"Love shoulda brought you home, you home last night, shoulda been with me, shoulda been by my side... oh baby, if you care anything for me, then love should brought you home last night"
There is a movie somewhere in the middle of my 500 favorite films of all time, one that you probably have heard of, but might have never seen. Or perhaps you've never heard of it, at all... in any case, its not a great film.
Well, its not even a good film, if I'm being honest... but its entertaining. And its got something that I really put a lot of stock into--"re-watchability". There are brilliant films out there, like "Saving Private Ryan" or "The Gangs of New York" or even just great movies like "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" or more recently, "Super 8", that I'd put on any great film list... but they aren't movies I'd sit and watch over and over.
"Boomerang", however, is one I could watch over and over. It's somewhat of a forgettable movie from 1992, with Eddie Murphy , Robin Givens (back when she was relevant, as the new ex-Mike Tyson), a much younger Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, early Martin Lawrence and Chris Rock in one of his first films…
Eddie is Marcus, who is a straight up playa.. not just a player, but for you extremely white, not down with the hip hop speak folks, a playa, who leaves a long line of women behind him who’s he has gone out with and has departed less than acrimoniously. Working at an ad agency, he gets a new boss named Jacqueline (Robin Givens), who herself is a playa… a playette? Is that what you call it? Mandie Tuck, do you know the answer?
Anyway… Marcus falls for Jacqueline, and then is played… the song on the excellent soundtrack that plays during the scene when he realizes he’s been hustled is “Total Reversal of a Dog”, which fits nicely here. He laments his woes to his friend Angela (Halle Berry), who turns around and falls for him. And predictably, Marcus falls for Angela.
Jacqueline sees Marcus now ignoring her for the very plain-jane Angela… and being female and naturally competitive when it comes to men, is furious, and aims to get him back.
And here’s where the point of this whole thing comes in… Jacqueline seduces Marcus one more time, presumably just to ruin his and Angela’s relationship… and it almost works.
Angela finds out about it… Marcus comes in, and she demands the truth, and he admits he messed up big time, and then follows it up with, “Angela, I love you…”
Angela responds with this: What do you know about love? What do you possibly think you know about love? You know, I’m sick and tired of men using love like it’s some kind of disease you can catch…
And here’s the money line:
"Love shoulda brought your (posterior) home last night”
We use “love” for everything. You love Alabama football. Your college daughter her sorority. The Lovely Steph Leann loves “Sense & Sensibility”. I love the Toni Braxton song that comes with this scene, “Love Shoulda Brought You Home Last Night”… we love everything, from beach weekends to cheesecake to Ryan Gosling movies to a pickup truck we’ve been wanting to own.
And that’s okay. It’s the way we are wired, to express our great feeling, our great affection for something, we use “Love” over “like”, because it puts forth a sentiment that this particular thing is not just something we casually enjoy, but we really, really, reeeeeeallly enjoy partaking of.
Then there is that next level of love, that even though the word is the same, the meaning is deeper, more meaningful. Joey Thornell will tell you he loves Alabama football… but you’ll never make me believe that “I love Alabama football” and “I love my boys” has the same meaning, ever. Same word, big difference.
Love… shoulda brought us home last night.
Watching the movie, you believe that Marcus has fallen for Angela, so its wildly irritating when he nearly throws it all away because he gave in to Jacqueline’s Jezebelocity. Is that a word? It is now.
When we say “we love God”, what do we mean? What version of love do we use? I know what we WANT to use… I know the way we WANT to mean it… but how do we really mean it? Do we profess love for Christ in the same meaning we profess the way we love a TV Show or a song or afternoon naps… or do we truly mean a deep love for Christ in the same way we love our spouses, our children, our families, our most cherished possessions?
Because Love… true love… shoulda brought us home last night.
True agape love, the deep kind of love and affection that we should have for our Christ is the kind of love that prevents us from going out into the world only to come home to Jesus the next day and say, “Yeah, I know I did all that, but I love you, God.” Following Christ should keep us from wanting to venture into Monday thru Saturday and being our own selves, then coming home to Christ on Sunday to say, “I love you, Jesus!”
Don’t get me wrong… I know there is grace. There is mercy. Because of a cross on a hill, there is forgiveness—grace abounds, I’m the chief abuser… but that’s where many people stop—“I screwed up, but I am forgiven so it’s all good. Hey, World, what’s going on witcha?”
See, we can’t stop there… because of the Holy Spirit, there is also a need for repentance, a pursuit of a love for God that surpasses the love for our own children, our own selves… not a love that is slightly ahead of the latest Justin Timberlake album (which by the way is just okay… if you are getting a JT album , start with “Justified”, as it’s got my favorite Timberlake song on it, “Rock Your Body”, which I love because… wait… crap, I hate it when I prove my own point on myself… you know what, let’s move on.)
Because Love… shoulda brought us home last night.
With the power of the Holy Spirit, with the love of Christ—and let’s face it, it’s a love that we cannot replicate, because it is too deep, too wide, too infinite and monumental for our limited understand—we can resist those things that test that love, we can have freedom from the world who will cause our actions to be anything less than continual displays of love for our God.
And in this, we won’t hear Jesus quietly saying to us, “Love shoulda brought you home last night”… instead, we’ll hear the sweet sound of Jesus’ approval, saying “It is in My love that you have remained here.” And that’s a love that we should all desire so deeply and passionately, it knows no end.
By the way… when using spell check, “Jezebelocity” was suggested to be “Jezebel City”. I find that entire possibility both hilarious and fascinating. Love does not take you to Jezebel City, I can assure you. Nor Paradise City. Maybe Panama City, but probably not during MTV’s Spring Break party at Club La Vela. Not that I would know about that. Stephanie told me.