[les miserables – who are the miserable?]

[les miserables – who are the miserable?]

The day at work today was quite long and exhausting (nothing special, just lots of minor things) and as I was thinking about writing a post on Les Miserables tonight, I thought – the book is called “The Miserables Ones” or “The Victims”… but who are the miserable ones? Who are the victims?

At first, the answer is very obvious: Jean Valjean who spent 19+ years in prison… Fantine who fell in love with the wrong guy… Cosette, a girl who spent many years in terror before Thenardiers… Yet those were not miserable ones.

This is a story of upside-down characters.

Javert who was supposed to be the “right” kind of guy kills himself because he does not understand mercy and grace. Thenardiers got the money they wanted, but the money was all they had – no love, no family relationships, nothing – just paper and metal. Marius who thought that he was doing the right thing yet found out that he was oh so wrong – thankfully in time.

Maybe some would disagree with me (I am not claiming that I have studied Les Miserables in depth like some people did), but I think that Jean, Fantine, and Cosette actually were quite happy despite their times of trouble. Just like Paul mentions in Philippians 4, they have learned to enjoy life even when it threw a curve ball at them.

I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

Paul to his friends in Philippi

I need to learn from these four – Fantine, Jean, Cosette, and Paul – to see the good things even when life isn’t as fun as I wanted it to be, even when I am tired and depressed, even when stuff happens. There are still friends who will help, and most importantly, there is always God who is always with me.

Just before his death, Jean Valjean felt very lonely. Cosette was married and Marius did not know the entire truth about Valjean, therefore he made it so Cosette did not see her Papa. Yet the time of reunion came and I love the words of Jean…

The good God says: “‘You fancy that you are about to be abandoned, stupid! No. No, things will not go so. Come, there is a good man yonder who is in need of an angel.’ And the angel comes.

For him, that angel was Cosette, his little girl. For each one of us, the angel may also be a person whom we love dearly, not necessarily a white glowing ethereal being with wings.

But God does send angels our way.

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