Sometimes when we make the decision to do the right thing, to make the noble sacrifice, to be gracious, it doesn’t always feel like it was right, especially when everything turns out rotten and worse than if we did nothing at all.
Yuu and Shun must feel as much after their plan, which in their minds was foolproof (just leap back in time!), led to Yuu’s serious injuries and Kumagami’s death. Nothing turned out as they hoped – an important ally and friend is dead, a vital ability paralyzed, Nao possibly also be injured, and though the Syndicate doesn’t know it, at least one more enemy unaccounted for.
This isn’t what’s supposed to happen when we sacrifice ourselves to help others.
Of course, episode 11 of Charlotte demonstrates the truth that, despite our noblest intentions, things don’t always turn out. When that happens in our own lives, we might feel utterly defeated.
This episode was timely for me. Recently, I reflected on my church and remembered the friends of my past who went through it, and of the time and love I gave to them. But instead of remembering happiness from those times, I started to feel bitter, thinking about how few of them have reciprocated such kindness toward me in any way. Was all that I did for naught? Why did I invest in these people, sometimes at great personal expense, if they didn’t appreciate it?
Many of you might feel similar from time to time. It’s hard to sacrifice of ourselves, and when we do, we certainly hope that it was worth it. But too many times, the result doesn’t pan out – things don’t change, people don’t change, etc. And it’s then natural to ask the question, why did I even do this in the first place?
An irony of it all is that while we do something that’s supposedly selfless, when the result isn’t good, we start thinking about self.
Yuu and the others will certainly be pained at the developments that have occurred. They’ll be angry and bitter and depressed. Yuu may especially feel guilty and mad, seeing as he was unable to save everyone and was so wary about even going on the mission in the first place. But my guess is that Yuu will come to understand what we need to as well – to sacrifice is to give of yourself out of love regardless of the result.
Christ died for us knowing full well that many – most – of us would travel down the wrong road, that his death would be taken as meaningless by billions of the ones he loves. Bloodied, abandoned, and crucified, he gave it all for the people who tortured and executed him. But it was more than worth it for him. The sacrifice was out of love for the Father, and God’s love for us.
And in our sacrifice, as we give to others because He first loved us – that, too, should be enough.