Friday, December 24, 2010

Reverb 10 - Day 24: EVERYTHING'S OK

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?   
(Author: Kate Inglis)

Sitting in the darkened movie theater in an audience filled with passionate, loyal, adoring patrons, watching the O2 25th Anniversary Concert of "Les Miserables", I had that familiar sensation - the one that makes my heart pound and I sit towards the end of my seat and the tears well up.  The first song that really struck me was "What Have I Done?" at the beginning of the show.  The song is sung by the Jean Valjean (played by Alfie Boe in the O2 Concert). In addition to the beautiful singing voice of the performer, the lyrics of the song moved me to tears.

What have I done?
Sweet Jesus, what have I done?
Become a thief in the night,
Become a dog on the run
And have I fallen so far,
And is the hour so late
That nothing remains but the cry of my hate,
The cries in the dark that nobody hears,
Here where I stand at the turning of the years?

If there's another way to go
I missed it twenty long years ago
My life was a war that could never be won
They gave me a number and murdered Valjean
When they chained me and left me for dead
Just for stealing a mouthful of bread

Yet why did I allow that man
To touch my soul and teach me love?
He treated me like any other
He gave me his trust
He called me brother
My life he claims for God above
Can such things be?
For I had come to hate the world
This world that always hated me

Take an eye for an eye!
Turn your heart into stone!
This is all I have lived for!
This is all I have known!

One word from him and I'd be back
Beneath the lash, upon the rack
Instead he offers me my freedom
I feel my shame inside me like a knife
He told me that I have a soul,
How does he know?
What spirit comes to move my life?
Is there another way to go?

I am reaching, but I fall
And the night is closing in
And I stare into the void
To the whirlpool of my sin
I'll escape now from the world
From the world of Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean is nothing now
Another story must begin!

That night, in the dark, after 25 years of listening to this music, hearing Jean Valjean decide to change his life, change himself, gave me the sense of well-being that comes with knowing everything will be okay.  "Yet why did I allow that man to touch my soul and teach me love? He treated me like any other. He gave me his trust, he called me brother. My life he claims for God above, can such things be?...he told me that I have a soul. How does he know?" It was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the moment I needed to hear it.

This is Colm Wilkinson performing from the 10 Year Anniversary Concert.

 There were many moments that night that gave me a sense that I was on the right path, that things would work out. Ultimately, I always go back to the line near the end of the show, "To love another person is to see the face of God."  That is what we are here to do - love each other. See the godliness in everyone. All the rest is just a distraction to see if we know what we are supposed to do.

{Future tool: Gwen Bell – How to Create Your Personal Manifesto. For the next 8 days as you round out your year, we’ll share one tool each day to help you plan your year ahead.}

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