Kousei is changing. Slowly but surely, the impact that Kaori is having on his life isn’t just something that shocks him – it is moving him to become a better person. In episode six of Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso), the fruit of his relationship with Kaori is beginning to show.
The central figure in this beautiful episode, though, isn’t either Kousei or Kaori, who train and support, respectively, in preparation of the promised competition. It’s instead Tsubaki, who is suffering from a heavy case of jealousy at seeing how close her two friends have become. She misses the intimacy she once had with the Kousei – that special feeling that you may have experienced, too, when you know you’re the most important friend in the world to someone.
But although the action revolves around Tsubaki, it’s Kousei we see growing in episode six. At the end, he trades places with Kaori, a flip image from the one that begins the show, carrying her when she’s injured (physically and emotionally) instead the other way around from when they were kids. He shows compassion, strength, and maturity as he’s there for Tsubaki – maybe for the first time in her life.
Kousei also demonstrates his growth in a scene with Kaori, where the blonde tearfully apologizes for making him suffer through her aggressive pushiness. But again, Kousei responds maturely, thanking Kaori that she’s pushed him so, because he needed it.
Growing up is hard sometimes. It takes courage and it almost never comes without a few bumps in the road. Suffering is a sign that change may occur if we follow the right way – if we turn our “suffering into notes.”
A relationship with God is no different. The Bible never promises that when we become Christians, life will be hunky dory. We’ll suffer just as we have before – in fact, maybe even more so as we’re forced to face those dusty, stowed away pains in our heart, just as Kousei must face the dusty piano topped with piles of books. A response to the gospel is radical and whole – we can no longer hide these hidden pains away, not if we really believe what we claim to.
But it takes time. As Kousei barrels toward the competition, his improvement is very slow in coming. It’s ugly and off-key. And so it is with the Christian life. Conversion doesn’t mean perfection. As we let the grace of God work within us and come to understand the Father’s love for us, we face our demons, within and without, and progress toward becoming more than we once were.
Again, it takes time. It can be painful. And there will be setbacks. We’ll need the support of fellow “musicians,” the music of prayer and the word, and plenty of grace, forgiveness, and patience – the time that “musicians need to gaze up at the sky.” But change will come. The dusty pianos within us are now clean – we’re given new hearts. And in time, we’ll be able to hear those notes – and we’ll see beautiful music play out in our lives.