Ever heard someone use the phrase “God showed up?” Usually it’s uttered after a powerful worship service. After the singing and the preaching, someone says, “Wow. God was there. Did you feel that?” I know I’ve said it before. But it’s one of those sayings that isn’t accurate. The longer I follow Jesus I realize that He is with me and he’s not leaving. He’s not the type that comes late to a party or “shows up” when he feels like it. He abides.
Recently I read Stephen King’s autobiography On Writing and I’ve come to an important conclusion: When I grow up I want to be like Stephen King. I should clarify. It’s not because I want to write about demon clowns or other scary stuff that makes you fall asleep with the light on. I don’t want to do that. That’s not my thing. First off, I’ve never been to Maine, and secondly, the story It has forever ruined the circus for me. (Thanks for that, Mr. King.) What I do want, however, is his work ethic. King knows how to churn it out. Book after book. Year after year. For King, success is finishing one project and getting started on the next. He knows how to keep on running.
Last week I went to a seminar called Sharing the Gospel in the language of Neuroscience. It was one of those moments where your mind feels filled to capacity. I believe the technical term for this is “Full Brain.” I quickly realized it was going to take some time to process and empty the ol noggin. The seminar was led by a man named Curt Thompson. He’s a medical doctor and also the author of a book called The Anatomy of the Soul. It’s all really interesting stuff. Turns out, our minds have a lot to do with how we understand the gospel and even how we share it with others.
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.