Top 6 things I gleaned (from a theological/pastoral care perspective) from Les Miserables:
ALL THE SPOILER ALERTS. Also, you should know that I had 0.00 concept of the plot of this movie/play/book before I saw it in theaters with my mother last week. I knew two things: 1. Anne Hathaway plays a prostitute (this turned out to be not necessarily the truest fact in the world, in my humble little opinion) and 2. It’s set after the French Revolution. So I went in with about zero in knowledge RE: the plot, characters, music, or ending.
6. There’s a lot to be learned about being a pastor from the Bishop. If someone stole from, desecrated, or otherwise negatively affected your church (or the institution as a whole….), would you offer them yet more? Our M.O. lately suggests not, organized mainline religion. Just saying.
…That being said, don’t ever say to anyone, “I have saved your soul for God.” Did you do the saving, Bish, or did God? GET IT TOGETHER.
5. I recently read an article on how the average person hates Anne Hathaway’s guts. I loved her unconditionally from the moment she did the robot in The Princess Diaries, but I will admit to being frustrated with her lately. Too much nudity, girlfriend. Cover those things up (insert other things a grandmother would say). But anyone who could watch the raw emotion and unabashed passion of her “I Dreamed a Dream” and the song she sang before she died…… There’s nothing about pastoral care or theology in this one. Just stop hating on her. Because that performance was pure truth and beauty. (Also, pixie cuts unite!)
4. I was so terribly disappointed with the death of Javert. That was the only thing about the movie that I didn’t like. He had terribly flawed theology, but then so do most (yes, I said most) Americans today. Is there no redemption for those who can’t grasp the full concept of redemption? No grace for those who misunderstand grace…?
Could we as clergy do more for the spiritual and mental health of those wounded by fallacious theology? The rehabilitative power in the United Methodist’s doctrine of grace has saved more than one life I know of…
3. Jean Valjean– why have I never known this character? What a vision of a saint. And also, how did they make Hugh Jackman look SO BAD? In SO many different ways?!
2. Anybody else think young Cosette’s song about her “Castle on a Cloud” was a beautiful vision of the already-but-not-yet Kingdom?
How could we make little girls’ dreams like that one come true? When was the last time you told that (those) lonely or sad person (people) in your life that you love them very much?
1. Speaking of that, the best line in the whole thing is clearly: “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Truth. Gospel truth.
It’s so easy to see ministry as a job. It’s hard to not think of it in terms of conventional scheduling– i.e, when you think about doing hospital visitations, you hate it but you start thinking, “Alright, 4 people in 3 different hospitals. If I can get Ms. So-and-So to not be so chatty, I can be in and out in 15 minutes each…….”
But I don’t think that Jesus went to Lazarus’ tomb with the thought, “Ughhhhhh how long is this going to take?”
He wept, out of love.