The light can reach even the bottom of a dark ocean.
It’s so good to have Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) back again. There are few series that feel like an old friend, and to me, this is one. Episode 12 picks up right where 11 left off, both in terms of timeline and thematically, as growth, grace, and guilt continue to torrent through the storyline, flowing out from every crevice.
Though Kousei had moments of triumph over his guilt in the first cour, he’s not out of the woods yet. In a very real way, he continues to struggle, even as he “sees the light,” feeling that with Kaori guiding him, he’ll eventually make it out of his dark pit.
The way Kaori tends to Kousei is interesting – she applies grace, faith, and most often, a harsh rebuke. In fact, she makes him bleed again in this episode. Harsh indeed.
But Kaori isn’t the only one who’s hard on Kousei. Kaori’s parents even get in on the act, rebuking Kousei for stopping in the middle of a performance! Hiroko likewise applies pressure, pushing Kousei away from a defeatist mentality. Even though she wonders if she’s doing right, Hiroko goes through with tough love, because she knows its value:
Am I being too harsh on him? But he’s got to play so that he can mature as a pianist.
They know what we all know – sometimes tough love is the best kind of love. I was reminded of such this past semester during the discipleship program in which I partook. I confronted my disciplee over a great many issues, often – as with Hiroko – with hesitancy. But more than once, my disciplee told me that he was glad for it and that my words helped him grow. I remembered that when I was his age, it was also rebuke that helped me grow in my walk.
Sometimes, we need to be the strength for others when their strength isn’t enough. And if all we provide are gushy words, without any substance, we don’t lend our support – we could instead be doing the opposite.
Of course, there’s one big caveat – rebuke easily becomes judgement. Very easily. So apply with care – or else we risk becoming less like Hiroko and more like Kousei’s mom.
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