I have the worst habit of writing quickly, proofreading more quickly (or not at all), and turning in work as fast as possible. All through my youth, I raced to be the first one done in anything school-related. It’s not a good compulsion, and it shows with my blog posts sometimes, as I often forget to make points vital to my main idea.
This rings true for my last two posts about Charlotte, and so I want to take the opportunity to revisit episodes seven and eight and emphasize a couple of points I missed the first time around.
Addendum: She and HE Can Relate
When Yuu draws near the point of no return (taking drugs is considered super taboo in Japanese culture, as explained by Kaze), there’s only one person that can talk him out of it. Nao is physically able to challenge Yuu, mentally able to trick him, and, as evidenced by Yuu later remembering her words of guilt, emotionally able to connect to him as well. There’s no one else who is able to remotely reach him – not a family member, other student council members, violent thugs, or his past crush. Only Nao.
When we drown in our sins – whether in the dregs of depression or the heights of hallow hedonism – we might feel that God is remote. Without having a dynamic relationship with Him, it’s easy to imagine Him as such. Why turn to God when He’s so distant? And if He’s holy as the Bible says, how much more should we hide away? Like a harsh, upright father, God would never understand or have compassion on an unruly son.
But scripture says otherwise:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
– Hebrews 4:15
Christ has been there. In fact, He’s been even deeper than we have and has experienced sorrow and pain we’ll never have to endure. He was one of us, but He conquered death, and He did so for us. He understand us, and even knowing the depths of our sin, Christ willingly took a tortuous death, unfairly, on our behalf. He understands us, and as God, only He can save.
Addendum: Holy Tomori!
While episode seven was an obvious turning point for Yuu, episode eight illustrated the next step in the Christian process. After salvation comes transformation, the process of becoming more like Christ. And if Tomori and her gracious love is compared to Christ’s love for us, in episode eight, Yuu is demonstrating how he’s becoming more like her.
But how and why does such transformation take place? I already explained that in my article, of how a gracious love begets a gracious response. But I think it’s worthwhile to really set the scene better, and against a similar one in scripture.
Yuu reminds me a whole lot of the prophet Isaiah. The ancient Jewish prophet was as distinct has his companions – unlike many of them, he was of a very high class. Jewish tradition says he was the nephew of the king, and scripture shows him to be a man of powerful words, a communicator of communicators in a culture where oratory skills were highly valued. In our day and age, I might compare him to a family member belong to the Kennedy clan or the Bush family – those with connections, prestige, money, and talent (insert guffaw here).
But right at the beginning of his self-titled book, Isaiah is confronted by the holy God, and seeing his holiness – he awesome perfection in all aspects – Isaiah feels unclean and comes to understand that he and the people are so distant and so vile before God. Isaiah can’t help but bow to God in fear and respect and to immediately declare to the LORD that He will do whatever God would have him do, even though God promises only hardship and pain.
In episode eight of Charlotte, Yuu is already demonstrating change. He helps Sala – something that never would have happened in his past life when he, like Isaiah, was at the top of the food chain. But he stays with her, even before knowing her true identity. And when he does find out who she is, instead of taking the easy way out, which Nao would have been okay with, Yuu works and works until he’s able to do something that even has a modicum of a chance of reviving Nao’s brother. He’s experienced a grace beyond words, and it’s changed his heart fully.
That’s the kind of love that changes people – the love that Yuu receives from Nao without deserving it. And that, too, is the response a believer gives when he or she understand and receives grace. There’s simply no other way to live in comprehension of what God has done for us.
And maybe that’s the lesson of these two episodes, at least through cross-stained eyes. Our high priest knows us and has been in our shoes, and still, he died for us. And in light of that – what else can we do but worship?