As many of us suspected, Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko) is turning out to be something quite special indeed.
Episode 2 of the series could be summed up in one word: forgiveness.
Chiba and Takatsuki’s relationship probably connects deeply to many of us. While we may not have been in such a difficult love triangle, where strong friendships are torn apart, we can all understand the deep divide that can develop in friendships when one or both parties refuses to forgive.
The saying goes that when a person refuses to forgive, the only one that’s hurt is him or herself. This is true to some extent – how many times do we fume, for instance, when a person cuts us off in traffic, when it’s likely that the offender has already forgotten about us? We become angry and fall into a bad mood, while the awful driver hums along on his way.
But the saying isn’t entirely true, especially when the two parties are close to one another. Typically, both friends get hurt, and as time goes by, bitterness usually increases.
But not only do the two involved in the argument get hurt – sometimes other parties are hurt, as with Sasa in this episode. Relationships are dynamic and fluid; they don’t occur in a bubble. We’re all connected to others, and if a bridge between two people is broken, other trails leading to those bridges will forever be altered as well.
But all (or most) broken relationships can usually be fixed. It takes one simple action. It takes forgiveness.
The act of forgiveness in a situation like the one between Takatsuki and Chiba isn’t an easy one. Both sides share the blame, even if it’s not 50/50. Because of pride and other issues, neither side wants to budge. The Bible, however, makes a clear reason why one should budge (Matthew 7). Jesus is abundantly clear on the issue – don’t judge others too harshly, for you’ll also be judged in a similar way. He uses the example of one who points out a speck in another’s eye, when that person has a plank in her own. Only in our minds are we usually spotless.
Even if we’re only 5% to blame, we’re still to blame. We’ve still added to the problem. We, too, still need forgiveness.
And so, Takatsuki offers forgiveness in a beautiful way – she tells Chiba that she will skip practice to stand by her friend and walk her home, in case she needs protection. A true signpost of friendship is when one stands by their friends, even at the detriment of their her interests – in this case, the possibility of physical pain.
Takatsuki demonstrates the power of grace. Despite having a good case against Chiba, she puts everything aside and makes a risky move – after all, she could again be rejected, or she could get embarrassed. But the power of grace – giving love to the undeserved – is in motion here. Her bold move tells Chiba that she knows she may not receive forgiveness (her overtures were rejected just the day before), but even so, she will forgive. She’ll put it all on the line to say that “I forgive you,” or that she at least wants to be on that road.
As a number of characters in the series say – Takatsuki is, indeed, awesome.
Have you ever been in such a situation? Were you the first to offer forgiveness, or was it the other way around? Did grace transform your broken relationship?