After catching up with recent episodes of Mekaku City Actors, up through episode five, I’m now totally hooked. I’m enjoying the characters, the art, the mysteries, and the tone of the series. I’m also liking the little post-show scenes involving the story of the monster. The last one, following episode five, particularly garnered my interest.
The monster, who last we saw approached by a boy, is asked by that same boy if the two can stay together. Having only experienced hurt from humans, she initially refuses. But the boy is persistent and he stays by her side, literally through stormy weather and good. And so, something begins to stir within the monster’s heart.
The story works as an analogy to the life many Christians live, putting God at arm’s length. Often it’s not necessarily purposely so, and we might even wonder why God isn’t a bigger part of our lives. Why is he so distant? Our head knowledge tells us that we believe in God and that, as the famous Footprints poem tells us, he is by our side and even carrying us through storms. So why aren’t we experiencing His blessing or feeling His comfort?
Maybe it’s because we are the monster.
All of us have been hurt by others on some level – some to the point of paralysis. We take our experiences and apply them to God, perhaps without even doing so consciously. How can we trust in a God who is invisible when we can’t even trust in those that are physically before us? And what has God ever truly done for me?
That mistake in applying others’ characteristics to God not only puts a self-made void between ourselves and the Almighty, it also totally paints God and His relationship with us in mismatched tones. We’re always going to be disappointed when we see God as someone that can give us something, like a genie out of a bottle. But if we see what God has already done for us, once for all through the cross, our perception might change and we might respond to Him in love – and that relationship that develops becomes the riches or blessing we never knew we desired.
The other part of the monster analogy is this, though – we have a monster in our lives that maybe isn’t visible. The creature called sin dwells within us, inside our castle walls, but it’s as good as slain if we open our hearts to God and metaphorically let Him as a warrior destroy it. First, of course, we must open those castle doors and respond with a contrite spirit.
The Christian life is both easy and hard, but the hardest part might be this – truly understanding the depths of God’s love. Because after that, it’s all a response, as the monster will open up to the boy, we will to the Father.
If you have any questions, please hit the “Ask the Staff” button above, and we’ll be glad to talk to you about any questions you have in regards to developing your relationship with Christ.
3 thoughts on “Mekaku City Actors: Friends with the Monster”
Your post strikes me in the heart! Perfectly in line with my thoughts after reading the beginning of George MacDonald’s The Glory of the Gospel. Perhaps there is some way I can work that book into a post on MCA.
You see, MacDonald writes that we must accept the Kingdom of God through overcoming the evil in ourselves–our chief sin in particular. In meditating on what was my own chief sin, I decided that it must be lack of faith. Of course, St. Jerome identifies lack of faith as the chief cause of all sin, but I believe that all my other vices will be easy to overcome after defeating lack of faith.
I suppose it might sound curious to hear a religious person accuse himself of lack of faith, but, as MacDonald writes, suffering is the medicine by which our vices are cured. After a while, someone might think to themselves that they’ve had quite enough of this bitter concoction, especially if its salutary effects are hidden. It takes a particularly great soul to say with St. Ignatius of Loyola: “True, I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor.” But, God usually allows us enough time to willingly embrace the cross.
Thanks for the kind words, Joe, and for the honesty in discussing your life. I’m glad that you bring up the seeming dichotomy between lack of faith and being a religious person. I think for me at least, and maybe this is the case for you, the more I learn about Christ, the more I’m aware of how little faith I have. When I was younger, I could make grand pronouncements of faith – to myself and God – but as I get older, I see how those weren’t necessarily demonstrations of my faith and that I lack it, often, on more of a day-to-day level, which really reflects the condition of my heart.
So true. That’s why I’m happy that Jesus emphasized that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. And one of my favorite quotes from St. Faustina is that God can make a great saint out of a person with even a shred of good will.