Prison Diary: Two Candlesticks

We finished watching Les Misérables this week. I've never seen such a reaction to a movie we've show out at the unit. The Men in White were so excited to finish it up and we had a great conversation afterward.

For my part, I focused upon the two candlesticks.

Recall, Valjean steals the silver from the home of a kindly old bishop who takes him in for the night. Valjean is captured and taken back to the priest. But instead of condemning him, the priest tells the police that he gave the silver to Valjean and that, in fact, he left some behind. The priest then gives Valjean two silver candlesticks, the most expensive items in the house. After the police leave, the priest tells Valjean to use the silver as a second chance, to become an honest man. In the wake of this act of mercy and grace, Valjean pledges his life to God.

And from there we witness Valjean keeping his promise to God. Saving Fantine. Cosette. Marius. Even his enemy Javert.

The entire story is watching the ripple effects of a single act of grace. Two candlesticks, and all the lives they save.

I wanted to underline this part of the story as the Men in White live in a very small and circumscribed world. They feel cut off from the events in the "free world." Consequently, they feel that they don't and can't make a difference.

But when you focus on the ripple effects of small acts of grace--two candlesticks--you come to realize that even small things can have large consequences. So be faithful in the small things, give someone two candlesticks, and let the Lord attend to the rest.

That was the message I preached to them.

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