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Updated: Aug 5, 2022

“I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:6b-7)

I have been immersed in “Story” lately. Like many, I am the type to read several things at once, and I love a good movie. I love being immersed in imagination. Indeed, I have to make sure I balance things so I can do life well, as well. But there’s nothing like a good story, true or fiction. I feel like I can worship God through Story that I experience, things that are well-written and stir the soul, and through things that make me want to be a better person.

I can recommend two movies we have seen in the past two weeks.

Lincoln is one of those movies that make you feel smarter after you’ve seen it. I loved the story behind the scenes of how the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, was passed before Lincoln was assassinated. I’m guessing that some of the dialogue or story line was made up (or guessed at), but the story itself rings true. The struggle for justice and civil rights is very compelling. Seeing it right before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (and the Strength to Love class starting this week) made it even more meaningful for me.

Seeing Les Miserables with our whole family the day after Christmas was priceless to me. The movie (and musical) means a lot to our family, and the fact that God orchestrated this all so that we could see it together right after Christmas – coming together as a family after two years – just felt like a big hug from God to me. I know He didn’t think, “Hey, I’m going to make this movie and have it come out at this time just for Kelly and her family,” but He’s such an immense, mysterious God that He for sure made it a special time and opportunity for us. I love Him so.

Les Mis has a special meaning to our family of five, because we went to London on vacation one December and saw it performed. We loved it so much that when we went back to London the next year on a mission trip to see if God were calling us to be missionaries overseas, that we saw it again. Doug ordered the soundtrack for us and we all learned the songs (because we wanted to). A few years later, Alison and Leah were in a community theater production of it (I was props master) in Escondido and had a great experience. Just a year later, Matt and Alison’s high school choir performed some selections from Les Mis, and Matt sang the part of Jean Valjean. Most of our family, when the kids were in their teens, trained for and ran a half-marathon in San Diego, and then-13-year-old Leah beat everyone in our group – she didn’t stop once – because she was listening to the Les Mis soundtrack and got lost in it, even crying during a particularly sad part while she was running. She had a great running time, too! (I would love to be able to run like that and not think about how I wanted to stop, or die.)

Les Miserables is a story of redemption and grace, and the ability of a person to change his or her life, with the help of God. It is the story of the struggle for justice and the story of love. The movie production is very good. I loved seeing it in the theater after Christmas and crying my eyes out (and I was not the only one in our group). I worshipped God through that experience and am so grateful to Him.

God is the God of Story. He is the Creator, and He gives us the ability to create and to immerse ourselves in the Story experience. He wrote the Word as Story (as well as wisdom and guidance and truth) and created something that is greater than ourselves but also as a part of ourselves, since we are in His ongoing Story of His Church.

He is the God of experience and orchestrates our lives to be a masterpiece, a Story, complete with highs and lows, conflict and resolution, good versus evil, beauty from ashes, redemption and grace, and change opportunities. Oh Lord, change us for the better!

Kelly can be reached via email.

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