“Love isn’t rolling credits or bought for 7 bucks. It’s more expensive than that. Love is cashing in all your chips.” (John 15:13 RSV)
I love movies – well, good movies anyway. Very few things beat a good film containing all of the elements of a fantastic story. Because of what movies cost, it is rare that I actually go to the theater anymore. I have become more of a netfilx, redbox guy. Can’t beat a buck a film. Anyway, seeing as it is summer time, there seems to be a new movie out just about every weekend.
Now, when I go to an actual movie I love to see the previews. Obviously, I can decide in 3 minutes whether or not that film will be any good; at all. This summer I have gone to the theater to see one movie. In it I saw previews for action films, dramas, comedies, and of course romantic comedies. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve seen a few. I’ll get even more honest; I have liked a few in the past.
With that secret out, I saw a preview for one that I can bet I will not see this summer; or probably at any point. It’s called Crazy, Stupid, Love. In looking at the website, the synopsis appears to be that of a man whose wife divorces him and he finds his way back into bachelor life with the help of a newly acquired younger friend. It seems to take a bunch of different angles from different characters in different romantic situations.
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t this like every other romantic comedy?
The answer: Most likely.
And yet, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Not so much the movie, but the title. What about this plot makes this particular love so crazy, so stupid. Is it that a divorcee finds love again? Is it that he re finds it with his wife? Is it about something else entirely?
But as I have continued to think about it, I have come to believe that this title is in fact the only definition for love (1).
Anything other than crazy and stupid, fails to be love.
I look at my parents, and trust me; they are both crazy and stupid. You have to be to make it 28 years with kids like Scott, Ben, and I, and still be head over heels for each other.
I look at friends that have traveled hours just to watch a game of mine. That’s crazy and stupid.
And most of all, I look at Christ – who, by very nature, was love incarnate. John says that Love put on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:3). I know very little of deity, but I’m quite certain it has the upper hand on flawed humanity. And I live with and around enough humans to believe that choosing to interact with them instead of the Godhead is crazy and stupid.
Then there’s the cross.
People were sentenced to death on a cross to rid craziness and stupidity, not in the name of it.
The norm of the day, of our day, is to love yourself. To hoard, acquire, and mount up for your own good. But much like he did during his time on earth, Christ flips the definition on his head. That true love is actually given away. That true love is to give your own life.
That true love is crazy.
That true love is stupid.
That love is Christ laying down his life for us. (1 John 3:16)
Yep. Us. With all of our chaos and mess. Perfect Love puts on flesh and comes to die for us.
The verse doesn’t stop there. John goes on…”And we ought to lay our lives down for our brothers.”
There it is. We are called to the same kind of love displayed by our King. Love that is patient, kind, and not self-serving (1 Corinthians 13), all ridiculous ideas for 2011.
And while I haven’t seen the film, I’m guessing that there’s a happy ending because our hero ends up with some girl, or an altruistic sense of self. But we all know too well that neither music nor rolling credits happen in our own lives.
The reality is we deal with fractured jobs, broken relationships, and troubled pasts. Movies simply numb a lot of the painful existences we have to face outside of the theaters.
The beautiful solution however exists in the heart of a story still being written. It starts ‘in the beginning,’ and refuses to have credits, contrary to every other story we know. Unheard of, right? Crazy, stupid even.
1. With regards to its measure.