Tuesday, June 17, 2014

lessons from les mis

I've written about this amazing show before. It is definitely time to write about it again. I went to go and see LesMiz on Broadway three weeks ago. It was a dream fulfilled to see the show on Broadway, to see it with one of my dearest friends. Probably the friend who knows my soul in the best and truest way.

LesMiz is about so many things, but one theme that is consistent throughout the story is the impact of love and God's role in that love. There is the love that the Bishop shows Val Jean; the love Val Jean passes on to Fantine and Cosette; Marius' love for Fantine; Enjolras' love for country and his fellow men; Javert's love for justice and his perception of God...and so much more.

Ramin Karimloo portrayed Val Jean in this version of LesMiz. And while I could write forever about the intricacies and subtleties about what made his performance beautiful and meaningful to me, there were three specific stand out moments to me.

One thing that I took away from this time is the relationship that Val Jean has with God. True to the part where the Bishop says he bought Val Jean's soul for God; Val Jean spends the rest of his life trying to serve Him.
When Val Jean sings Bring Him Home, he is truly having this conversation with God. There is this conversation going on on stage that has the personal-ness of talking to an old friend. At one moment Val Jean points to God almost as if saying, "you better keep your word." The intimacy of a relationship with the Lord is truly one that I admire and took much from personally. You can see the moment in this trailer for the show.

There is another moment, with those of you familiar with the show, when Cosette and Marius are to be married. Val Jean confesses his life to Marius as he asks him to take care of Cosette. As Marius asks what he is supposed to tell Cosette since Val Jean is leaving, Val Jean tell him to tell her he has gone on a trip. What got me here though was the look on Marius' face. He looked half disgusted half angry with Val Jean. In the versions I have seen before, I have never seen this, or felt it. The emotion shook me. Val Jean, a repentant man, was being discarded, in a way, by his soon to be family. He was left alone on the stage and alone in my heart. I saw a man who turned his life around, was living in such faith, devotion and discipleship to God and he was utterly alone in the physical world. Discipleship is and will be a lonely road. The lesson to me though was that no matter how physically alone we are, God is always there. He is always there. He will always be there. He is there in the love that we show and give and see but may never get in return. But He is there for us. I saw that personified in this show that speaks to my soul in a different way every time. I am so grateful for this experience.

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