Wow – this was a great film. I had never heard of Tyler Perry before and had not seen this film either. Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbRYjGJ7kUk. The film itself is one that is full of drama, laughs, tears, joy and much more.. it’s the whole basket of emotions.
This is a 2005 film. Helen McCarter is a woman who appears to have it all. A loving husband, a nice house a wardrobe full of clothes. However, right at the start of the film her husband kicks her out of the house and she loses everything. Helen goes to live with her grandmother Madea. The story follows Helen as she learns to stand on her own two feet. She is finally ready to move forward with her life, when drama strikes her soon-to-be ex-husband. Helen finds herself drowning in an ocean of emotion wondering if she could ever forgive the man who destroyed her life.
Now as for where the Lord was in this film…..
In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Helen and her husband Charles… On the outside everything looks to be perfect. But the reality is that the core of their relationship is rotten. We see this when they are alone and not “putting up appearances” This is a reflection of who we really are. On the outside (the seen) we are perfect. According to the world the human race has never been better. But on the inside (the unseen) we are rotten souls.
Helen believes that she has been nothing but a “good” wife, yet her husband has treated her worse than the scum of the earth. He brings home another woman and kicks Helen out of the house. What a picture of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Doing or being “good” still got Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden. She was kicking and screaming. She put up a fight. She didn’t want to let go of him that easily. We often put up a fuss when we are called to let go of everything that we know.
She loses everything. Her house, her possessions, her dignity, her pride, her “identity” remember all she was for the last 18 years was a “good” housewife.
This is a picture of her being in the wilderness. Outside of the walls of the law of marriage she had no idea who she was. She was lost and extremely uncomfortable.
We first meet Orlando (who is a beautiful picture of Christ) right at the beginning of all of Helen’s problems. Christ HAS been there, IS there, and WILL be there for us no matter what the circumstances or our situation. But most importantly no matter how we treat him he doesn’t change. She kicked him out of the truck, threw water at his face and accused him of being just like every other evil Man. He never tried to defend himself. And the way he treated her never changed. Sounds a lot like our Lord to me!
What I love about Orlando is where he came from. He was from a poor neighborhood “just another black guy” this is such a picture of our lord (minus the black guy part) but look at The Lord’s birth. He was born amongst the stench of animal faeces in a manger probably filled with tics. Not a luxurious upbringing either. He was part of the “ghetto” just like Orlando.
The One night Orlando took Helen out to a meal. One that she couldn’t afford. This is a picture of how The Lord longs to lavish us – not of the things of this world. But lavish us with his company and presence. He is our real food and he longs for us to enjoy him. This scene is where she opens up to him and allows him close to her. Her flesh didn’t want him… She kept assuming the worst .. But her consciousness was yearning for him. We are the same. Our flesh often desires other things it tries to resist Christ.. That is the nature of the flesh. But our spirits “know” Him. They recognize that all we have to “do” is trust him.
Helen enjoys Orlando’s company and presence for the next 4 months. Her old identity is gone. She even exclaims “I found my self” she finally knew who she was – and her identity was found in Orlando.
Orlando proposed to her. His proposal was beautiful. He wanted to save her from her past. Nourish her future, all she had to do was trust him and not look back. She was still vulnerable at this stage and as she was about to take a leap of faith and say YES The movie takes a sudden turn. Her old husband was shot in court. It looks like he is going to die. She runs back to him to try to save him.
Charles is brought to an all time low. Paralysed – reliant on the care of his “ex” wife. Although she is mad and full of rage, deep down inside she still cares for him. She wanted him to live. This is a picture of what it means to really let go of everything to follow the Lord. To truly enter marriage with him and become his wife, we have to let the “old” go. But our instincts are the same as the Helen’s. As soon as we see that we might lose the old, as soon as there is the possibility of death, we run straight back to try to hold on to it. Instead of just letting it go and saying YES to the love of our live. We cling to what we think we “know”
Her rage takes over, and she treats him like dirt just as he did to her. This reminds us that flesh will be flesh. When she goes back to the old, her flesh takes over. She is not functioning on “love” or “life” it’s back to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She says that she was a good wife, and didn’t deserve this and now he has to pay. Her family reminds her about forgiveness and they remind her about Orlando (who she had been ignoring and staying away from).
Helen nurses her husband back to health and cares for him. But then she realizes that she doesn’t want to go back to the old. She was thankful for what her husband did to her because if he didn’t she wouldn’t have known that a man like Orlando could love her the way that he did. This is a beautiful picture because although we sometimes run back to the flesh we can use it as a reminder for who we are in Christ. What he has done, how much he loves us and how grateful we are that it’s no longer “us” but “Him IN us”. She gives Charles the divorce papers to sign. A beautiful picture of “letting go” of the old.
She runs to Orlando knowing that she is a free woman. Her old identity is finally dead she has cut all ties to her past. She runs to him, and tells him that she loves him. What is beautiful about this is she repeats what he said to her when he told her that he loved her for the first time (note: he FIRST loved us).
Orlando: I’m in love with you.
Helen: How do you know that?
Orlando: I don’t know how to explain it to you.
Orlando: Helen, if I’m away from you for more than an hour, I can’t stop thinking about you. I carry you in my spirit. I pray for you more than I pray for myself. I’ve got it so bad for you I’d… I’d go to the grocery store and buy your feminine products, I swear I would.
[Helen and Orlando laugh]
Orlando: And see? And that… that… That smile. Helen, when you smile like that, my world… It’s all right.
Orlando: I am in love with you.
This made it clear to Orlando that Helen was truly in love with him. How great is this! We can use His own words as a means of expressing our love for him. Beholding the Lord through scripture is one of the most beautiful ways to express love and life to our prince.
Orlando instantly returned the love. Although Helen had neglected him and run back to the old. He still loved her. His love goes far beyond her actions. He was in love with her for who she was. And that would never change. He wanted to care for her and look after her and fulfil all of her needs. All she had to do was say yes. And when she did, boy did he celebrate. I’m sure our Lord celebrates when his bride runs to Him and expresses her love for him. It’s so simple. There is nothing to “do” there is no guilt or obligation. All we have to “do” is love Him back.
In this movie, marriage is a picture of the law. In her “old” marriage.. she was bound by the legalities that come with marriage. She was faithful to the law of marriage, she was a good wife she did her husband no wrong. Although she ticked all of the boxes when it came to the “law” of marriage – it still failed her. When she met Orlando, marriage looked different. He says the following when he proposes (which could be the Lord talking directly to the audience if you ask me!!)
Orlando: I know you don’t believe in fairy tales. But, if you did, I’d want to be your knight in shining armour. You’ve been through so much. I don’t want to see you hurt anymore. Now I may not be able to give you all that your used to. But I do know I can love you past your pain. I don’t want you to worry about anything. You just wake up in the morning, that’s all you have to do and I’ll take it from there. There’s one condition. You have to be my wife.
There is only one thing she has to “do” and that is return the Love that he is pouring out. All of our needs are fulfilled in him… Even if it looks different to what we currently know. The Lord left us with ONE commandment “love one another as I have loved you” – why? Because he alive in all of us. When we love one another, we are loving Him. When we serve one another we are serving him. This is why The Lord could say to Saul “Saul, why are persecuting ME?” Because he was ALIVE in his people.
He really does want to me our knight in shining armour. He doesn’t want to see us hurt anymore. He will give us everything we need to be satisfied in HIM. He will love us past our pain. We have nothing left wo worry about. All we need to do is wake up in the morning and turn to him, behold him, love him. He will take it from there. All we have to do is say Yes to his proposal. He longs for a bride to love him with all of her might. He is worth signing the divorce papers to the OLD for, he is worth running away from the comfort of all that we know. He will give us LIFE.. not just any life – HIS life.
I encourage you to watch this film and share your insights below 🙂
For the wedding,
Your sister IN Christ