I finally got to see Les Misérables last night. I’d seen it once on stage and read the book years ago, so I knew what I was in for. I went prepared, and sure enough, from the moment of the candlesticks, my eyes were streaming. Such sadness, such inhumanity. The egregious treatment of Jean Valjean. The raw courage and destruction of Fantine in her unfailing love and devotion to Cosette.
But what really made me weep, was the goodness. The life changing kindness of the bishop, winning Jean for God. Jean’s prayerful acceptance of the charge, shedding the hatred that sustained him and choosing, every time, the right and terrible path. On and on, moments of such piercing beauty.
As always my heart ached for Javert. To receive mercy–the same mercy that gave Jean life–and be so rigid in belief that mercy means failure, means death. Is there a better picture of rejecting God, not in divine justice but prodigal forgiveness?
And Jean’s homecoming, his weary soul free at last, joining those who strove for freedom from fear and bondage. How can our eyes not weep, our hearts not overflow with such an undiluted depiction of fallen man overlapped by the kingdom of God?
If you haven’t already, I urge you to experience this opera. If you’re like me, your God-place inside will be stirred.