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Tindell Baldwin »

Fifty Bucks and a Case of Beer

I have taken a hiatus from writing to carefully consider where to go with this blog. I want to be real, gut wrenching honest, but something keeps holding me back. Something keeps telling me that revealing too much of myself will end badly. I want to change that about church, the idea that we have to put on a perfect face and pretend like we don’t struggle. The truth is the Christian life is hard and standing up for something many times means standing alone. I am OK with standing alone as long as I can be me. After a conversation this weekend with my aunt I realized that the audience I want to aim this blog at struggles with much deeper issues then giving grace, they are in the midst of life changing decisions and to avoid that would be doing what I have promised myself I wouldn’t do. So even if things get sticky I will keep sharing my story unashamed because its worth standing alone.


One of my favorite movies is Almost famous, it’s a true story of a journalist who goes on the road with a rock and roll band and falls in love with the “band aid” Penny Lane. Penny lane loves the lead guitarist who has a girlfriend. She goes on the tour with them and lives in the fantasy that the tour will never come to a close and more than that she believes Russell loves her. Meanwhile the journalist, William, the good guy is falling for Penny. The tour is coming to a close and they are about to go to New York where Russell’s girlfriend will be meeting them, he is gambling with another band and he wagers Penny lane, 50$, and case of beer. William is watching and leaves broken hearted. He goes to talk to Penny who is trying to convince William that Russell loves her.

Penny Lane: Maybe it is love, as much as it can be, for somebody…

William Miller: Somebody who sold you to Humble Pie for fifty bucks and a case of beer! I was there! I was there!… Look- I’m sorry.

Penny Lane: [sniffs] What kind of beer?

The first time I watched this I realized we have all been some form of penny lane or at least I have. Most girls have bought the lie and ended up in tears wondering why he traded her for something else. Most girls have fooled themselves into believing that sex is the basis for a lasting relationship. Penny was fooled into believing he loved her, that he would fight for her. I’m sure he said the right things, made her feel the right way, and so she gave in with the hopes that something greater would come out of it.

Penny lane was a real girl, someone who feel in love and fooled herself into believing that when push came to shove he would pay the price for her but she had already given herself for much less. She wanted love so she traded it for the imitation and when a better offer came along he traded her. Walking away is a lot easier than staying, staying requires hard work and sacrifices and walking away requires nothing more than somewhere to go. We never know what Russell said to Penny behind closed doors but I bet it’s not much different than what most girls are told. Words are cheap but commitment is hard work. You are worth more than fifty bucks and a case of beer. You deserve love that is safe, one that doesn’t leave you questioning your worth in this world.

What are you trading your love for? What have you fooled yourself into believing? Do you think he loves you but your heart feels insecure? Is he asking things of you that feel cheap and leave your empty? I don’t care what life has told you in the past you are worth more than fifty bucks and a case of beer.

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