Wrestling with Grace
Dr. Jim Denison
The best picture of grace I have discovered outside Scripture was made powerfully real to me nearly ten years ago, when I attended a Broadway theater production of Les Miserables. I will never forget the emotions of that night.
You remember the central scene from Victor Hugo’s novel, one of the most famous in all of literature. Jean Valjean, the convicted thief, has stolen silver from the bishop who took him in, but he was caught with the pieces in his possession. The gendarmes brought him to the bishop so he might press charges. Instead, the bishop told the soldiers that he had given Jean the pieces. Then he gave him his two silver candlesticks as well, his most valued possessions.
The soldiers freed him. Then the bishop said to him in a low voice, “Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to what is evil but to what is good. I have bought your soul to save it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.”