The Broadway show Les Miserables is the story of hope and the story of despair. Val Jean, jailed for stealing bread, and released only to find no job opportunities available, is a man of hope. Javert, the policeman, so concerned with laws and rules, is a man of despair.
In our time of economic downturn resulting in loss of jobs, higher costs, bankruptcy of major companies, and even closure of some longtime businesses there are people of hope and people of despair. People of hope see a grander purpose to life than making money. People of despair wrap their value up in economic terms and are now in despair. People of hope know how to serve others. People of deapir only know how to serve themselves. People of hope experience joy in life. People of despair find no joy in any of life.
Val Jean faced the realities of his situation in life and sought ways to serve others, to experience joy in the grace extended at te hand of a priest. Javert relentlessly pursued Val Jean and when grace was offerred could not accept, and ultimatelly committed suicide in his despair. The sillioquy sung by these two characters expresses this hope and despair, and each time I hear it am reminded there are two options in life: Hope or Despair.
Because of Christ we can experience hope, even when the world seems stacked against us. Because of Christ we know this earthly body will one day experience immortality. Because of Christ we feel loved and valued by the very Creator of the universe.
Which story do you choose? I choose hope.