Kokoro Connect, Episode 10: Wholly Yours

Do you know the story of Elisabeth Elliot?  While she is particularly well-known for her views on dating and marriage, she first came to the public attention because of her husband, Jim.  Along with four other men, Jim Elliot was a missionary to the remote Waodani tribe in Ecuador.  Despite their friendly overtures, Jim and the others were murdered by Waodani warriors.

What happened next is incredible. Elisabeth decided to also go to the Waodani.  She lived among them and evangelized to them; her actions demonstrated a love that eventually helped end the tribe’s violent ways.

This is grace – and this most unexplainable and unnatural action has the power to transform.

In Kokoro Connect, Inaba has spent the entire series hiding.  The whole group, of course, knows that she’s bossy, but Inaba hides her “true self” – a selfish, untrusting, and insecure person.

Kokoro Connect

Art by 蒼林檎

All series long, Inaba has been literally running away.  She’s afraid that her emotions, mixed with her shortcomings, will tear their group apart.  And she needs the group, because while everyone else could move on and make other friends, Inaba isn’t sure she can.  After all, as Inaba reveals, she didn’t have any friends before Iori and the others came along.

But as she runs through the forest, Inaba finds that she can no longer hide the fact that she’s in love with Taichi.  Like a Christian realizing that her hidden sins are really laid bare before an all-knowing God, Inaba’s true self is now on display.

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym of me
You are divinity

But a funny thing happens.  Iori, who would bare more hurt than any of the others, tells Inaba that she loves her anyway.  She knows the real Inaba and she loves her.  She will always love her.

And in that instant, Inaba is transformed.  Iori now knows everything; Inaba can’t deny it – she’s fully and wholly accepted for who she is.

Those of us who have experienced God’s grace know Inaba’s reaction intimately.  For me, it might as well be a flashback of an experience I had in college – which, by the way, also happened in the woods.  When I came to realize the depth of my folly and just how much God loved me – the lengths he went to in order to show that he loves me, just as I am, I broke down.  My burden was gone.

But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

But that was just the beginning.  Having experienced such great love, my response was to naturally love in return.  And when I returned from my retreat, I was different – I had changed.  I no longer tried to abide by rules, as if to gain God’s favor.  My love for him and my desire to do His work was now a response to One who loved me no matter what I did – good or bad.

Inaba, having experienced acceptance and grace, is changed as well.  She’s a little bit nicer, a little bit more open, and a little bit more courageous.

And she’s a wholly a new person.

So here I am, all of me
Finally everything
I am wholly Yours

- David Crowder Band, “Wholly Yours”

 

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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 09.09.2012, in Anime, Christianity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Honestly, I rarely hear that aspect of Christianity, where God accepts and loves you no matter what you’ve done (or thought of doing). In fact, I think that’s what all religions have in common-love, and that’s why it’s still such a source of comfort and strength to people. Too bad some people have to ruin it with their hate-mongering and xenophobia.

    Sorry if I sound random, I just felt like sharing some thoughts. =)

    • Thanks for sharing!

      There’s a backlash against grace, unfortunately, as some Christians seem to treat it as if it’s a bad thing. But we need to embrace it – grace is something that’s powerful and uncommon, and it’s a beautiful, unique part of Christianity.

  2. No problem. =) Although, I’m a bit confused on the meaning of grace. From what Google can tell me, it’s akin to kindness and love. Is that right? If not, could you explain it to me briefly?

    • That’s an excellent question. Grace is a little closer to mercy – a love that’s undeserved.

      I like the following definition of grace, as I think it captures the deep meaning of the term: Showing grace means that a person loves you and it doesn’t matter what you do. You can’t be loved any more for your good actions or any less for your bad actions. That’s what makes it powerful – grace is unearned.

      Inaba in this episode finds grace from Iori, because she tells her Inaba that it doesn’t matter – she loves her no matter what she’s done. She loves Inaba for who she is.

      Whie many religions preach love, one distinct difference in Christianity is the element of grace – forgiveness cannot be earned. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God sees His children as perfect – we cannot earn his love through good works, nor can we lose is by sinning. He loves us just the same, no matter what we do. There’s a relief there – we don’t have to constantly strive to earn God’s affection, nor do we have to feel ashamed when we’ve done something obviously wrong. God continues to love us.

  3. I have to admit, it was rather refreshing to see Inaba finally confront, accept and embrace her feelings. I was considering dropping this series, but after this latest episode, I’m in it for the long haul!

    • I was waiting almost the entire series for this moment. I’m only surprised that it didn’t occur in the finale – I’m wondering where the show will go from here!

      • The way I see it, I think Heartseed will do a test just to see how far the group has come in their development. I think he’ll try to do SOMETHING to drive a wedge between them just to see what happens. After all, each one of his little games has had the fourtnate side effect of drawing them together as a group–I see him trying to test that bond and see how far it can go.

        • That seems likely, and would be interesting, but I’m a bit fatigued. I’m kind of hoping for some relaxation for our poor heroes!

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