Featured Speaker: Jean Larroux
Topic: The Greatest Showmen... an invitation to come back home again
“Watch ‘The Greatest Showman’ with me...,” said my wife...for weeks...and weeks...and weeks. I stalled.
We men know something, Hugh Jackman is NOT P.T. Barnum, he is Wolverine. Wolverine embodies that beast in all of us— nice guy until you mess with someone he cares about, right? If you mess with him then the claws come out and he’s Wolverine! I didn’t want to see Wolverine dancing in red tights while a seal balanced a ball on its nose so I refused to watch the “circus” movie.
I honestly felt like my wife was asking me to watch Rocky Balboa do a remake of “Pride & Prejudice.” No way. I wouldn’t do it. I have my man card. I’m not watching “Rocky VIII”, “The Notebook”, NO!
I was firm, but my wife insisted, so I watched it. Listen to me, here’s a spoiler alert— it’s not about a notebook or a circus or a performance. It’s about us. People who don’t fit in striving to make a name for themselves.
Here are a few lyrics from one of the songs, “I drank champagne with kings and queens /The politicians praised my name /For years and years I chased their cheers /The crazy speed of always needing more...”(1)
I understood that—the “crazy speed of always needing more.” That was me. That is me. That is us, right?
Now I understand that the screenplay might have taken some significant creative license with the true story, but the theatrical message which develops is a profound one of struggle, fall and redemption.
A few more lyrics: “If all was lost Is more I gain '/ Cause it led me back / To you...”
And the chorus of misfits concludes in unison, “And we will come back home Home, again!” It is repeated over and over again. I sat on the couch with what was left of my “man card” while tears rolled down my face. This wasn’t a story about P.T. Barnum. It was the story about all of us, longing to be loved and accepted just as we are. From the Garden of Eden to the pig sty of the Prodigal we have all longed for a place that misfits can call “home.” At Porch Night in April we are going to look together at how grace allows us, The Greatest Showmen, to always come back home. Join us.
About Jean Larroux
Jean F. Larroux, III is a member of Christ Presbyterian and a Nashville resident. He is an ex-patriated New Orleanian and still not over the missed call in the NFC Championship.
He and his wife Valerie enjoy their four kids, Ole Miss tailgating and doing anything that involves cooking, eating or hosting a feast.
Jean works as a participative consultant with non-profit and for-profit businesses helping them refine and implement mission, vision and message. Jean was a PCA pastor for 20 years and is a graduate of Reformed Seminary in Jackson, Miss. He is passionate to let the message of grace permeate his own heart and then share that same message with others.
(1) Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek From Now On lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Fox Music