Meditations: Orphans Unsure

There’s a scene in Victor Hugo’s Les Misable that never made it to the Broadway musical. Jan Valjean, the protagonist, is determined to correct the sins of his past. He had inadvertently ruined the fortune of one of his female employees and was now determined to find her daughter, Cosette. Cossette’s mother was forced to give her up and unwittingly entrusted her to two unscrupulous guardians who raise Cosette as their slave. Valjean found her, purchased her from her captors, and gave her a doll. The girl held the doll not knowing what to do with it.

Cosette did not know how to play.


Paul prayed for his churches a lot, asking that they'd understand what God had done for them, like this:

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

Colossians 1:9-11

I wonder if Paul didn't do this because he knew that we were all born estranged from our Heavenly Father. We grew up spiritual orphans. In another place he said that all were like Cosette, enslaved to sin. Paul knew that we've all been given spiritual gifts. We turn them in our hands, but we aren't sure what to do with them.


  1. Excellent, Larry! Thanks for this.

  2. Please turn this article into a starting point, not a finish a line.

  3. We just talked about Hugo in church yesterday!

  4. Miguel,

    Working on that elsewhere. I've turned in a few overly long blog posts and frustrated a few. So I'm working on brevity. I guess I'd rather provoke an emotional response and move on than to say too much.