What Kakashi got right in the Gospel

Kakashi with his signature Lightning Cutter
Image from http://bs1.imghost.nu/images/1/103343.jpg

For Naruto Shippuden fans, there is one particular episode in the Madara arc that hit the core of human problem as described in the Bible.

This is a scene found in the tensed fight between Kakashi and Obito—friends-turned-rivals because of the death of one woman.

But first, a background. Naruto Shippuden is the sequel to the hit anime series, Naruto. It is the story of an orphaned boy’s journey from being despised to being adored as hero by his ninja village. Naruto became a powerful ninja in Konoha, defeating several villains and defending his home and people from destruction.

The story continues until we meet the antagonist, Madara, a powerful ninja who wants to place everyone in a grand illusion, believing that this will end all the pain and suffering in the world.

To achieve this plan, Madara teamed up with another ninja, Obito, a contemporary of Naruto’s teacher, Kakashi. Everyone thought Obito died because of a failed mission a long time ago, but he was secretly nursed back to health by Madara.

And unknown to Obito, Madara slowly brainwashed him into believing that the ninja system, the political structures and everything in the world they lived in caused all the pain and suffering of existence. This culminated in the death of Rin, the woman he loves, allegedly at the hands of Kakashi.

Left to right: Obito, Madara
Image from comicvine.com

Obito witnessed this with his very eyes. It fueled an intense hatred against his friend and cemented his allegiance with Madara and his plan to trap the world in an illusion, supposedly to end all strife.

Kakashi, Naruto and a host of other ninjas banded to stop this plan. After all, who wants a perfect world if this means ceasing one’s existence in exchange for utopia, but only in one’s imaginations?

Obito and Kakashi were naturally drawn to fight each other with all their unfinished business and baggage. And in their faithful battle, we witness the Bible’s diagnosis of man’s very problem in the very words of Obito.

As the two fought, Kakashi managed to corner his foe with his signature Lightning Cutter. But Obito placed him in a Gengutsu or an illusion where our protagonist relived the final moments of Rin’s life, only this time, it was Obito who thrust himself into Kakashi’s lightning weapon.

This move left a hole on Obito’s chest, right where his heart should have been. It didn’t hurt him because everything was just an illusion. Then, came a very telling conversation between the two.

I’m quoting the middle part of their exchange and edited out the non-essential details:

Obito: Look! There’s nothing in my heart! I don’t even feel pain anymore. Don’t feel so guilty, Kakashi. This hole was opened by this hellish world… Kakashi, enough already. You don’t have to suffer anymore… You can have anything you want in this Gengutsu (Illusion) World. The hole in your heart can be filled immediately.

Kakashi: Rin is gone. You are still alive! Do you really think something like this (Illusion Word) can fill that hole in your heart?... You can try and fill that hole with delusions all by yourself but that hole will never be filled.

Obito shows his empty heart.
Screenshot from Naruto Shippuden Episode 371

The famous quote of Blaise Pascal immediately comes to mind, “In the heart of every man is a god-shaped vacuum that cannot be filled by any created thing but only by the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”

Obito certainly has that hole in his heart which he tries to fill up with the illusion that his beloved Rin is still alive. Kakshi also has this hole, aggravated by the guilt of failing both Rin and Obito to their graves.

Believe it or not, we all have this hole in our hearts. It manifests uniquely for each individual. To some, it is a hole of pain brought by painful experiences and trauma. To others, it is a hole of loneliness because of broken relationships among loved ones and friends.

Still to some, it is a hole of confusion about one’s identity and personhood. It is a hole of purpose, a hole of acceptance, a hole of fear, indulgence, pressure, vices... the list goes on.

And like Obito, we struggle to fill that void with something, anything just to muffle the pain and give us a sense of peace and wholeness once more. But Kakashi is right. If we try to fill our holes with delusions, no matter how real they look like, “the hole will never be filled.”

This hole exists because God placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are made ultimately for the eternal. Right at the very beginning, the human spirit tasted what it meant to be full with an unrestrained relationship with God, with a life of bounty and joy at the Garden of Eden without death, pain, and suffering (Genesis 1-2).

Yet the enemy deceived Adam and Eve, and so sin entered the world. With it came death, pain, suffering and ultimately, separation from the only One who can truly satisfy the human heart—God Himself (Genesis 3).

What we now have is a faint memory, a faded photograph, a blurred vision of that intimate walk with
God in the Garden.

Sadly, the enemy distorts even this longing for the eternal by masking it with temporal desires—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and pride of life. And we run after these things!

C.S. Lewis is correct when he wrote, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too
easily pleased.”

Yet not all is lost. For the God who walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden has not abandoned us. He
said, “You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).” Though sin has hidden His face from us (Isaiah 59:2), He can still be found when by His grace, He allows us to seek Him with all our hearts.

But how can we find Him if, to begin with, our hearts are empty? Apparently, God willed that we not just fill up the void in our hearts with the right things. He takes the empty heart, the broken heart, the heart of stone and changes it with something new—a heart of flesh that knows how to love Him (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Why can He do this? Because one person came to “bind up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1).” One person came to defeat sin once for all to bring us back to God—He is Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:18).

In our own strength we are unable to understand what we truly long for. But God came here on earth, became human just like us, to point us back to Himself (John 1:14). His very presence emphasized our true longing for the eternal, drawing us once more to what or to who can truly fill us (John 1:4-5).

I once had a hole of affirmation, among others. I tried to fill it with high grades, achievements, awards and honors. But when I was already on top, when I have achieved all I ever wanted, I realized that I was still empty.

Yet, God is gracious. He opened my eyes and showed me that He can change my heart if I will fully entrust it to Jesus. And I did. From that moment on, there is no turning back.

Maybe some of us are still like Obito, attempting to fill our void with things of this world. Or worse, denying our emptiness by plunging into earthly pleasures.

Wherever we are right now, listen to what Kakashi said, “You can try and fill that hole with delusions all by yourself but that hole will never be filled.” You know why? St. Augustine has the answer, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in You.”

May God grant all of us open eyes and make His light shine in our hearts so we can see “the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).”

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