Tsuki ga Kirei is a cute series–not in the traditional moe way, but in the “those awkward kids are so precious” sense. Over on Twitter, Kaze and I discussed it and he mentioned that the series is capturing that awkward middle school stage almost too well, especially through the eyes of Kotaro, an aspiring writer, and Akane, an athlete who is fighting anxiety.
By episode three, Kotaro, has plainly discovered that girls are no longer the harbinger of cooties. His affections for Akane are growing quickly, and without the maturity that comes with age (well…sometimes), he can’t really reign those feelings in. It doesn’t seem like Kotaro understands the need to think through the situation a little (see the sudden bit of dialogue at the end of episode three). He’s running on adolescent do-first, think-later steam. And so his thoughts and actions don’t always make sense.
At one point, Kotaro goes to the library and picks out a random book to find advice, as per his literary club’s tradition. I can’t really fault him for doing so. After all, he’s like, what, 12? But I also get it that most of us are superstitious to some extent (knock on wood) and perhaps the Japanese more than most, with the idea often played for laughs in anime.
But underlying Kotaro’s action isn’t some superstitious fervor; it’s a desire, of course, to become closer to Akane. I’ve been in similar situations where I’ve wanted something so bad that I’ll take almost anything as a sign of confirmation. For Christians, this can be a dangerous thing, as the book we’ll often turn to isn’t something random on a library bookshelf–it’s an item we hold much more dear.
Christians consider the Bible more than just a book. We call it God-inspired, the living word, the breath of God, and by all sorts of other names that present scripture as something dynamic and infinitely complex, able to apply both to something as large as the universe and as small as our personal lives, often with the same words at the same time. It’s no wonder that some might look for answers in their specific reading for the day (or, and I know some people do this, in a passage they randomly flip to, just as Kotaro does at his school library). Sometimes the serendipitous happens and God answers you through that reading, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
In fact, we place a strange, ironic limit on the Bible when we approach it in this manner. We put the infinite God of the universe, who is able to live outside of space, time, and our rules, and put him in a box according to how we work. I have a problem. I’m pretty sure God will answer it through what I’m reading right now.
God, of course, answers in all sorts of ways. Yes, through your reading when you’re looking for advice, but also through your reading yesterday and your reading tomorrow; through a piece of fiction like anime or a movie; through your friends, podcasts, sermons, and prayer; through circumstances and life; and in so many other ways.
I think if we were friends with Kotaro, we would tell him, “Stop being a baka, baka.” So maybe we should stop acting the same way, approaching the Bible as magic, and instead see it as God-breathed, our daily bread, a necessity for life, words that demand our attention, memorization, study, and obedience. Because you know what? I bet when the time comes that we need advice (for our teenage romantic dalliances or otherwise), having the word up here (head) and in here (heart) is more likely to lead us to a good decision than a random flip of the page.