My hubby and I finally went to see Les Miserables today. I’ve seen the play a couple of times and read the book a while back (trying to re-read it, but it is sloooow going), so it was fun (in a bring-me-to-tears sort of way) to see a movie adaptation that was true to the play.
One of the themes that I love in the play is the difficulty in understanding and accepting grace. As a Christian, it’s easy for me to say that I’m a sinner that’s been saved by grace, but sometimes I wonder how well I live out an understanding of grace. If I had a full grasp of grace, shouldn’t it be easy to dispense grace to others? Shouldn’t I quickly forgive, knowing that I have been forgiven much? But it’s not so easy for me, and I’m not quick about it.
In Les Mis, Valjean is offered grace by a kindly bishop, and accepts it after an internal struggle. He spends the rest of his life trying to eradicate the hate and bitterness that had taken root in his heart, and learning to live like a man that belongs to God. Javert, on the other hand, lives in a world where grace doesn’t exist and the law rules. Once he does finally get a taste of grace, he rejects it soundly.
The music in the play portrays these grace moments nicely. The following two clips, from the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert, show Valjean contemplating grace and then Javert rejecting it.
Valjean Contemplating Grace
Javert Rejecting Grace (start at about the 4:10 mark)
What do you think? Are you a Valjean or Javert or somewhere in between?