In “Acceptance,” Hiro is sitting on the edge of the roof of a skyscraper and talking to Tadashi, whom Hiro has tried countless times to prevent from jumping off the building by going back in time to keep Tadashi from committing an embarrassing act (photocopying his derriere) that will lead to his decision to kill himself because he is fired from his job and embarrassed his family. By now, Hiro’s realized there’s no way he can prevent Tadashi from coming to this point in his life because there is something deeper at work in his choices.I haven’t been all that thrilled with this season of Heroes, but I loved this scene in “Acceptance” because it illustrates the saving power of truth and love.
Hiro: I’ve tried to help you. Many, many times. But nothing seems to work. You keep on making the same mistake.
Tadashi: How come I don’t remember any of that?
Hiro: It doesn’t matter. I think it’s time that both of us faced the truth.
Tadashi: The truth? What do you mean?
Hiro turns to look at Tadashi, perturbed:
Hiro: First of all, you must really hate your job! Nobody copies their butt 47 different ways without wanting to get fired! My advice: find something you love to do. Then it doesn’t feel like work.
Tadashi: Maybe it is true. I always thought I could do more with my life.
Hiro continues right on.
Hiro: Secondly, life is a gift. Precious and short. Not wasted by jumping off a roof.
Tadashi (a little exasperated): What makes you such an expert?
Hiro: Because . . .
Hiro: . . . I’m dying.
Tadashi: No way! I would have heard.
Hiro: I’ve been keeping it a secret. Which brings me to my third point. Don’t keep secrets. Not from those you love. Especially not family.
Hiro smiles, and stands up.
Hiro: It’s time for both of us to accept the truth.
Tadashi looks up at Hiro, uncertainty showing on his face.
Tadashi: What if I’m not ready?
Hiro looks down at him, confident.
Hiro: You’ll be fine, Tadashi. Just remember, you’ll always have a friend waiting for you up in heaven.
He reaches his hand down to Tadashi, who’s now visibly moved by Hiro’s words.
Tadashi: You’re my friend?
Hiro nods and smiles.
Hiro: I am.
Tadashi takes Hiro’s hand and stands up and says with emotion in his voice:
Tadashi: Arigato, Hiro.
Tadashi bows to Hiro, and steps down and away from the edge with Hiro following.
When Hiro realizes that Tadashi will keep making the same mistake in his life, he confronts the young man with the reasons behind his choices and offers him a more honest, right and deeper way to live his life. It reminded me somewhat of Jesus’ call to “repent and believe”--or as Dallas Willard puts it in The Divine Conspiracy, “review your plans for living and base your life on this remarkable new opportunity.” In the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, Christopher Hall writes that as followers of Jesus, we “will lovingly welcome fellow strugglers and know how to help them move beyond their sin.” Hiro isn’t perfect—in fact, it is as he attempts to help Tadashi that Hiro realizes his own choices need to be reviewed or rethought. But in facing the truth of his own life and choices, he is better able to help Tadashi. He is, in essence, a “fellow struggler.” Living life this way will lead to choices—both in our own lives and the lives of those we love—that may not be easy to make, but it is a better, right-full life. It is one that consistently works towards redemption, restoration, and life instead of destruction and death. And choosing to live our lives this way and offering people a vision of this kind of life—“speaking the truth in love”—is part of what it means to love.
But Hiro doesn’t stop there—and, as those who love, neither can we. What gets Tadashi off the ledge is not simply a confrontation with his own brokenness, a chance to rethink the way he thinks, and an opportunity to embark on an alternative way to live life but, perhaps most powerfully, Hiro’s offer of a hand in acceptance and friendship. This simple choice to walk with this whose with whom we cross paths is often more powerful than we can imagine; we need only think of how those offers have touched us to grasp that. We were meant to walk and live together this way, with hands out and hearts open. We were made to love one another, fellow strugglers inviting each other always to rethink our thinking and more fully embrace Jesus’ new opportunity to walk together in those wide open spaces of God's grace and glory.
(Images: Fox via Hulu)