With so many great themes in this story, it’s hard to say which one is best. We need them all. But I saved my favorite for last. I will never forget the first time I saw Les Miz live at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta. I sat spell-bound, unable to believe my eyes and ears. I was actually hearing actors/singers sing about God, love, forgiveness, redemption, law and grace, and mercy. As I sat through the play, my heart was filled with sadness and joy at the same time. I wanted to hear the music over and over and relive the emotions that flooded my heart. I saved up some money so I could buy cassettes of the sound track and then played them over and over in my car.
Unselfish love is one of my favorite themes that runs throughout the story. Even the crime that sent Valjean to prison was an act of unselfishness. Fantine, Valjean, Eponine—the Priest, Gravoche, the school boys—all give of themselves for someone else. Their acts of unselfish love bring life to the hints about Christ’s love and work on Calvary as the lyrics and music stir our emotions to the depths.
Because emotions are so prone to be unpredictable, I did not feel deep stirrings every time I listened to recordings, but the memory has never dimmed of what I felt the very first time when I heard the last song by Valjean. I was touched to the depths of my heart with tears in my eyes. It is my favorite line:
“Take my love, for love is everlasting; and remember the truth that once was spoken: ‘To Love another person is to see the face of God.’”
Thank you, Victor Hugo, for your wonderful story and thank you to all the producers, actors, singers and workers who put it to music.