On facebook, a friend posted that Les Miserables was a movie about a guy who stole a bread and how sh** goes down from one single piece of that bread.
Tonight, I saw the movie on my own, and this is the experience I got from it.
That moment when Hugh Jackman stood on top of that cliff, right after he was refused his first job after his parole, that moment when the beauty of (what should be) France was shown, it took my breathe away. It started there, it made me want to visit wherever they shot the movie, but just a split second into the thought, I immediately, in my heart, praised God for the wonder and beauty of his creation.
So there he was, alone, despondent, hope all gone for humanity, when a priest gave him food to eat, shelter for the night. And like many of us, we cannot understand that, we cannot fathom how a world so mean, (for crying out loud, it was just a bread, and was 19 years not enough?!) so unloving, can produce a person ready to trust you, ready to lend you a helping hand, he ran away but not without taking the silver from the church. In the morning he is caught, he explains to the police that the silver was a gift, and faced with his victim, he is not only forgiven, he is rewarded. He is
When Valjean sang "Valjean Soliloquy", you know then that he not only understood grace, he accepted it. He was humbled by it and received it, understood it and turned his life around.
After a few years, Jalvert finally caught up to him, but he does not know that Valjean is Valjean, and so Jalvert reports to him that they have found Valjean. And that struggle that he has, should he keep to himself? continue giving a living to the people who is depending on him? His internal struggle to be do what is right and to justify doing what isn't, is something that we all (or at least me) can relate to. And coming to that decision that whatever justification or rationalisation we may come up with, in the end, we should do what is right, and so rushes to admit, he is prisoner 24601.
Fast forward to the latter part of the movie (I love the love story part but it wasnt the thing that won me over), Jalvert is captured by the "schoolboys" of the revolution. This was the part that Valjean realises Cosette is in love with Marius, and so he has to see him, meet him, and somehow save him. Valjean enters the barricade, helps the revolutionists, sees Jalvert. Jalvert is given to him, he is free to do as he will. With a knife, he lets Jalvert go. Grace. Once more, I am reminded, it is a gift that keeps on giving. And although unsure of what just happened, Jalvert accepts it (temporarily) and ran.
Few days later they meet again, Valjean pleads to Jalvert to spare his life an hour more, just so he can save Marius. Cosette needs him. Jalvert says impossible, take one step and he fires his gun. Valjean looks at Jalvert and walks away. Grace. Jalvert throws away his gun and Valjean was able to take Marius to the hospital.
Here is the saddest part. Jalvert is at the point where Valjean was after receiving the grace. He, too, was unable to understand it. How a man, who had the capacity and the opportunity to kill him, a man he has tortured, treated badly, that that same man set him free, gave him grace. For the longest time in my life, I was at that bridge looking down at Seine, how can someone so perfect, who created the heavens and earth, who gave up His only son, can love me? can pardon me? I am at best, the worst creature on earth, full of hate and bitterness, unable to grasp or believe in grace. When Jars of Clay said, for all I am and what I need and what I believe are worlds apart, they could not have said it any better than I could. Sing the whole "Worlds Apart" song, minus the bridge, that was me. Can't I be the one to sacrifice? Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow? Why me? Why continue to pursue me after I have failed over and over, and will probably fail over and over again? Why? Am I not beyond redemption? Am I not beyond grace? Does not my life show that I am? But that is the beauty of grace isnt it? It's a gift that you don't deserve, and truly when Jesus Christ said, He has come to heal the broken, to save the lost, wasnt that I? So humbled and broken, I come to God and receive His grace and accept my name and hope and pray that I will live to be the embodiment of my name.
Back to Jalvert, and why it is sad. The devil is a liar, he will say that you are right, that you do not deserve it, that God doesnt and cannot love you. He will tell you that God doesnt look upon you because you are a sinner and that you will never change. And he will tell you all those lies, because that's what he does. He lies. And true enough, we are sinners, and through our sins, God cannot look unto us, for He is holy and despises sin, but before you jump to the Seine like Jalvert, look to the cross, because that's where all your sins are, nailed and taken away from you by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And that particular moment in time, when Jesus rose and conquered death, He also conquered sin, yours and mine, past and future (don't get smart, the present too). So dont listen to the devil, dont believe his lies, your sins are forgiven and God is just waiting for you to come. Humble yourself and accept His grace. You are worthy, not because of what you did or can do, but because His sacrifice made you so. And no, you dont have to be nice or kind or say good things, God's love is not a set of do's and don'ts, His love is all encompassing. And no, that does not give you the license to sin and waste your life away, knowing grace and understanding grace means living through it. No, you will never be perfect in this life, and yes, you will sin again (trust me, it will happen, whether you like it or not), but God's grace will cover it, and He will forgive.
My two years in Dubai has taught me so many things, who wouldve thought that my faith would be redeemed in a country of pagans? I have learned so many things, yet so little. I have learned grace and what it really means. I am beginning to understand and learn how to operate from it. I am far from being who God intended me to by, but by and through His grace, I will get there.
Please watch Les Miserables, but more than that I pray that you would receive God's grace. I believe that only by experiencing and knowing God's grace will you be able to enjoy the movie best. I know that some things I have written down might be a little confusing and I wish I could write down everything or answer any possible question that comes into mind, but I can't. If you do wish to ask me something, you can look me up on facebook, ayzprincess, if that doesnt work, you can leave a comment and a place where I can contact you and talk about your questions.
I pray that you will receive grace and be blessed with this post. All glory to God!