Hachiman Hikigaya and Busting the Christian Bubble

One of the most boring things a parent has to do is attend kids’ birthday parties.  Seriously, so boring.  The only thing a parent can do there is chat with other parents, but sometimes, even that option is cut off.  Particularly, if you’re an outsider at the party, the other parents might congregate with each other and leave you out, which can either irk you if you’re the talkative type, or seclude you if you’re not.  The first time this happened to me, I was shocked, because I was attending a party full of churchgoers and pastors.  I thought it must have been some exception, but repeatedly, I’ve seen this happen again and again and again (and as recently as yesterday), and particularly and mostly around Christians.

Why does this happen?  It’s because we hate to get outside of our bubble.

In Oregairu, Hikigaya is as stuck in a bubble as much as anyone.  Years of hurt, sensitivity, and ridicule have left him in a comfort zone of one (at least at school).  He’d rather stay by himself, think, and observe than to actually interact with others.

But slowly and steadily, he’s breaking free of this bubble.  At first, it was out of necessity – Hikigaya was forced to interact with Yukino and with anyone who came to the volunteer club for assistance.  Now, Hikigaya is understanding the value of relationships and is starting to break through his self-imposed solitary life because, hey, he now has friends whom he cares about, and caring requires us to reach out despite discomfort.

oregairu 5

Last week, I argued that it’s taken a long time for Hikigaya to come to this realization, and that episode seven was a sort of turning point to him.  However, I’ve been convinced by Guy of Geekorner-Geekulture who told me that he thinks Hiki has been changing since season one, with his heart even then realizing what his mind couldn’t, that his way isn’t necessarily the right way.  It’s nice to see him slowly changing through the course of the series – it reflects the state of his heart, that even clouded by an often warped-sense of thinking, it’s still kind and loving.

Christians are supposed to be the kindest people there are – we’re supposed to be the ones that see others and immediately reach out in love and mercy, knowing that we are no better than anyone else.  And yet, Christians are no longer known for that – we’re the givers, now, of ungrace and judgment in a world that operates by those rules.  Even in small instances like birthday parties, where it takes only a bit of effort to engage others and make them feel loved, many of us stay to ourselves and remain exclusive and comfortable.

The Christian life cannot be lived inside a bubble, within an AT field (Eva reference!) set up by our own rules and conditions that keep us feeling safe and secure, for the Christian life is about humility, surrender, and faith – things that strip away our own rules and leave us feeling like a skydiver, leaping into the unknown and finding security in the only thing that can save us, a parachute that not only offers safety and security, but allows us to experience life in a new way by making the jump possible in the first place.

A lived lived by your own rules, in the comfort of your own bubble, is a life lived apart from God.  If you can’t be like Hikigaya, willing to abandon his beliefs out of love, then you’re living to love yourself first, not God and others (Matthew 22:36-40).  If you understand and accept the message of grace, you have only one option:

Go burst that bubble.

4 thoughts on “Hachiman Hikigaya and Busting the Christian Bubble”

  1. This is such an important topic for the Christian Life. As a teenager, I’m having a lot of issues with girls from my church excluding me from activities. One of the girls in that group told me that I wasn’t invited to an event because my personality would cause conflict. I told her- as Christians, we’re mature enough to work out conflict, but she still didn’t want to take the chance. I think it’s easier for Christians to form little bubbles when we find people that make us feel better about being in the world but not of the world. However, being a Christian isn’t about how secure your life is, it’s about serving God. While it’s important to have a support group of other Christians, we’re called to love all of our neighbors and share God’s love with everyone – you can’t do that inside a bubble.

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    1. Thanks for sharing – I’ve found much the same, and it often frustrates me.

      What’s worst is that in a Christian bubble, we subtly become “yes men,” encouraging each others’ views without taking into account differing ideas. And the end result can be like a stagnant pool of water, but instead of infestation, we’ve developed pride, selfishness, and lack of love for others, all the while feeling justified about it. It takes maturation and faith to break out of this model, which is easy to fall into – unfortunately, spiritual maturation doesn’t always come with age, and so you can see the same things repeated over for individuals in their 20’s and 30’s (and beyond, I’m sure) as you would with teenagers, even if we do it with a more confident and “wise” attitude.

      I hope that in your own church, your fellow brothers and sisters will grow in their faith and realize the need to extend beyond the comfort zones – after all, we must if we want to love God and love others.

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  2. This is a comment that reminds me of my sister. :} As a Christian who also happens to be a massive nerd, historical reenactment enthusiast, Native American-obsessed, not-at-all-timid-or-meek hard ass woman…It’s hard for her to fit in in the typical church culture. They keep to their bubbles and those bubbles don’t include her. But as she pointed out, serving Christ isn’t only the privilege of average white-bread Americans, but of social oddballs that desperately needed His guidance and support.

    You can love anime and be true to God’s Word, or dress up like an elf and be true to God’s Word. Actually, the Bible tends to suggest that He hated elitists and encouraged people to learn something about those different from them. That true Christians were those that opened their Hearts.

    “A lived lived by your own rules, in the comfort of your own bubble, is a life lived apart from God.”

    I learned the hard way, myself, that it is a life lived apart from really living, too. If you don’t go out there and conquer your fear, you will never become someone you can look in the eye.

    So thanks, TWWK, for bringing this message to us all. :}

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