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More On Les Miserables (spoiler alert)

January 10, 2013

Greetings,

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Colossians 3: 12-14

Sorry, but I just can’t get that movie and its songs out of my head.  Grace, mercy, forgiveness and love should be at the forefront of who we are in Christ.  Jesus went to any and all lengths including death to forgive us.  He loved us that much!  

And here we are told to forgive others “whatever grievances” we have against others.  To actually forgive as the Lord forgave us.  To me that means that NOTHING should stand between us and forgiveness of anyone for ANY thing they may have done against us.  That is a HUGE task for anyone who has been sinned against and treated poorly by others.  

In my life I know this….. before forgiving my father for raping and abusing me continually for many childhood years, my PTSD flashbacks were totally out of control and destroying my life.  However, when I began to forgive him, in even small increments, the intensity of my flashbacks subsided.  It took along time for me to totally forgive him, it actually happened in stages.  However, today I am basically flashback free.  To me this confirms that we need to show mercy, grace and love in forgiving EVERYTHING, large and small, that has happened to us at the hands of others.  We cannot do this alone, but Christ in us can.

Les Miserables made me think hard and ponder forgiveness, grace, mercy and love.  Many of the characters are shown to be a type of Christ in the film.  Pam pointed this out in her comment on my last blog when she spoke of Fantine.  Fantine was a beautiful woman that sacrificed all to provide care for her daughter.  She worked hard in a factory until she was fired because of some jealous and gossipy co-workers.  Then with no job she sold her beautiful hair to get money.  Soon afterward she was selling her teeth and eventually with no other options she became a prostitute.  All to love and provide for her young daughter.  She gave everything she could because she loved her child so dearly.  Giving all for the sake of another…this rings true of Christ to me.

Jean Valjean took bread that was not his to feed his nephew.  Fantine sold her body to feed her daughter.  They both paid a steep price for their actions motivated by love.  Some, like Javert, would judge and condemn Jean and Fantine for their desperate actions.  I say one cannot judge others until they have been in their shoes, facing the same type of adversity.  ANYONE, including you and I, can be driven to steal, rape, kill, pillage and burn.  EVERYONE is just mere seconds away from a desperate action that could cost us everything.

So think the next time you see or read about various crimes that people commit.  Be slow to judgment.  Because if your life’s circumstances were twisted just a little bit; that might be you on TV standing before a judge and jury.  I will say it again…be slow to judge; because people all over are going through a lot of tough and difficult shit and next it could be you or a dear relative or friend.  So always, suspend judgment and put on love first.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. 24601, Jean Valjean. To the legalist system he was just 24601. To those who knew his heart he was Jean Valjean. Yes, Chris, we went to see the movie last night. I was able to hold it together until the scene where he dies and those who shared the love of Christ with him and he with them that had gone on before him were there to greet him.

    There are so many things going through my mind that that move stirred up in me; the pain of rejection by legalistic Christians is a big one with me… being wounded in the house of my friends… people who should have known better. Yet, I can see that Jesus went through the same things and warned us that we would also have to suffer the same things if we dared to follow Him.

    The part about the revolution brought back to mind that this country is going to go through the same thing again, but it will be even more bloody than that last. Jean did not join in with the revolters, but rather was there to provide mercy and healing to both sides, even the man who persecuted him and was such a ridgid adhereant to the law. I, by nature, would be one of those who revolt… taking up arms, etc… it is in my blood. BUT that is not in the blood of the One who died for me. Jean was a shining light of who Christ desires to be in me.

    Thanks for the tip on that movie. It was one of the best 2 1/2 hours I have spent in a long time.

    Love you, my brother,
    Michael

  2. “Everyone is just mere seconds away from a desperate action that could cost us everything”

    I thought about this for awhile. I could remember some very specific instances where my decisions could have drastically affected others. Things as seemingly innocent as a little road rage certainly could have and does have in some instances terrible and life altering results. We witness these results on a daily basis if we own or watch any degree television or the internet. Just moments ago I just heard about another school shooting- this time in California.

    What scares me is the all too cavalier attitude of most professing Christians these days. Most are entirely unprepared to deal with any potential setback in their selfish routines let alone an entire economic collapse. I can’t even imagine the degree of panic that is going to set in when those of us in America finally face the day of our reckoning.

    I find it tragic that for most of us we need a personal tragedy or calamity for us to recognize the season and times in which we live. It seems the average persons default setting from the womb is one of apathy. We just don’t care- that is until we have to. It takes even more pain and heartache for us to realize a greater need- the discovery of who we are outside of Christ. Even after some real heartfelt conviction and change, most return to the standards of those around them, whether they be secular or religious.

    Personally I’m not all that excited about living here in America. I would revolt too, although not with arms. I would burn down every movie theater, take away everybody’s i-phone’s and cancel Facebook. Then I would make all the owners of stores like Walmart distribute all of their profits to the small mom and pops they put out of business who are now working for them at minimum wage. Then I would take over the entire television and computer industry and disseminate what I know is best for the entire world. I would give everyone a gun, but limit the amount of ammunition they can have and charge a fee for all of my wisdom and generosity. Oops, I think I just became the Pope, Constantine or C.Peter Wagner! Maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.

    Seriously now, real trouble is on the horizon. I’d like to think there is something I could do to prevent what’s coming but that’s just naaive. Reality will set in, and there is only one hope then or today in weathering those storms. We know who that is.

    I don’t find it a coincidence how the scriptures constantly talk and warn about being prepared and holding fast to what we have heard lest we drift away. When calamity does come, the unprepared will not have the time, wherewithal or faith to make things right. It will only be those who saw the storm from afar, made proper preparations and held fast to their captain that shall ultimately be saved. As always, that will be a very small remnant of faithful sons and daughters.

    I’m glad you both enjoyed the movie. I likely won’t go see it. That isn’t due to some personal conviction regarding holywood- its just that I have all those same feelings and emotions without having to stir them up by what is re-created. I prefer the real thing, one with another. That is by no means a criticism of those who might go see it or of a benefit that may be derived, but simply a preference of my own these days.

    As unlikely as it is, I envision a world or at least a community of believers who’s primary satisfaction is found in Jesus and the fellowship they have in Him. Every day we make decisions that bring us closer to or farther away from that reality. If we are truly to be the loving, forgiving people that Christopher calls us to be and that our Lord commands, that will take more than a superficial effort on our part. It will cost us everything.

    I’m grateful to have a handful of soldiers who’s aim is to reflect that among a world in need.

    Thanks for the reminder Chris. A very powerful and sobering post. I share you heart in this.

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