[cosette – fatherless no more]
The beginning of Cosette’s story is a story of Cinderella re-told, only in this case even sadder because at least Cinderella had a father.
Cosette has been through a lot in her young life until she finally grasped what it means to be truly loved. Her mother, Fantine, could not provide for her and was forced to give her away to someone she thought she could trust, the Thenardiers, a family that only appeared normal and happy. In reality, it was a nightmare. The Mrs. Thenardier diverted all her anger at her and Mr. Thenardier pretended she was his family’s slave. She was just 8 years old when the hope shyly sparkled on the horizon, but Cosette already had a “lugubrious air of an old woman” as Hugo described it.
Then it happened – one of my favorite passages in Les Miserables. On a dreary dark night, she was sent to get the water from a well. Poor little Cosette was afraid to go because it would involve going through the forest which at night seemed to contain all kinds of evils. Yet, she had no choice. As she struggled to get back to the house, carrying a very heavy bucket and not looking around for the fear of seeing something, she stopped to get a breath and could not refrain from crying, “O my God! My God!”…
“At that moment she suddenly became conscious that her bucket no longer weighed anything at all: a hand, which seemed to her enormous, had just seized the handle, and lifted it vigorously. She raised her head. A large black form, straight and erect, was walking beside her through the darkness; it was a man who had come up behind her and whose approach she had not heard. This man, without uttering a word, has seized the handle of the bucket, which she was carrying… The child was not afraid.”
Chapter V. The Little One All Alone, Les Miserables
The man was Mr. Madeleine, who was also known as Jean Valjean. The man who later became adopted father of Cosette and who lavished his love unto this child.
Fatherless no more.
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
Psalm 68:5, NLT
Once in a camp, sitting around a bonfire, we were asked to share what is one quality of God that is the dearest to us. When it was my turn, I said, “He is my Dad; the only true Dad that I have ever known.”
10 years have passed since that summer night, yet that is still one of the top qualities of God for me. I am not diminishing His other awesome qualities, yet for me, knowing that I can come to Him and say, “Dad, I’ve got something broken” or “Daddy, I am hurting” or “Thanks, Dad!” is what gives me confidence.
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children and because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. Moreover, since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Galatians 4:5-7, NLT
Whether you had a great dad growing up, a bad one, or none at all, God is your Father who loves you more than anyone ever could. As Max Lucado once put it, God is mad about you.