Friday, March 5, 2010

Let Folks Go

I quite enjoy Tyler Perry movies.  Tyler who grew up with a violently abusive father but God-fearing mother who took him to church weekly, has an amazing testimony of how God brought him through periods of poverty, hunger, and even homelessness to become one of the most distinguished playwrights, screenwriter, actors and producers of our generation. His plays and films are down home funny, which is why, I think I like them.  With wit and down to earth humour, Tyler deals with some heavy issues, which always find resolution through truth. The Madea series stars Tyler himself playing the title character, a well-intentioned but brash, sometimes inappropriate and rude, old school matriarch who underneath her rough exterior, houses a large heart and some deep wisdom. Wisdom that our generation, would do well to recover. While the topics addressed are heavy, and things at times brash and crass the Christian influence is very evident in all his movies. Madea's shallow, self-serving faith is a little misguided to say the least (adding vaudeville comic relief to the heavy story lines). Though her family is constantly pointing her toward God,  and the other main characters in the film exhibit deep, genuine faith, Madea's stubbornness seems to keep her just an arms length away from embracing God. I am hoping that one of Tyler's future Madea films will find her broken, like the many characters she helps, so that she too can experience the fullness of God's saving grace.  Though I trust her wit and sassy attitude remains.

I am including a link to a video excerpt from the recent stage play, Madea goes to jail.  I love Madea's diatribe on relationships, it holds some great wisdom. As I read over this short passage from the play once again, I realized that it could loosely apply as well, to how some people treat the church at times. In fact it reminds me a bit of the parable of the sower Jesus tells in the Gospels (Mark 4:1-10).  I thank God for the friendships that are the roots in my life, and for the people who make up the roots of our churches, and I give thanks for you by name!

(Please note in character, Madea uses the word "hell" a number of times if that is offensive to you, feel free to skip the extended video and read the summary text I have included below).


"Listen, I put everyone who comes into my life in the category of a tree...Some people are like the LEAVES on a tree - the wind blow they over here - they're unstable, it blow the other way they're over there. The seasons change, they wither and die, and they're gone. It's all right, some people, most people, in the world are like that, they are just there to take from the tree, they don't do nothing but take and provide a little shade now and then, that's all they can do. But don't get mad at people like that - that's who they are - they ain't never going to be nothing, that is why they were put this earth - to be what they are - a leaf.

Some people are like a BRANCH on that tree, you got to be careful with those branches too, cause they will fool you, they'll get there and make you think that they are a good friend and they are real strong, but the minute you step out there on them they'll break and leave you high and dry

But if you find you two or three people in your life that are like the roots at the bottom of that tree, You are blessed, cause them the kind a people that ain't going nowhere. They ain't worried about being seen, ain't nobody got to know that they know you, no ones got to know what they are doing for you, but if them roots wasn't there, that tree couldn't live. A tree can have a hundred million branches but only a few roots down at the bottom, to make sure it gets everything that it needs. I'm telling you something, when you get you some roots, hold on to em, but the rest of them, Let em go, Just let em go - Let folks go.

Ain't nobody said it was easy, but it will get easy when you learn how to love yourself.   When you get to a point in your life when you look at people and you go okay wait a minute, you or me, you will make a decision. Cause when you telling folks to do something, and I never throw nobody away, I never in my life just thrown nobody where you just say look don't bother me know more, don't talk to me, I never done that, what I do is I tell them, I say look, this thing you doing right here, that's gonna cause a problem you need to fix that, cause if we gonna be friends m we gonna be cool you need to fix that and if you don't we gonna have an issue. If you see somebody fix or they even trying to fix it, that's somebody who cares, keep them people around, that's a leaf that is trying to grow up and be something else." But if you tell somebody that what you're doing is hurting me and I need you to stop and they keep doing it, they don't care, move on let 'em go. It don't matter how much it hurt let 'em go."

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