True Identity

One of the pleasures of the recent holiday season for me last year was having the time to sit down and watch the epic and profound screen production “Les Miserables”.   I’d already seen a London performance at the theatre so I was more than a little apprehensive watching the DVD for fear it might spoil my enjoyment I had attending the live event some years back.    I was not disappointed, the screen play was beautifully done, not a rival but different!  It reminded me again of the great story Victor Hugo had written; one which without doubt God’s grace comes shining through.

Having been on the run for several years, Jean Viljean, a central character, is keeping quiet about his true identity.  Now a reformed character no-one is aware of his past where he was unjustly sentenced for a considerable number of years for stealing bread to feed his sister and her starving children.  Having escaped the cruel conditions that he was sentenced to the convict’s life was turned around when a bishop he briefly visited showed enormous compassion and grace, pardoning him from stealing the silver candlesticks in his home.  Jean’s first-hand experience of grace motivated him to change for the better.  He became an honourable and trusted member of society, a successful businessman, but with a secret past.  When an individual was falsely accused of being the convict they were looking for, Jean Viljean, the character played by Hugh Jackman is faced with a dramatic dilemma: should he keep quiet and see an innocent man condemned, or reveal who he really is?  “If I speak, condemned; I am silent I am damned”.  Eventually Jean Viljean shouts.  “I am Jean Viljean 24601” (the number given to him whilst in prison).  “My soul belongs to God; I made that vow long ago”.  It’s a dramatic moment of realignment. 

Although perhaps rarely as spectacular for us in real life the question about who we really are is one that surrounds all of us.  “My soul belongs to God,” says Jean Viljean.  For the Christian, that makes a way for us to become new creature in Christ.  Righteous, joined as one spirit. The Spirit of Christ lives in us.

These are the solid truths of our real identity that connects us to truth, freedom and liberation.