets.
Safe in the dark bunker of the theater room without food or drink, I chose to climb to the second highest row of seats before falling into a comfy seat. Previews allowed me to catch my breath.
Thinking I was there to watch a movie my comrades said was a must see; God showed me more than what was on the screen. He displayed audience connection!
Being a speaker even off stage in a dark theater room, I began to notice the audience and their reactions to impact filled scenes. Even though I was there with strangers, I was struck by their reactions being the same as mine to a power punch scene filled with the female lead actor speaking scripture aloud to weaken the enemy.
My pleasure pause turned into a new awaking for me that only the Good Shepherd would take the time to teach. I became aware that all of us sitting in the dark were there as Christian sisters and brothers to see what a war room looked like, the plans of attack to beat the enemy, and how others fought the battles with hope that we could learn and do the same. The War Room film didn’t disappoint.
Nevertheless, the different sounds of joy escaped from people throughout the theater when characters on screen took faith filled action. Sighs also escaped in surround sound when battles were being fought. Without words the live audience around me spoke to my soul. Their moans told of the pains they had experienced on similar battle fields that the movie characters displayed on the screen.
Even though we viewers didn’t know one another, we were connected. One of the lessons I learned that day that even though I went to see a movie alone, I was with extended family. Taking time away from preparing for upcoming presentations, I found myself doing my job in the theater off
stage while being an audience member.
I was praying for the audience around me. This stolen time wasn’t about honing my skills of giving and receiving eye contact as a speaker. It was about listening to His sheep’s moans, cheers, sighs, and laughter. Then to pray for them even if I didn’t know them. He did.
Not all war rooms need to be in an empty closet. It can be in a full theater room of unknown family members. As a professional speaker and teacher, I was taught I don’t need to be at the front of the room to be tuned to the audience.
Beyond an unexpected opportunity to race through rain and traffic, God showered down so many blessings that day in a pause He planned.
Have you experienced audience connection in a unique way? What’s your “ah-ha” audience connection story?