OreGairu 2, Episode 13: Requests and Wise Words

Last night, against my better judgement, I stayed up late to catch the finale of Oregairu 2. It…wasn’t worth staying up for. A strange episode, it seemed to be hammering home the same problems from the last few episodes without offering much of a solution, while breaking Yukino down so quickly and so almost-completely that I felt it negated a lot of the slow, steady work that Oregairu has given us for two full seasons.

oregairu 13a

Then again, being an unabashed fan, I still enjoyed it, especially since we got an episode full of interaction between our main characters. Plus, we got what seemed to me an episode that was very light on concluding (it kinda gave a concluding tone, but only slightly, and didn’t give us any final glimpse of all the supporting characters we love) and heavy on “see you for another season, or at least another OVA,” particularly with Yukino giving a request that we as the audience don’t hear.

For an episode focusing on Yukino and her search for identity, the pivot point of the episode comes from airheaded Yui, who demonstrates both a sacrificial heart and a wisdom that she’s hinted at all along – a deep knowledge of who she is, faults and all, and how people think.  Yui tells Yukino that she can depend on her, but Hachiman intervenes, stating that Yukino needs to do what she’s preached all along as the president of the volunteer club – she must find her own way. But the interesting thing here is that Yui insists that she knew Hachiman would say as much, as if she arranged that situation so that Hachiman would say what he needed to say and Yukino would hear what she needed to hear.

Surprise! That's what happens when you never give Yui enough credit.
Surprise! That’s what happens when you never give Yui enough credit.

Yui, you sly dog

Wisdom is highly valued by the world, but too often lacking in how we approach it. And I’m afraid to say, Christians are often the ones who are seen as lacking wisdom, despite having an entire book of the bible extolling the quality. In Yui’s actions, we see a demonstration of what we’re sometimes encouraged to be – shrewd as snakes (Matthew 10:16), using our smarts to our advantage.

And in Hachiman’s advice, we see something else that many Christians might need to sit up and notice. Again, he gives Yukino her own advice back – it is she who must do the work in breaking through and being herself. Christians, too, must do the work. I’m amazed and distressed by denominations or sects that preach a Christianity that teaches us to sit back and let God do the work. Like…wut?

We were given wisdom by God for  a reason. We should bathe our lives in prayer, but when we seek what to do, we aren’t always or often given some revelation. What we are given is scripture. Godly friends. And our own wisdom. And by abiding in Christ, we can use godly wisdom in determining what might be the best route, and by our actions we can do the work of Christ. We are God’s hand and feet after all, children of God, emissaries sent to do a mission, not infant children who let mom and dad do everything, never learning what to do.

If we do too little, we can become like a Yukino who depends entirely upon Yui and Hachiman, instead of doing what she’s truly capable of. And we, too, might miss something spectacular – the chance to prove our mettle, and show that God-given wisdom isn’t just for show; it’s for doing.

2 thoughts on “OreGairu 2, Episode 13: Requests and Wise Words

  1. Speaking of the idea of sitting back and letting God do all the work, I like the way Peter Kreeft solves the dilemma of grace and good works: God gives 100% and we give 100%. We can always count on God giving His all to save and sanctify us. St. Catharine of Genoa, a medieval mystic, once wrote that at the Last Judgment we shall see that God was so focused on our salvation as to give the impression that He had nothing else to do. The main problem is how we respond to God’s infinite love and conform our state of life and duties to His Will.

    I don’t think that the world values wisdom. There is an old division between sapientia and scientia, with sapientia relating to knowledge of virtue and holiness and scientia relating to knowledge of secular studies, craftsmanship, or even society. Often, Christians have more of the former and less of the latter: “…for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8). Henry IV of France once observed that he was impressed by St. Francis de Sales, because it was so hard to find a person who was both dedicated to religion and a gentleman. The lesson you draw from OreGairu is spot on: a Christian must strive to gain more scientia in how to deal with his peers and advance his Faith in the world without leaving behind sapientia.

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