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Cosette’s rescue from hell was complete. She was transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of marvelous light. Pure experience of a child. She seems to so easily receive the great gift, and skipping ahead has so little struggle to make the switchover from hated and hating into loving and being loved. Really? And nothing is missing that would cause her to throw a tantrum? She seems to be the most 2D character in the book. This is the troubling aspect of the clean humanitarian message of Dickens and Hugo which appears to take away the power of an argument to love the downtrodden by basing it on their ideal innocence and virtue amid unusually sad circumstances. Rather, a more practical and potent argument points toward their image-bearing worth despite learned ugly habits.

I have been reading two other books. One about the The Enneagram personality theory which is basically about “the 9” personality types that grow from our childhood into the ways we now self-protect against perceived threats from our environment. Maybe I am a “4” on this scale. The point about the 4 that resonates with me is that I seem to have something missing which I am always trying to make up for by being and appearing to be special.

I am trying to will to be something that I already am without any willing or trying.

The point that someone like me must realize is that I am complete already. I am made in the image of God and accepted and unique to Him. Relax and enjoy it.

The second book is Abraham Lincoln: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership by Elton Trueblood. It is explained how Lincoln’s early childhood lessons in valuing human souls irrespective of their skin color because they are made in God’s image eventually carried the day in his heart. His constant study of the Bible led to his discerning the divine image in all humanity as the real impetus for emancipation. The value of the human is derived, not “self-evident” in the sterile Jeffersonian sense. And Lincoln viewed his own life as a part of the divine plan for men to be restored in due time. He was complete in the full color of his melancholy and awkward moments. And God used him to deliver a nation.

Colette is from this time forward to be loved. And so are we.

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