This is what's on my mind today. God's reckless grace.
This past weekend my cousin and bridesmaid Jacks and I went to an afternoon matinee of Les Miserables, sheltered from the bitter cold of the lowest temps so far in this Minnesota winter. Admittedly, I adore this story. I have read the beautiful book by Victor Hugo twice now, and joyfully saw the beloved musical on Broadway when I was 15. I was prepared for the film version to be EPIC (and BEYOND BEAUTIFUL artistically). And I was not disappointed!
But I don't think I was prepared to be as moved or convicted by it as I was.
The French title, Les Miserables translates to "The Miserable" and how prolifically they portray the misery of the human condition. I cannot deny it, I cried pretty much the whole way through. But the beauty of it is, the entire story circles around how the misery of life on earth cannot compare to the hope of heaven. It is about a man touched by God's grace so deeply, that no matter what comes, he stands by the truth of it, knowing that his reward is heaven. I was literally so moved watching it that I nearly stood up and praised God in the middle of the darkened theatre in the final number!
I'm trying not to give you a spoiler here, but: When the priest near the beginning offers Jean Valjean grace after he had already taken advantage of his hospitality, he cannot know whether Jean Valjean will use that bit of grace to turn his life around. He cannot know that he will not just take advantage again, and yet he offers it anyway-- recklessly-- trusting that changing the man's heart is God's work, his responsibility is only to give the same amount of grace that Christ gave Him-- and that is grace without measure...
This speaks to me. This reminds me anew what Christ has done for me, and so what He has me here on earth, in the midst of this earthly misery, to do, to stand for, to point toward. His grace is reckless. His love is unconditional, measureless. He is endless hope. HE is our very reward, the hope of heaven to cradle us in and guide us through the desolate darkness that the here and now can hold...
This is why viewing the new film of Victor Hugo's legendary story Les Miserable made me want to stand up and praise God... His hope is brighter and longer and deeper and truer than any misery and grief in this blink of an eye existence. And because of that hope, we can love recklessly, showing His grace in living lives of compassion and integrity.
I am breathless with thankfulness...
(And I cannot wait to see the film and read the book again!)
"To love another person is to see the face of God..."
-- a lyric in the finale of Les Miserables