Grave of the Fireflies and the State of the World

I was reminded of Grave of the Fireflies, one of the first anime films I ever watched, when Mark recently posted about his love for Studio Ghibli.  He remarked that the movie “creeped him out.”  For me, it was just massively depressing, especially because of it’s haunting basis in truth.  I think about rewatching it often, but I can never get up the muster to do so.

grave 1Fruit Drops by turtle-rn | used with permission

The suffering of children is something that really hits me.  You of course don’t have to be a parent to feel this way, but I know being a father is what led me to feel more deeply about tragic stories involving kids.  It’s hard not to think about the innocence of your own children and how unforgivable it is when someone would take that away and even do worse.

Of course, tragic and painful events involving children are not just relegated to the past – they occur every day.  Many of us were perhaps reminded of such when a recent report told that ISIS was enslaving children, abusing them sexually, and turning them into child soldiers – and moreso, some were crucified and buried alive.

I literally felt depressed all day.  What could I do to help?  Why aren’t we as a human race doing more?  And how could people commit such atrocities?

It’s easy to get down when reading stories like these.  In my job, I work with the topics of genocide and the Holocaust, so I’m surrounded by such historical accounts; I purposely avoid reading too much, lest I get bogged down in a depressive state, paralyzing myself in making a difference.

For the Christian, there is a hope that the world, no matter what state it’s in, can withhold.  There will be an eternity for believers where such suffering will no longer occur, where goodness and beauty reign and evil has been eradicated.

But that day is long off for most of us.  Until then, perhaps we should reflect on Christ’s words when it comes to children – and remember that in the here and now, we can make a difference to keep children safe and in the state they should be – as innocents.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’

– Luke 18:16

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

5 thoughts on “Grave of the Fireflies and the State of the World

  1. Sad doesn’t do it justice. I think of anime like Grave of the Fireflies, Barefoot Gen, and Now and Then, Here and There, and I can only cry and pray. I don’t want to see any innocent suffer.

    Many Christians might consider judgment day negatively; for those who believe in Jesus, it is a precious promise. God promises to finally bring the justice human governments courts administer only imperfectly. My mind returns again and again to Revelation 6:9-11.
    How long until all accounts are settled? If not soon, then at present, may God cripple evil people so they cannot continue like this (Psalm 58:6). If they will not turn away from their evil and turn to Jesus, and oh that they may, may God exercise his justice. May Jesus our hope return soon.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Certainly, we have a culture – both inside and outside the church, that sees judgment and death as something horrible and fearful, rather than as our transition into someplace joyous and without tears.

  2. “Many Christians might consider judgment day negatively; for those who believe in Jesus, it is a precious promise. God promises to finally bring the justice human governments courts administer only imperfectly.”

    I have thought long and hard about morality, and justice. My thoughts on it are…well I hope not too inflammatory, but this is one of those things I’m very very passionate about. 🙂 Apologies in advance for parts of this rant XD.

    I have lived in this world for a little while now. For God’s justice to be just, it must be a perfect justice— A justice that takes into account ALL of the factors that go into every person’s decision. A justice that can only be born of omnipotence.

    Yet perfect justice strikes me as completely impossible. It is something that, because of the existence of my formidable friend, I cannot have faith in. People do evil things with the best of intentions. People have slaughtered and raped and destroyed in the name of Love, and in the name of God. Would perfect justice condemn them to Hell or send them to Heaven? Is the murdering soldier who believes in Christ’s ability to save him really saved at the expense of the utterly non-violent Jain monk?

    There are plenty of people who are utterly devout, and yet are evil and feel no regret for their actions. There are people who have become monsters who have been trapped by responsibility and power, forced to choose between sacrificing the lives of their own followers and sacrificing their own soul.

    Still…

    “For the Christian, there is a hope that the world, no matter what state it’s in, can withhold. There will be an eternity for believers where such suffering will no longer occur, where goodness and beauty reign and evil has been eradicated.”

    If we’re wrong, and all things are possible with God…We’re glad that a lot of people on this Earth right now will get to find it. 🙂

    1. These are good and important points. It makes me think about justice according to God rather than according to our earthly ideas of right and wrong. If we look through a Christ-filled lens, we see this – we all deserve punishment. Unlike folks who commit atrocities while believing they’re doing right, according to scripture, we do wrong willfully. Like a woman who eats fried food day in and day out, despite medical advice, we’ve decided to follow our own ways, knowing that one day there may be consequences. Justice is punishment for all.

      Thankfully, grace covers justice, offering us a pardon, and even more, a promotion from criminal to co-heir. In this awful word of sin, there is hope.

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