At last year’s IKKiCON (my first convention experience), I was surprised to see someone cosplaying as Faye Valentine. After all these years, she remains a popular character for cosplaying. And why not? Faye’s looks (and moves) scream femme fatale, while she also has a “sad girl in snow” kind of side.
At the end of “Gateway Shuffle,” the fourth episode of Cowboy Bebop, Faye Valentine more or less invites herself onto the Bebop as the newest member of their crew. She gives off no air of humility or thankfulness, even though it’s unusually kind for Spike and Jet to take her in after she’s already left them in the dust once, and possibly has a massive debt and other more sinister things hanging over her head.
Faye may be grateful, but she doesn’t show it. And honestly, she may not have much reason to. She knows little about Spike and Jet, except that they really don’t like her. For Faye, her joining of the crew is temporary. She doesn’t see it as something permanent, and she certainly doesn’t expect to form bonds with the rest of the bounty hunters. They are a pit stop on the way to her next scheme.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words when comparing a “sinful woman” to Simon, a religious teacher who was hosting him for dinner:
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.
– Luke 7:47
Faye doesn’t feel “forgiven,” nor does she feel welcomed or loved. Not yet. And because of that, she demonstrates little gratitude.
But Faye quickly becomes bonded to the crew, and certainly starts to show her caring for them after Spike rescues her from Vicious, though it’s not until near the very end of the series that we fully see how indebted she feels to the gang. As Spike leaves, Faye’s unwilling to let him go. She cries, she screams, she pulls out a gun – she’s unwilling to let her family be torn apart. She won’t say the words, but it’s obvious that Faye loves the Bebop crew, as she’s discovered that not only do they accept her as one of their own, but that they’re also all that she has left in the universe.
For those of us who’ve turned to God, accepting His forgiveness, we often act toward him as the Faye Valentine of the early Cowboy Bebop episodes. We play Simon the Pharisee, who doesn’t lavish the LORD with love or even the most basic of manners. We act as if we’ve been forgiven little. And when we do so, it demonstrates a misunderstanding of the depths of our condition before Christ, and the power of God’s grace. Or else, as may be the case with most of us, we forget.
Instead, we should try to live a life of thankfulness. We should demonstrate a desperate love, as Faye does near Cowboy Bebop‘s end. After all, He is our family – our Father – and without Him, we’d be like Faye – lost and hurting souls.