Wolfwood’s Redemption

I hope you don’t mind me barging in like this.

In spite of the profession I’ve chosen, I’ve never actually made a confession before… It’s these times we live in..

I did what I could to protect the children at any costs. That’s how I’ve always justified my actions.

I took many people’s lives, all that time believing there was no other way…

My sins are heavy, to heavy to have ever atone for. Yet… Somehow I feel happy, at peace with myself today. It really can be done. Once you stop and think about it, there are plenty of ways to save everyone! Why didn’t I listen to him? Why didn’t I see that before it was too late?…I’m sorry honey….
If I am reincarnated, I’d like to live somewhere where life is easier. Somewhere with nothing but peaceful days. Somewhere with no stealing… No killing… Eden. In Eden, I could live happily with him, and the girls.

I’m not ready yet!

There’s still so much to be done… I want to stay, with them! I don’t wanna die!!!

Was I… Was everything I did in my life a mistake?

Would it be wrong for me to ask for your forgiveness?

I did not want to die this way!

These are the last words we hear from Nicholas D. Wolfwood before he dies in the modern classic anime series Trigun. His death is poetic and is a display of redemption that serves as a good bookend for Wolfwood’s story.

When we first meet Wolfwood in Trigun, he’s a hard drinking, smoking, cursing, gun toting, Priest who’s charging people for confessional in his portable confessional booth. As the series progresses, his hardness shows. He is willing to take lives if that’s what it takes to protect the orphanage he is sworn to protect. He is willing to take lives in order to raise money for the orphanage; willing to kill. Being around Vash changes Wolfwood. Vash is unwilling to take a life, he opposes suicide, he hates any loss of life. In the end, Wolfwood allows a villain to go free, forgiving him and not killing him. Then, he as he dies he gives that speech to an empty church.

There are things Wolfood realizes here a few things as he dies. First, he knows he was wrong – he realizes all the murders he committed were sinful and evil. He realizes he’s a sinner (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:10). He repents. He rarely did so, in life, but on his death bed he finally kneels before the Lord and repents. Christ calls us to confess our sins (Matthew 4:17) and, when we do so, He is righteous to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Wolfwood finally realizes this Biblical truth. And he has sins to repent, we see him murder with seemingly little remorse throughout the series. It isn’t until near the end that after spending time around Vash that he finally realizes his mistake. He realizes Machiavellian view of the greater good was wrong and that life was precious, worthy of preservation.

He then gets to a point where he hopes the Lord will hear him, but is not even sure He will listen. He is not even sure he deserves to have the Lord listen to him. He reminds me of Kelly Clarkson’s “Irvine” in which she asks if the Lord is willing to listen to her. In the piece I wrote on the topic, I said:

The track opens with Clarkson saying, “Are you there? / Are you watching me? / As I lie here on this floor.” Answer: Yes. The Lord is omniscient, seeing what we are doing everywhere and nothing is hidden from the Lord (Proverbs 15:3, Hebrews 4:13). The Lord can see Clarkson and is present.

She continues saying, “They say you feel what I do / They say you’re here every moment / Will you stay? / Stay ’till the darkness leaves / Stay here with me.” Once again, the answer is yes. Christ feels what we do, He knows what we have gone through (Hebrews 4:14-16). He is ever present with us (Joshua 1:9, Psalms 23:4, Psalms 139:7-10) and dwells within those of us who have accepted Him as our Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16).

She continues saying, “I know you’re busy, I know I’m just one / But you might be the only one who sees me / The only one to save me.” I’m here to tell you again – Christ knows you are only one, and He is ready to help. In Matthew 18:12-14, we see Christ recount a parable about a lost sheep. In this moment, we see that Christ is ready to help us as individuals; that God is calling to us as individuals; that He will not forsake us individually – even though “I’m just one.” The shepherd goes out to find the one lost sheep, leaving the others behind. Each of us are lost sheep and the Lord is ready to help each of us individually.

Wolfwood has gotten to the point where Clarkson got to in the song. Neither feel they deserve the Lord to listen to them, feel the Lord has no business paying any attention to them. Christ is there to tell you that He will. So no, Wolfwood, it is not wrong for you to ask for the Lord’s forgiveness. He is righteous and will forgive, even if this traveling Priest doesn’t realize he needs the Lord’s repentance until the end of his life.

Now, there is one other thing Wolfwood brings up – a desire for a more perfect life, a more perfect place. He calls it Eden. Revelation calls it the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21:1-6). All of creation is groaning, desiring this final change where the Lord makes all things right (Romans 8:22-23). In the end, Christ will make all things new and the place where there is no more pain, no more murder, no more tears will be a reality. As Wolfwood finally seeks the salvation of Christ in the end, we are assured he will be there with the Lord. The question is – have we repented as Wolfwood has so openly, so boldly? Have we laid ourselves bare before the Lord? If we have, He will be righteous and He will forgive.

About the Author

Matthew Newman
Matthew Newman is a Christian environmental engineer (Professionally licensed in Maryland). He’s also a husband, beard aficionado, Dad of four beautiful children, blogger, and all around geeky guy from Baltimore County. When he’s not chasing his kids or working, he’s probably asleep.

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