Yesterday we went to see Les Miserables. (First time with a proper revolving stage, first time with proper English accents!) And it was perfection. I love this story. A lot. (Spoilers inevitable here. So is nonsensical-if-you’re-not-familiar-with-the-story rambling.)
I cried during Lovely Ladies. Not at any other part. Just Lovely Ladies. Which was odd; that’s either a crude and profane piece of the musical or an upbeat amusing one depending on how you look at it, and I always thought the former, but I never realised how incredibly SAD it is. Not just for Fantine, who has pretty much the worst life ever, but for all of the women there. It’s not trafficking or slavery per se, but it’s the next thing to it. It must have taken an incredible amount of desperation to end up in that place, and once there, there’s no hope of escape. Behind the cheerful facepaint and outlandish costumes and bouncy music, there’s nothing at all funny about that song.
Gavroche. Have to mention Gavroche. :P I had the hugest crush on him when I was twelve or so (and it seems like a younger kid plays him every time I see the show, what’s with that?). I took my fiction very, very seriously back then. :P Still one of my favourite characters...but I have a lot of favourite characters.
One of the best parts: Javert, Valjean, and Thenardier and their views of God. And their reactions to grace. So much food for thought there. Thenardier believes God is dead, Javert believes God is vengeful, Valjean believes God is merciful. Grace would be wasted on Thenardier, Javert’s world shatters and burns because of it, and Valjean not only accepts it but gives to others what he has been given.
Anyhow. Random observations. I could talk about this story forever so I’ll shut up about it now :P
I finally realised not very long ago—um yeah, don’t ask why it took me so long to figure out—that the primary way God speaks to me is through stories. Through the Bible's story, obviously, but more and more when I watch and read fiction, look at art, listen to music, He brings to light shards of truth in the corners I was least expecting it in. This is cool enough when the author was a Christian and intended it but even more so when it seems like a complete coincidence. It's like He’s pulling strings to make His message heard and to slip into people’s hearts when their guard is down, when they think they're just being entertained. There are“types” or imperfect symbols/examples of the Real Story hidden all over the Bible...and I think God enjoys seeing the same thing in our own works of art. Even though they will always be small and flawed compared to His.
So Perseus is Jesus. Aslan is Jesus, but Robin Hood has pieces of Him too and so do Jean Valjean, Maximus, Batman, Gandalf and Aragorn and Frodo, Doctor Who, dragon slayers and kings in disguise and those who give things up so others can keep them. His story is whispering when Harry sacrifices himself to Voldemort, when Atticus defends the innocent no matter what the cost, when Dym refuses to give up on an unworthy Tony, again and again and again.
They’re all shadows, echoes, copies. None are the real thing. But all of them point to Him. How exciting is that!
Anyhow. Just something I've been thinking about lately. Right now we're in Oxford--did a lot of walking and observing of beautiful buildings, saw the Eagle and the Child which was very cool; now sitting at Starbucks waiting for our train back to London because I foolishly booked it way too late. :P