Steins;gate gets really good when one character dies…over and over and over again. I remember first watching Steins;gate and really finding it compelling, but it’s also notoriously slow: the moodiness of the colors, the unique personalities of the characters, the leisurely unfolding plot. And then it suddenly becomes incredibly engaging right at the point I mentioned above, which is also when Okabe starts to break under the emotional pressure of the loss he endures.
Note: Spoilers ahead!
Okabe is such a weird and fascinating character. He’s the one we see events through, so he has to be normal in some sense, someone we can relate to. In certain moments he is, but most of the time he’s over-the-top and delusional (maybe?). I also believe he may suffer from mental illness or just be coping with various challenges related to his brain chemistry. And yet, he acts completely normal when the unthinkable happens. Mayuri, his best friend and the sweetest character in the show, is killed and worse is that every time Okabe leaps back in time and tries to save her, the outcome is the same. He has to watch his innocent friend die over and over again, knowing that he can never save her.
Okabe acts like a mad scientist as part of his persona, but he starts to really go mad when these events occur. He can’t help it – I’m sure I would do the same.
I was talking to a dear friend this week about the death of someone very close to her. She’s grieving right now, but because of the issues dealing with her friend’s funeral, she isn’t being allowed to grieve. Instead, she has to support her friend’s family in a way that’s very painful. I think if I was her, I would about explode. I wouldn’t be able to take the weight of it all, but my friend continues to do so, continues to be gracious even though she’s gone beyond her breaking point.
I’ve had similar moments to my friend and to Okabe. It doesn’t take something so painful and permanent to push me over the edge. Stressful situations of other kinds lead me to my breaking point where I can’t take it anymore. And yet, for the sake of others, I have the choice like Okabe to continue shouldering a burden, to really die to myself to love others.
I’m not good at it. As I’m maturing slowly I’m trying to get there, to really exhibit grace in my life, to love sacrificially like what was modeled for me by Christ. I find out more and more as I age just how weak I am. But in my weakness, I find strength:
…My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness… (2 Corinthian 12:9)
To show grace in my most difficult moments, when I really need to love others that are suffering, I find that I need grace. Okabe receives it from someone who he perhaps doesn’t expect will believe him:
But as a child of God, I know that I will receive it, because the Father has proven over and over again that he will be there for me no matter the situation. When I can’t trust myself, I can trust in that. And as I grow, I hope that I’ll find that additional level, that next stage up where even should I past my breaking point, I’ll continue to be love, because it’s not my love that’s pouring out but one that’s greater: the grace of the Savior.