In the musical Les Misérables, the main character Jean Valjean is a compassionate man who watches over his daughter and employees. In his former life he was a convicted criminal, but he managed to escape prison.
He sings “Who am I?” debating whether to reveal his true identity to the police official who has hunted him for years. If he conceals it, an innocent man will take the fall for him. He can either go on pretending or unveil the truth.
The song highlights Valjean’s struggle to define himself and the person he will present to the world for the remainder of his life. He finally sings out his true name, “Who am I? I’m Jean Valjean!”
However, just before this, he declares the most poignant truth about himself, “My soul belongs to God I know, I made that bargain long ago. He gave me hope when hope was gone…”
Salvation, unlike this song lyric, is given freely because of Jesus’ sacrifice. It isn’t earned through a bargain. I want to make that clear but also want to emphasize what gave Valjean the courage to reveal his identity: knowing to Whom he belonged. Because of God, he was free to embrace truth and to choose honesty with himself and others. He wasn’t a slave to past guilt or the pride of his new life.
During the quiet, stillness of COVID19 social distancing, I’m asking myself this question of, “Who am I?” I can no longer ignore the nagging fear of whether I have value apart from a job title or from doing “enough.” Thankfully, I can face these issues through the lens of God’s truth. My entire life is forever in Christ. I’m His.
As I come to God honestly with inner struggles that hold me back, I’m not wincing in preparation for a divine blow. I’m agreeing with Him that I need help walking away from lies and walking toward greater freedom and love–toward who I really am.
“My soul belongs to God I know.”
Because my identity is secure in Christ, how does that make me free?