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Jesus told this parable:

hollywood-signTwo people went to Hollywood to get involved in the entertainment industry.

One was a film director from Georgia who felt called to make Christian movies, and the other was a screenwriter from Jersey whose ambition was to become the next Quentin Tarantino. The two wound up living in adjoining apartments in the Valley where they would pass each other every day, but they never spoke.

The director from Georgia, who had come to Hollywood because he was so bothered by the stream of morally bankrupt movies and programs being produced there, was offended by the lifestyles he encountered in L.A. and angered by the way industry people so often made fun of religion. Emboldened by the culture war messages he would read online, he decided to turn his energies to creating a Christian alternative to Hollywood.

One afternoon he sat in church and prayed, “God, I’m so glad I’m not like the other people I see out here – the godless actors, hedonistic directors, vile comics – or even like that liberal screenwriter who lives next door, people who don’t know you and who are trying to destroy traditional American family values. I’m in church every Sunday, attend Bible study twice a week, fast and pray regularly, and give money to conservative politicians. I will play an important part in saving the culture, and I’m so glad you sent me here to stand in the gap.”

At that same moment, the screenwriter from Jersey – after working for hours at Alfred Coffee trying to break a new script idea – was wandering the streets. She missed her family, was agonizing over the less talented writers who sold scripts while her career was going nowhere, regretted that clingy guy she’d brought home the night before, and was worried that she’d started drinking too much.

When she found herself standing across the street from the church, a small part of her felt like she should go in, but she just couldn’t. There was too much baggage.

Instead, she sat on a bench and broke down into sobs, crying out, “God, what’s the point of all this? What am I even doing here? If you’re out there, please give me a break. I just really need a break… I’m so sorry… for everything…”

And Jesus said, “I tell you that the screenwriter, rather than the director, was justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Inspired by Luke 18:9-14 and this article about the Golden Globes.