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Fantine’s murmur is a plea for help: “Do not be too long; we are waiting for you.” And the compassion she felt and expressed for the fallen horse foreshadows her very own demise at the hands of a self-occupied, and therefore cruel, man. She is in need of a protector – someone to speak up and stand up on her behalf as the enemy moves in. But the time passes and no such protector arrives. Yes, down the road of life, one man is being prepared for a mission of rescue, but the time passes and even God allows the moment-void of compassion when it’s need most for her sake. We get to watch it all happen, knowing that the fiction is so real in so many lives. We see the young men who were never taught to be men and the young ladies who long for a real man, but cannot fasten their longing on any flesh and blood example – so they cling to false hopes and moments of affection.

So Fantine will sell her teeth and suffer. But she will herself will protect another life just long enough to pass that soul into such protection. And that new soul will benefit from not just one, but two true protectors.

Ahhh, To give myself away; To lay down my life; To cherish and protect; To speak up truthfully in the silence against the false notions even when it means my personal downfall. And to hold my tongue when it’s aim is pure self-protection. It’s this noble example of Christ’s Love in Jean Valjean that makes this story so powerful. There are many lives victimized in the battle, but the ones I touch can be protected and encouraged.

And as a robbed man, which by search doth find; His stol’n stuff sold, must lose or buy ‘t again:The Son of glory came down, and was slain, Us whom he’d made, and Satan stol’n, to unbind.

John Donne