Beauty for Ashes Part 1

With furrowed brow and quiet determination, he sifts through the files, searching.

“Can I help?” I timidly ask, not wanting to break his concentration.

“No.  I know what I’m looking for; I just have to find it.” came his distracted reply.

Unlike the rest of the world’s population, I had never seen Les Miserables.*  Sitting spellbound in the theater, elbow to elbow with strangers in the packed auditorium, I entered in to a world drastically different from my own, yet strikingly similar.  True, I possess no first-hand knowledge of 19th century France.  However, Hugo’s themes of grace, redemption, revolution and freedom echo in my heart, mind and soul.

Opening scene…

As prisoners, chained and exhausted, heaved the ship and avoided their overseer’s gaze, I thought of the heaviness of life.    We “live”, shuffling along as if the burdens of the world lay on our shoulders and the agony of the centuries drag like a ball and chain from our ankles.  All our toils feel vain.  There is no hope.  Liberty–soul liberty– is a luxury for a fortunate few.  At least, that’s how we feel.

Look down, look down
Don’t look ’em in the eye
Look down, look down,
You’re here until you die

The sun is strong
It’s hot as hell below

Look down, look down,
There’s twenty years to go

I’ve done no wrong!
Sweet Jesus, hear my prayer!

Look down look down, 
Sweet Jesus doesn’t care

I know she’ll wait,
I know that she’ll be true!

Look down, look down,
They’ve all forgotten you

When I get free ya won’t see me
Here for dust!

Look down, look down
Don’t look ’em in the eye

How long, oh Lord
Before you let me die?

Look down, look down,
You’ll always be a slave
Look down, look down,
You’re standing in your grave

Then, with the promise of freedom comes a feeble hope.  Yet our cruel taskmaster continues to hound us, whispering lies and threats and freedom feels like an illusion rather than a reality.

Most of us are seeking, searching, sifting, desperate to find “it” and are left feeling the weight of sin–the weight of pain– the weight of a world gone awry– on our shoulders.

Thankfully, though, that’s the overture and not the finale.  And as we seek and search and sift, we’re lead, little by little, to a Truth and whisper and rumor of more than the pain and slavery…

*truly, I realize my observations of obvious and even mundane to those who’ve seen the stage production, know the music or have even read the loooong book….so I apologize in advance.


One Reply to “Beauty for Ashes Part 1”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s