Who’s Colm Wilkinson? And What Does He Have to Do With The Matrix?

OK, so by now you’ve all figured out that I LOVE music.  And, yes, my favourite musical is, of course, Les Miserables.  Not only is the music stunning but the story is such a powerful Christian story, about a man named Jean Val Jean who learns his value to God through the sacrifice of another and who then sacrifices his life for others continually throughout his life while being relentlessly pursued by one enslaved to “the law”.

How could I not love this play?

So when my friend Mandie asked me, “Hey, Mary, do you want to go see Les Miserables in the theatre tonight?” all I could think of was whether she meant the question rhetorically because really the answer should have been OBVIOUS…

So we went.  One quick point–I was a bit concerned about the movie initially because it is a production full of music…could any of these famous Hollywood actors actually sing?  I had seen the play live and on DVD many times and loved the beauty of the music.  What would happen to the music?

So we are watching the movie when the part where the main character, Jean Val Jean, ends up stealing from the priest who had given him shelter and who later bestows on Val Jean an even greater gift than a bed to sleep in.  I was so surprised and delighted to see that the priest was played by Colm Wilkinson that I turned to Mandie and blurted out (loudly), “Mandie, it’s Colm Wilkinson!” Colm Wilkinson

She turns to me, shushes me, and says, “Who’s Colm Wilkinson?”


Did she really just say that?  Really?

It’s funny how we can be so invested in something that we lose the ability to have any perspective.  For a minute I couldn’t comprehend that someone wouldn’t know who Colm Wilkinson was!

But after the first initial speechlessness (which is notably quite rare for me), I  of course blurted out WHO he was, with Amanda shushing me all the while.

Now how would this look if I were watching a movie and someone representing Jesus Christ appeared?  Would I get all excited and tell the person next to me all about Him, or would I hold my tongue because I am afraid of “offending” that person?  Would I be as quick to extoll the virtues of my immortal Saviour as I am this mortal performer?

As I’ve mentioned before, our World has perhaps rubbed off too much on us Christians.  We are more aware of the finite world than we are the spiritual world.  Like in the movie The Matrix the main character Neo believes that what he sees is reality, when all the while his eyes have been deceiving him and reality is actually on another plane.  At one point Neo is offered a chance to see the real world, to exit the fantasy and finally see what he has been missing his entire life.  The red pill or the blue pill?  Stay in this fiction or see the truth?  He chooses to see the truth, while one of his colleagues, Cypher, wants to have his memory of reality obliterated and to return to the lie.  It seems crazy, really, that Cypher would cherish the lie more than reality, but this is an allegory of our world.  So many would rather choose the lie of life without Christ than the truth in Christ.

But we know the truth!  Can we be more like Morpheus and offer the chance to see the truth to those around us?  Can we be as enthusiastic about our relationship with Christ as we are with our distractions in this world?

Oh, and for those who don’t know, Colm Wilkinson was only THE original (and best, my opinion only!) Jean Val Jean in the original London stage cast of Les Miserables.  If you haven’t seen it, you should, although I will warn the gentlemen that my brother told me after he saw it that all he could think of the entire movie is when it would end…so much for trying to add culture to my brother’s life!

Let’s all get enthusiastic about Christ!.


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