I’m starting to learn that grace is a journey, not a destination. You don’t arrive at grace one day and say, “Finally, I’ve made it.” Nor do you attain grace by work and accomplishments as if enough time and effort provides you with grace. Grace is an ever-present dynamic that you never outgrown, have your quota filled, or find it unnecessary.
Every once in a while I feel like Holden Caulfield, the main character in The Catcher in the Rye. If you’ve read the book, you know he’s a self-centered, pessimistic adolescent trying to understand life and love and other mysteries. Seems like a weird comparison to make, but you’ll have to trust me. I first read the story quite a few years ago and I didn’t care for it. But time has a way of changing your mind.
Turns out I like musicals. Who woulda thunk? Over the years my wife has shared her passion for theater with me and I am hooked. Musicals, like movies, teach me about the world. Les Miserables did just that. I watched the movie and felt as if God was shouting through the screen. It was beautiful.
Les Miserables taught me a profound lesson about grace and truth. It’s interesting, really. I think Jesus’ entire ministry can be summed up in those two words. In John 1:17 we read that “the law came through Moses, but grace and truth through Jesus Christ.” Grace says “you are forgiven, even though you don’t deserve it”; truth says “you need this forgiveness.” Les Miserables makes a similar connection. Grace and truth are two themes we see throughout the film.