To Love Another Person Is To See The Face Of God

This week’s sibling assignment given to us by Raymond Pert is the following: Write about a particularly memorable musical you have seen, whether live or on screen. Just to help a little, it doesn't have to be writing about the production itself. It might be that the musical you write about happened at a particularly important time or maybe the ideas portrayed in the musical turned out to be ones that inspired you to think more deeply and fully about an important aspect of your life. It's all up to you: write about a memorable musical. Raymond Pert's post about "Jesus Christ Superstar" is here, and Inland Empire Girl's post about "Annie" is here.

In the ‘90’s, while living in Meridian, I was watching the Public TV pledge drive and one of the special programs you could get if you made a donation was highlights from the musical “Les Miserables”. I donated and received the VHS tape, and watched it many times. I also purchased the soundtrack to listen to the music.

I went to the library once while living in Meridian and got Victor Hugo’s book “Les Miserables” and read it. It is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law found me a copy written in French while on their honeymoon in France. I can’t read it in this language, but it is still fun to have around.

In 1995, our youngest daughter was born. PKR named her Cosette, after the main female character in Les Miserables. He had seen a movie about this story in French class in high school, and the story always stuck with him.

Les Miserables came to Boise while we were still living there, and PKR and I finally got our chance to see this production I had fallen in love with through the book, the VHS tape, and the soundtrack.

It was everything I had hoped it to be. This story is one of grace, forgiveness and redemption. Through Jean Valjean’s life and the other characters he encounters, you see these themes woven throughout the story.

What I wasn’t expecting was the ending. They didn’t show this on the VHS tape. The song was on the soundtrack, so I was familiar with it, but I didn’t know what was happening when it was performed on stage.

At the end, the "Finale Two" is sung and all the characters that have died come out as if singing to Jean Valjean from Heaven, and, the first time I saw this, I wept. And not just tears trickling down my cheeks, I sobbed. I was moved by this song, by the message, and by the staging of the moment.

And I love it when art does that to me. When I am watching something and I am moved so strongly by emotion, whether is be tears or laughter, I like to be moved.

And Les Miserables did not disappoint.

A few years ago, Les Miserables came to Spokane, and we saw it again, so Cosette could see the show based on her name. I wasn’t quite as moved by the ending the second time, but I still got some shivers.

Here are the words to "Finale Two"

- Finale 2 Lyrics


Now you are here

Again beside me

And now I can die in peace

For now my life is blessed...


You will live, Papa, you're going to live

It's too soon, too soon to say goodbye!


Yes, Cosette, forbid me now to die

I'll obeyI will try.On this page

I write my last confession

Read it well

When I, at last, am sleeping

It's a story

Of those who always loved you

Your mother gave her life for you

Then gave you to my keeping.


Come with me

Where chains will never bind you

All your grief

At last, at last behind you

Lord in Heaven

Look down on him in mercy.


Forgive me all my trespasses

And take me to your glory.


Take my hand

And lead me to salvation

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.


Do you hear the people sing

Lost in the valley of the night?

It is the music of a people

Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth

There is a flame that never dies.

Even the darkest night will end

And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom

In the garden of the Lord.

They will walk behind the plough-share,

They will put away the sword.

The chain will be broken

And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?

Who will be strong and stand with me?

Somewhere beyond the barricade

Is there a world you long to see?

Do you hear the people sing?

Say, do you hear the distant drums?

It is the future that they bring

When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?

Who will be strong and stand with me?

Somewhere beyond the barricade

Is there a world you long to see?

Do you hear the people sing?

Say, do you hear the distant drums?

It is the future that they bring

When tomorrow comes...Tomorrow comes!


myrtle beached whale said...

I saw a lot of theatre during my 6 years in England, but nothing compared to Les Miz. A close second was Michael Crawford as the Phantom. I have seen Les Miz by several touring companies in different venues and brought friends on the basis of my rave reviews. Some even claimed to be a Broadway company. It must have been a different Broadway than I anticipated. Unfortunately, they were very amateurish and did not have the voices or sound systems to carry this beautiful music. Granted, it is much harder to tour with a show in arenas designed for other events than to have the perfect acoustics and permanent set afforded by one of Britain's wonderful stages.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I have only seen the video version with Liam Neeson, Claire Danes, Uma Thurman and Geoffrey Rush. It was a moving story, but I have never seen the musical version. (Course I don't go to plays and musicals very often. . .either haven't had the resources or haven't taken the time.)