Kokoro Connect 05: Hurt Me Bad (in a Real Good Way)

A while back, I had difficulty getting my son to close his eyes while I washed his face in the shower.  I’d have to tell him multiple times to close his eyelids in the same shower session.  One day, I just let him do what he wanted, and to his discomfort, soap ran into his eyes.  He had a miserable time.  But now, I never have to ask him to shut his eyes – he does it without any encouragement on my part.

Kokoro Connect demonstrated the same principle this week.  At the close of the episode, Heartseed lets the gang know that he presented this awful situation to them as a way of pushing them forward – of making them do the things they needed.  The pain opened them up and caused them to do what was necessary.

Art by 五歳

This push reminded me of these lyrics*:

Oh but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I’m burning with love
And with hope and desire
How you move me

These actions reminded me of God and his relationship with  us.  While I can’t relate Heartseed’s dishonesty or manipulation to God, a basic similarity arises.  A message, oft repeated in evangelical circles (and said much more eloquently by others than I’ll paraphrase here), is this: God doesn’t mind hurting you if it helps youTemporary pain might be necessary for eternal growth.

For instance, I have a close friend who has a pastor that mentors him.  This pastor lost his young daughter a long time ago, before he became a minister.  Grief-striken, he questioned a friend, asking why God would do this to him.  As the man studied the question and learned more about God, he came to dedicate his life to Christ.  Today, he pastors a megachurch.

Did God cause the  young girl’s death so the man could come closer to God?  That’s a big question and I don’t think it’s simply answered.  For every bad thing that happens, there are often a variety of reasons, many of which we can’t see.  And sometimes those “can’t sees” amount to learning experiences that can help us grow.  That pain exists to draw us closer to God isn’t the answer to the problem of pain, but it’s an answer.

And as Nagase, Taichi, and the rest are discovering, sometimes a little hurt can lead to a good thing.

*Note: This post has a country twang to it – the title of the article and the lyrics above are both from country songs, sung by Patty Loveless and Garth Brooks, respectively.

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About TWWK

TWWK, known to outlaws and lawmen alike as Charles, lives deep in the heart of Texas, where he drives cattle and boot scoots (not really - though he does sport a pair of rattlesnake boots). Somehow in this frontier, he also finds time for his wife, children, and church. Oh, and anime, too.

Posted on 08.05.2012, in Anime, Christianity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love your comparison. Kokoro Connect is definitely my favorite running anime and is quickly making its way up my list of favorites.

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  2. So true. Sime people will never “get it” , until they ‘ve experienced it or gotten themselves in the same situation.

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  3. If I was a Christian, I’d think that Heartseed makes a better metaphor for the Devil–tripping us up and causing strife and discord for his own bemusement. Of course, I’ve found that’s a tricky area to discuss with Christians because nobody seems to have a firm grasp on just how powerful or influential the Devil supposedly may be.

    Us atheists however don’t have to justify the bad things that happen to us as having any purpose at all, which I actually find much more comforting. Rather than rationalizing that a good god is either testing our faith or opening new opportunities for us through misfortune, I can simply say, “Well… that’s just how it happened. We all face hardships as an inevitability of living and we must press on.” And if need be I’ll seek assistance from my family and friends.

    Really though, Heartseed has a very “Kyuubey feeling” to him in that he doesn’t really comprehend human emotions or values–an entity foreign to our culture that has a vague understanding of morality in a platonic, observational, scientific sense.

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    • Heartseed does feel Kyubey-like – very cold and matter-of-fact. It’s definitely difficult at this point to understand his purpose. His first appearance was more sinister (from a human perspective); this one appeared so, too, until his final words near the end.

      When it comes to bad things happening to us, I don’t think Christians have to justify anything. In fact, I think we often justify too much. “God willed it” is often just plain wrong and “everything happens for a reason” is trite. You say things happen because, well, they just happen – I can say the same, though I think in the mindframe that an overall cause for hurt, suffering, and pain in the fallen nature of the world.

      I don’t think that misfortunes should paralyze us or keep us from otherwise moving forward. The Christian life, rather, encourages us to find strength in the gospel – “even so, I’m loved. I can keep going.” If the whole world turns again me (and for most of us we occasionally feel that way), even so, I’m still loved.

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