Les Miserables…one of the most powerful musicals a person can see. The story line is complicated, the characters intense and the lessons to take away are abundant. As I watched the show tonight I mostly sat on the edge of my chair (in the back back balcony) and absorbed every song, every story line, every person… I caught myself directing the orchestra out of pure excitement a few times and I noticed tears slipping down my cheeks other times. It is a great story, but there is A LOT of heart ache.
I have seen this show before and know the sound track well. A part of the story line is about the French Revolution of 18 hundred something…. But tonight was the first time I realized that the “people” did not win. Those fighting for change, those wanting justice and equality die. And although the guy does get the girl, and the hero is redeemed, these are small battles in a big war.
I am going to get back to all that, but let me digress for a minute. The Broadway Theatre Guild is a big supporter of HIV/AIDS research, education and resources. At the end of this show (and a few others I have gone to) they collected money specifically for this cause. (and no offense to Breast Cancer, but they really do have the corner of the market on fund raising and awareness… I mean, you can even get a pink garbage can. Can HIV/AIDS at least get a water bottle or sweatshirt or something??????)
So on the way home with Les Mis music blaring in the car, lost revolutions, redeemed men and HIV on my mind, I started processing. If you want the full effect, you should take minute and watch this clip starting at 4:40…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl6ZNUxbUkA
There are a few lyrics that really stand out to me…
“To love another person is to see the face of God”
“Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!
In thinking about the characters in this story and the battles they had to fight (poverty, oppression, injustice, prejudice) and then I think about the people in this world who are living with and often suffering from, HIV/AIDS (who often share the exact same battles). I think of these lyrics. It is our duty, as Christians, as advocates, as human beings, to “Love another person” so that we have to opportunity to “See the face of God”
And loving people is one thing, but we are called to do more. We are called to be the “light”, to find and share the “sunlight that breaks the darkness”, we are called to give “freedom”, to “Join the crusade” We are called to “put our swords away”. And we are called to do all this so that we ALL can be a part of the “future that they bring when tomorrow comes”.
So I ask you… “Will you join in my crusade?”