In Episode 10 of Angel Beats, Yui has been revealing to Otonashi all the things she never got to do in life. She had been paralyzed and bedridden for most of her life after an awful accident. She wanted to try her hand at wrestling. She wanted to score a goal in a soccer match. She wanted to do a lot outdoors, a lot of physical activities.
After trying and failing to hit a homerun, Yui reveals her final wish – she wanted true love, she wanted to get married. She proposes to Otonashi on the spot who begins to stumble and stutter. Then walks in Hinata.
Hinata boldly says that he’d marry her. She says, “You don’t know me, the real me.” He continues to say he will. He says he’d marry her and love her regardless of who she was in the past, regardless of any handicap, regardless of anything. He wanted her exactly the way she was, right then and there. He loved her, purely and without limits for who she was – not for what she had been or what she had done.
She was taken back by it. This kind of love was not something she felt she deserved. It was not something she had seen before. It was something so foreign, so strange, but so amazing. It’s a pure love without limits which we do not see often enough in this world, but one which is Biblical in marriage. In a Biblical marriage, it is not uncommon for a man to view his bride as perfect for him (Song of Solomon 4:1-7). He’ll love her imperfections because to him, she is perfect (Song of Solomon 6:9). There is one, though, who loves us better than that – the Lord.
It seems ridiculous to us that anyone would love us like that, let alone the almighty God. And, frankly, it is. We don’t deserve it. We didn’t earn it and can do nothing to earn it. We are fallen, flawed, and imperfect creatures easily distracted by the shiny objects of the world. He loves us anyway. He gave His only begotten Son to reconcile us to Him. He chose to live depowered as a man, dwelling among us, and dying by our hands – to save us from our sins, from ourselves. He loved us through all of our imperfections.
When Hinata loves on Yui through all her weaknesses and imperfections, he’s loving like Christ. Now, he’s not perfect – neither is Yui, but this love through it all is an innocent love which in our cynical world we don’t see as often anymore.
Modern love and romance appears to be marred by trust issues and cynical belief that love is a fleeting, unnecessary thing. Love, true love, is a beautiful and important thing. Paul speaks of the selflessness of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. We’ve heard it so many times at weddings that sometimes we lose sight of what Paul is saying. Love endures to the end. Love does not keep a running tally of wrongdoings, but forgives. Love does not brag, but allows for humility. Love does not promote selfishness, but selflessness. Love was at the beginning with the Lord and will be around in the end. Love perseveres to the end, perfectly. The innocent love not marred by cynicism, but focused on the one whom you love instead of self can become a limitless love, a perfect love in spite of all of our imperfections.