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.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
I recently watched the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s a beautiful movie that is incredibly well acted and I wholeheartedly recommend it. A number of themes emerge throughout the movie, but this is essentially a story about growing up. It’s about the resiliency of the human spirit. It’s about love for others and yourself. It’s about the importance of friends. And it’s about the need to not simply observe life, but to live it.