We just saw Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but just in case, you’ve been warned.
You may already know that the main character, Peter Quill, lives life alongside his mix tapes from the 1980s. A characteristic that draws me to him. Yes, I’m that old!
The picture opens with the song Brandy by Looking Glass. Later in the movie, this song is called “one of Earth’s greatest musical compositions, perhaps the greatest.” which got me to wondering – why would anyone say this?
One reason is simply the outrageousness of the statement. Of all the music composed in the history of Earth, Brandy is called ‘the greatest’. Not Bach, not Beethoven, not even McCartney, but a little known songwriter with one hit song. And yet, there is something about it, isn’t there?
On the surface, it’s a simple story-song: a barmaid loves a sailor who can’t stay and even though he leaves her, his love remains in a locket. Even in its simplicity, it manages to capture something that resonates with all of us – loneliness. This is the point that the character in the film makes, though not overtly. He is lonely so the song, for him, is “the greatest.”
“At night, when the bars close down; Brandy walks through the silent town; and loves a man who’s not around. She still can hear him say…” This is the line that gets me every time. There is something so sublime and heartfelt. It paints both a visual and emotional picture of emptiness, loneliness and unrequited love.
Putting my own spin on it (I’m pretty sure that the song is just a song), let’s say that the sailor is Jesus and Brandy is a disciple, any disciple, maybe you.
Jesus came “bearing gifts from far away.” He also made it clear that “he couldn’t stay.” But even though he is gone, the disciple holds onto the love that accompanied his presence. As Christians, we live that existence.
We love, and are loved by, the Son of God, yet he is not physically present. That separation is real, like the separation we feel when a loved one dies. It is also our hope – that we will one day be in his presence again. Someday, that sailor will call in port again and Brandy will have her beloved back.
One day, we will see our Savior face-to-face. That is our sure and certain hope!
Blessings – Mark