All good stories have an arc: Laying the groundwork, rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution (known as dènouement, for you language geeks). Every life also has a unique story arc with these common elements. Themes and motifs may vary, but the trajectory is the same. One theme appears in every life story, however–the theme of death and resurrection.
Some of the best literature includes this theme. In January, my husband and I visited New York City for the first time, and we watched Alfie Boe portray Jean Valjean in the musical version of Les Misérables* on Broadway. The tears spilled out as we listened to him sing “What Have I Done?” while he clutched his stolen candlesticks, gazing on a cross. “Jean Valjean is no more…another story must begin!” Jean Valjean the criminal “died,” resurrected as Monsieur Madeleine, the respectable mayor and businessman. There are other deaths and resurrections throughout the story, culminating in the final sacrifice of Jean Valjean, when he is revealed as the brave hero he had been for so long, pouring out his life that others might live.
The story of Les Misérables is beautiful and inspiring, but it pales in comparison to our real-life stories, which are patterned after the most Real Story of all. Death and resurrection, over and over and over. Every disappointment, every trial, every loss. You and I have experienced this kind of death often. And if we are honest, there is always a resurrection. We see it in new resolve. We see it in a changed direction. We see it when hope returns. Those are the glimpses of glory C.S. Lewis spoke of, the snapshots of Heaven our kind God grants us (See “Transposition” in The Weight of Glory). It keeps us looking forward instead of backward.
I used to be a Prairie Muffin with a blog called Buried Treasure. God has kindly pointed out sin in my life, putting to death some of the things I thought I needed, showing me more of what I really needed, giving me a small glimpse of glory. I hope He keeps doing that. What I really need is more death and resurrection. This is my resurrected blog, a pile of stones by the roadside to mark the work of God in my story. May He pour oil and wine on it, and be glorified as I keep looking forward.
*The book is better than the movie, always.