Do you remember what it was like to be a child? The innocence, the earnestness? Anime sometimes features child characters, as in Usagi Drop or Aishiteruzehe m Baby. But in episode one of Sora no Method, we’re introduced to a character that isn’t quite that young, and still exhibits those important childlike characteristics.
Nonoka, having returned home with her dad (and without her mom, who seems to have passed away), finds a girl waiting in her home. Noel, as she calls herself, is excited to see Nonoka, who had promised to return to her, but for the latter, Noel is nothing but trouble, making messes and then, apparently, breaking a picture frame containing an important photograph of her mom. In a fit, Nonoka yells at Noel, telling her she never wants to see her again. Later, Nonoka is guilt-ridden when she realized that Noel wasn’t the one that broke the frame.
Noel perfectly exhibits what a young child is like. She loves, but is clumsy in her efforts, as can be seen with the poor job she did in trying to wash away stains she made in Nonoka’s room. And she takes Nonoka at her word, waiting for it to be fulfilled day after day, year after year. Nonoka no longer has that sense of innocence – she’s more like a parent (and cares for her dad, in some ways, as a wife), so it doesn’t hit her until later that Noel was being incredibly sweet.
As a parent, I get how Nonoka felt about Noel’s intrusion. My kids are always asking to help around the house. My first instinct is to just say “no,” and I sometimes do, because their “helping” sometimes makes twice as much work for me! For instance, when my son and daughter ask to help me rake leaves, somehow I have a bigger mess to rake up than I did before their assistance (not least of all because helping sometimes consists of jumping into the piles I’ve made).
Of course, when I think about how wonderful it is that they want to show their love through helping, I can’t help but be thankful and to accept the small price of letting them help out.
I imagine God must sometimes see us this way, too. He gives us opportunities to help out, even though we’re like children to Him, making messes. What He could do easily, He lets us do ourselves. God chooses to work through His people. He remains patient with us (if nothing else, the Old Testament is a record of his awesome patience), and let’s us fumble along and do our best, even if our best really isn’t all that good.
And thankfully, the Father loves better than I do with my kids, and better than Nonoka does with Noel. And knowing that should makes us want to please Him even more.