I am 24601

Monday, June 10, 2013

via pinterest

This is for my Les Mis ladies. :)

In Victor Hugo's prodigious novel, Les Miserables, we are immediately presented with a protagonist. This man, a certain Jean Valjean, has a bit of a problem. An identity crisis, one might call it. He was a sinner, and stole a loaf of bread to saving his sister's starving family. He was brought to redemption by a bishop, but because of a broken parole before his being saved, Valjean is living in hiding. Though found in Christ, he is yet a convict, and running from the law.

This is similar, in some ways, to our struggles as Christians.

At birth, we are lost and sinful. Whether our families are Christians or not, we are too young to understand their devotion and must squabble our ways around, leaving a mess for others to sweep up. Those of us with Christian families usually reached a point in our lives where we were confronted - by our parents, by a sibling, even by someone outside of the house. This confrontation changed us or bothered us, until our parents finally really explained this messy life we are living, and how our only hope is grace. 

Those not surrounded by believers have to find their way on their own, and it's even harder. I can't imagine it, and I won't try to explain it, because, being the incredibly blessed woman I am, I did not have to search for Christ. He was waiting for me.

But however God chose to bring you to Him, He did it. You are His.

And then we run into a bit of of a bumpy road, a one-lane fellow, dirty and winding. You drive down this road because it's the only way. You have to stop a few times because the turbulence makes you carsick, because you need to sleep, or because you don't want to go on. But somehow, you make it to the end of the first section, and reach a branch in the road. You know which is the right way, but you hesitate. Look down the wrong way - can you see it? Look how well the road is paved, and how pleasant it looks. You don't even want to look at the road you know you should take, because you have already seen the muddy ground, the narrowness of the lanes. Maybe you take the smoother road, because it looks safer to you.

But it's a trap. And you get caught at a dead end, a hopeless, empty place. And that's when you have to turn around.

The hardest part of sin is the aftermath. We fall, but at first it doesn't seem so bad. There may even be a bit of satisfaction at the first, and you push your conscience to the side because hey, it feels good to forget about it for a bit. But when you land, there are injuries. Injuries a-plenty. They decorate your body like gruesome battle marks, and some will leave pale, white scars that scream to the world about your mistakes.

Valjean, when a convict, is known by a number. Names are disposed of, and every person is no longer human but a simple, 5-digit number. Valjean is no more. Valjean is 24601.

We are 24601. I am 24601. I am a sinner.

We don't want to be attached to these former lives when in heaven, we want to be released like birds. Christ takes us, weeping and broken, wipes away the scars that define us. And we are given a new heart, a new identity in Him.

This identity is nothing but that we are His. Beloved. And in this manner, we are set free from all earthly bonds. No more are we known by this stamp, this number, this 24601 that is our worldly identity. We are His. That's all. That's beautifully, marvelously, miraculously all.


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