1/1/13

the grace of les miserables

source: universal pictures

Even if you hate musicals, or have heard rumors that Russell Crowe's singing voice left something to be desired (for the record, I thought it was perfect for his character), or can't imagine sitting through a two and a half hour movie -- you should go see Les Miserables. (or perhaps read the book.)

If only for one reason: the depiction of grace.

Grace is something that so many of us struggle with -- Christians or not -- simply because the notion of grace is that it makes things unfair.

If others mess up-- we want revenge, we want things to be made right and that could involve not forgiving someone or even punishing someone. And if others continually mess up, forgetting having anything to do with them. In fact, we should push away people who mess up-- even if they ask for forgiveness, or even, gasp, say they've been changed.

Without spoiling the movie, the main character Jean Valjean experiences extreme grace, when for no reason at all-- even in the face of something he's done-- someone extends grace to him. It causes him to turn from his former life-- be made new -- and to extend that same grace to others.

It's so different from another character Inspecteur Javert who cannot see past the laws, staying fixed in his beliefs that in order to receive love, respect, anything-- he has to do things right-- do things perfectly. He creates a narrow life for himself and one that is largely unhappy.

When I walked out of the movie, it wasn't the songs that followed me home but the notion of pure grace-- believing that doing good and being good are from God, given to those who don't deserve it and know they don't. I, too, do not deserve grace from God yet I am freely given it. The best way to show God, and show love, is to extend that grace to others. And sometimes, give myself that grace as well. Perhaps another New Years resolution ;)

xo, erika

p.s. other posts I've found interesting about the themes of grace in Les Mis here & here.


5 comments

  1. I don't usually care for musicals, but I loved the movie. It was beautiful and the depiction of grace is one you can't forget. Such a great storyline!

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  2. I've watched this musical (the 25th anniversary) many, many times, and I'm excited to see the movie. It is one of those very few things in life that gets me to cry over and over again because of its beauty and simple yet powerful message.

    Thank you for putting it in far more eloquent words than I ever could!

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  3. I love musicals...and I can't wait to see this movie. I hear the book is insufferable, but I'm going to at least attempt to read it before seeing the movie!

    Christen
    http://www.anunordinaryhello.com

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  4. I look forward to seeing it. I grew up on the old classic film and always adored the story, and then I remember sorta liking the 1997 version (not as much), but I do love Les Miserables' songs and always listened to the soundtrack, so this is exciting!!!
    +Victoria+

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  5. I read this book in jr. high and I love it. The movie had me in tears. We went to see it on Christmas and in spite of the sad parts, it really was a beautiful movie to watch on the day we celebrate our Savior's arrival to earth. Love this! xoxo

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oh that's so nice of you to say hi :)
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