Take my hand
And lead me to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.
So here I am on a beautiful, warm, spring Sunday sitting inside with a miserable cold. Having just watched a rerun of the movie Ghost, I am now watching PBS‘ telecast of the 25th Anniversary concert of “Les Mis.” I missed church today, but watching this and listening to its redemptive message will be worship enough, I think.
Now I don’t think everyone listens to this musical as if it were a theological lesson, but you can. Hugo himself analyzed it like this: “The book is, from one end to the other… a progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God.”
My husband keeps talking about using it for a teaching class. For him it is the perfect vehicle to experience the difference between the God of the law and judgement, as represented by Javert, and the God of Grace, represented first by the Bishop, and later by Valjean as he redeems Fantine and Cossette, and thereby himself.
For me Les Mis is a spiritual lesson on grace, but equally a representation of the everlasting nature of love. Somehow, coincidentally, my day has really fit together. Sam Wheat said it well in Ghost. As he leaves for the light of heaven, he tells his lost love, “It’s amazing, Molly, the love inside, you take it with you.”
When my mother died, I struggled with my loss of her. I will never be able to fully explain it or completely understand it, but I had an experience that made things better. I share it and you can make of it what you will.
I was in bed praying for her and for myself. At some point in my anguish I felt like I screamed, “Mom.” This was not out loud, but it felt like it came from the depths of my soul. And then comes the part I will have to ask you to accept, or leave, on your own terms. For then, in a way I cannot explain, I felt my mother’s love envelope me. And I knew peace.
Whatever it was, I knew love really does live on. Hugo was right. My mom, like Sam, has taken her love with her, though she also left it behind with me. And like Valjean, I believe her love has let her see the face of God.
So today my wish for you is for the blessing of love, and that you use it to join the people “climbing to the light.” Look around. Through the eyes of love, the face of God is everywhere.
- Musing on Mercy & Justice (acorinthian.wordpress.com)
- God’s Grace In Les Mis (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
- Why Les Miserables Is So Popular, Though Ann Hathaway Might Not Be Able To Explain Why (scskillman.com)