A colleague, Ingrid Peschke wrote this terrific article, in the Framingham Patch, on the movie/musical Les Miserables (which translates to exactly as you would expect, The Miserables, The Wretched, The Poor, The Victims). The article is called, “Les Miserables Delivers a Healing Message for the New Year.”
Set in 19th century France, the story is
about redemption, love, law, revolution –
and ultimately the saving grace of God.
– Ingrid Peschke –
The novel is of course written by Victor Hugo, who has such absolute compassion and love for all his characters – which includes Javert – who is a Literalist whose perception of what is right and good proves to be incompatible with the reality he ultimately experiences. Shattering his belief system and perceived reality forever.
Victor Hugo actually goes into great character descriptions of both Valjean and Javert, and I was surprised by how he did not paint Javert as evil, but as a real person who had a belief system that he lived by – but unlike Valjean – he never had reason to question that perception until he was much older, and thereby making his life work seem meaningless.
What I took from this story is that through prayer, I can make changes in how I think and live by not being limited by a narrow and limited interpretation of my life. In other words, I am not stuck in my history or supposed weaknesses, or lack of opportunity. In fact, like Valjean I can open doors of opportunity be looking to a “higher ideal”, and gaining strength and courage in that. For me, that higher ideal is seeing the potential good that is all around me, and realizing that I can bring that into my experience by expressing God’s qualities that are based on kindness, compassion, and goodness.
Glenn Laycock is the Committee on Publication for Manitoba