But as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, rites, labors, sleepless nights, hunger, by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left, in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute
-2 Corinthians 6: 4-7
While reading the bible for class yesterday, I came across this scripture and it perfectly explains what it means to be human. It connects to this idea of the human spirit because it talks about despite hardships and suffering in life, God’s power would allow us to thrive in those kind of situations. Humans are very vulnerable and can easily get hurt, but if you trust in the Lord, the sufferings and hardships will be easier to deal with. This passage talks about despite hardships and sufferings, there is always knowledge, patience, holiness of spirit, strong love, truthful speech and the power of God. Life is a precious gift that can easily get wasted away. We have to understand why suffering exists and part of that reason is to let God’s glory shine through us.
This entire concept of the human spirit in this particular passage fully reminded me of “Les Mis”. That musical is filled with multiple hardships, misery, and death, but each character manages to thrive even if they are not always happy with their life. On top of the suffering, there is also compassion, hope, humanity, sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption. These two concepts of suffering and spirituality make “Les Mis” what it is. The way in which these two concepts come together in the show is something special. Both of them show up in the prologue. The suffering starts in the opening, but at the same time, the convicts are talking about how God does not seem to be in their life. That is the first time we hear about God, but the first time that spirituality truly shows up is in the bishop scene. Throughout the show, the candlesticks that the bishop gave Valjean represent compassion, forgiveness, and hope, and they remind Valjean of the kindness the bishop showed him. Even at the death scenes, there is a sense of spirituality because most of the characters do not die alone, but are with someone who gives them comfort and compassion. I think this is why “Les Mis” is about the survival of the human spirit. It shows how people manage to thrive in a broken society and shows how vulnerable humans are.
Because “Les Mis” is about the survival of the human spirit, it truly makes sense why the musical moves people at such a deep level because the human spirit lives deep in us and the human spirit truly touches the heart. Because life is dealing with the human spirit so much, people are able to connect and relate to the story.