Friday, March 4, 2011

Les Miserables and the Kingdom of God

What: Les Miserables Where: Cadillac Theater in Chicago Why: Visiting my sister Ruthie

Yea back row! :)

Every musician has his or her own epic work that shaped (her) existence, right? Well, mine is Les Mis. I remember watching the concert edition of it on DVD in my Dad's room over and over and over in middle school and being mocked for carrying the songbook around with me to every class. My old notebooks were filled with lyrics from the show I'm sure I had more than a few embarrassing moments being "caught" doing dramatic reproductions of the solos in my bedroom.

I was not surprised that I cried through a lot of the show, in part because I can't hear the music without thinking of my Dad. But I was a bit surprised at how freshly the themes touched my heart. A story filled with so much injustice and so much pain- characters who truly suffer and ask questions to which there seems no adequate answer; is mingled with deep beauty, profound grace, and gratitude toward God.

Isn't that a microcosm of life in many ways? We experience tragedy, injustice, heartbreak, and at times unbearable grief. But in the midst of that, we learn that the presence of evil doesn't destroy beauty, it doesn't triumph over love, and it doesn't disprove the goodness of God. This is one thing I'm learning. Because of Christ, we don't have to hide behind Disney-shaped glasses or put on a facade of perfection; nor do we have to lose hope when the world falls down around us. Why? Because the reality of the world is dark. Things are bad. But that's just half of the story! The other half is that the Kingdom of God has come into the world to redeem it. As Christians, we can see where the ugliness of the world intersects with the beauty of the Kingdom. We can see, like in the finale of Les Mis, that there is a rescue, a relief, a rest- even a victory!- that is deeper than the world's ability to defeat. There is a healing that is deeper than the world, in all its darkness, can wound. To quote another story, "there is a deeper magic" that can't be broken!

Do you want to see the Kingdom?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hannah, i knew there were lots of reason that i like you . . . i think that Les Mis is probably my all time favorite musical . . . and, yes, the story, the music, the message are amazing and wonderful and Gospel-like and . . . well, you get the idea.