Isn’t it interesting that the only character in Celestial Method (Sora no Method) who’s not bitter or hurt (or both) is the one with the most tragic back story?
Episode four of Celestial Method takes us further into the backgrounds and relationships of our core group of former friends. It begins with yet another slapping of Nonoka and ends with virtually all the reasoning behind the broken friendships explained.
Ultimately, the characters are unhappy because they lost what they once had. Yuzuki is angry at having lost the specialness of Kiriya City’s culture and trust with Koharu and Sota. Koharu is sad that she’s lost her bond with Yuzuki. Sota is at a lost of what to do about his sister. And Shione, as shown in episode three, is bitter at Nonoka, a friend and a girl that she looked up to, leaving her.
All of this brokenness can be traced back to Nonoka and the calling of the saucer. Yuzuki is the only one of the group that’s vocally against the saucer, going to extreme lengths to try to build opposition to it. She’s angry at what it’s appearance has caused. Koharu is perhaps at the other end, with what appears to be her family shop thriving because of it’s saucer-related, touristy merchandise; her family uses the saucer. And Shione and Sota seem to largely ignore it, focusing their emotion and attention, rather, on relationships.
It’s interesting how each regards the saucer phenomenon. None of these postures can be maintained, however, when they come face to face with Noel, the personification of the saucer itself. They regard her as an individual. They listen to her, consider her, and even embrace her.
When you’re face to face with reality, with a real person, you often forget the ideas about the individual that have developed in your mind over time. Have you ever done that with a person? Maybe you have a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, and past bitterness or prejudices about him or her overtake your thoughts, and your brain develops a caricature of that person that’s immediately swept away when you’re reunited.
We certainly treat God a similar way. Without seeing Him in person ever, much less on a daily basis, it’s common for us to treat Him one dimensionally – both for Christians and for those that don’t believe in God (or outright oppose him). We can be like Yuzuki, blaming Him for troubles in our lives – and certainly many do that, especially when a tragedy has occurred. Others use God, as Koharu and her family does – seeing Him as a genie or treating Him even more selfishly for gain (I’m looking right at you, you politicians who use God in your speeches about your own agendas). And many of us simply ignore God – again, both for non-Christians (in a theoretical sense) and for believers (in the actual way we live our lives).
But God isn’t some giant on a throne in the sky – He’s no still saucer there to bitter against, used, or ignored. Instead, He is personal and real, just as a friend, sibling, or anyone else in our lives. But more than that, even when everyone us fails us, He always remains for us:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
– Exodus 14:14
God invites all of us into a relationship. The question for many of us remains, though, do we treat God like Noel*, a real, dynamic individual, or do we treat Him like a saucer? In a relationship, the answer to that makes all the difference.
* I do believe there’ll be a post somewhere in the future focusing a bit more on Noel and the meaning of her name.