In “Bring Him Home” Jean Valjean sings a prayer over Marius while he sleeps that sounds like it’s part lullaby, part heart cry, part reflection on his own mortality.  Valjean is anticipating a horrible battle the next morning with the odds stacked against them.

Kretzmer’s words show a change in Valjean through this song. At the beginning of the song the character remembers God’s provision: “in my need you have always been there.” By the end of the song, however, Valjean is reminding himself of the truth that God has the ultimate power: “You can take. You can give. Let him be. Let him live.”  For Valjean to say “If I die, let me die, let him live” I’m reminded of John 15:13.  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

I’ve known for a while that the first change that our prayer makes in the world is not to change our circumstances, or others, or God, but our prayer must first change us.  Prayer adjusts our perspective to put us in our place and refresh our awareness of God’s place.

This song begs the question, however.  Am I willing to be the answer to the prayer that I am praying?  Even if it means I lose everything?

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Lyrics:

“Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Words by Herbert Kretzmer

Performed by Nathan and Naomi Bird

 

God on high, hear my prayer.

In my need You have always been there.

He is young. He’s afraid.

Let him rest, heaven blessed.

 

Bring him home. Bring him home.

Bring him home.

 

He’s like the son I might have known

If God had granted me a son.

The summers die, one by one.

How soon they fly, on and on,

And I am old, and will be gone.

 

Bring him peace, bring him joy.

He is young. He is only a boy.

You can take. You can give.

Let him be. Let him live.

 

If I die, let me die.

Let him live.

Bring him home. Bring him home.

Bring him home.

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