Last night, I watched the story arc where Madara explained to Sasuke Itachi’s true motives behind killing the whole Uchiha clan with my sisters. This really spoke to me, as I saw the intense pain Itachi endured in order to protect his brother reminding me of my role as the older sibling. I haven’t been through such a dramatic instance, but I have lately been taking a bigger role in my sister’s lives. Itachi’s sense of duty to protect his brother, in a very backwards way, reminded me of my own duty as the oldest sister.
I take my duty as their protector, mentor, and companion seriously. (Most of what I post on Twitter is about them…) The more our relationship grows, the more I delighted in the role bestowed upon me. It gives more meaning to my life. For Itachi, after he received the mission to massacre his whole clan, his whole life became dedicated to Sasuke, and Sasuke didn’t realize it. Siblinghood is just like any other relationship, but the time and dedication it takes to create truly powerful bonds is like no other commitment. It’s power is different from other kinds of love, but it is truly beautiful when taken seriously, and no one shows the beauty of siblinghood better then Itachi Uchiha.
Itachi’s story is just that, a story, but the emotion I felt as I discovered his true pure intentions, was real. My mother often has to yell at me, “It’s just a cartoon! It’s not real!” when I run around the house moaning about my feeling. But it almost is real for me as I recognize that Itachi and I have a similar sense of duty because of our position in the family. We have a duty to carry love, and learn to strengthen that love during hard times in order to always keep it available for the younger siblings.
There was a moment somewhere for Itachi where this love became incredibly painful. I believe that was the most tragic point in his story. It wasn’t difficult for Itachi to choose his love for his brother over his dread of the mission, but being forced to play judge to decide which was the lesser of two evils was the moment where he lost his life. It didn’t belong to him anymore; it belonged to Sasuke. Through the whole sick game Itachi was but a pawn battered around, but he played his part to the best of his ability which is truly admirable.
I admire the kind of love Itachi had for his brother because it was completely selfless. I love my sisters and they love me. But I also have to love them when they may not like me so much. This is just as Jesus loves us, and I can never have strong love without Jesus’s example or his help. Itachi’s intentions and use of love reminds me of Jesus’s never ending love. As Madara said, Itachi accepted hate instead of love from the world, and especially his brother. His love for Sasuke was so strong, it didn’t matter how much Sasuke hated him. He even told Sasuke to hate him because in his mind, it was for Sasuke’s greater good.
The same idea goes for Jesus, the ultimate big brother. He accepted hate when he obviously deserved all our love. He accepted having his body beaten and destroyed when he was worthy of being our king. He demonstrated his love by giving us free will to choose between love and hate, and by ultimately dying for us so we wouldn’t have to face the reality of our wrong doings. Itachi as well dies for Sasuke so that he can have closure on his suffering. Itachi was the true hero, but he wanted Sasuke be seen as the savior of the Uchia Clan. He gave up his honor so that Sasuke could have honor. That sacrifice is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in an animation. And yet, such a story is true for me, and all my sisters. We can be see an clean because Christ took on the role of our protector, and he protected us from our own sin by dying for us.
It’s so interesting to see how Itachi shows how self-control is a part of love. Itachi carried silent pain, and the longer he kept it secret, the more he grew in honor. He had an ability to keep fruits of the spirit, peace, patience, faithfulness, and self-control to hide his love in his heart. All this without the Lord’s help shows a man who has an unreasonable amount of emotional strength.
I’m a very emotional person, everything I feel I let out. My youngest sister even once told me that she wished she could feel as deeply as I could. I told her that when someone feels very deeply, it becomes painful to hold. But Itachi held himself together because he refused to go against his duty as an older brother. As I have no ability to keep my feelings to myself, I admire Itachi’s self control very much.
All while Itachi struggled to hide his intentions from everyone, he also piled on a mission to actively protect his brother. That is pretty much the first requirement for being an older sibling. I mostly just protect my siblings from bad anime, but God has still given me a longing to keep them safe.
My biggest mission at the moment is to show that what love is. Love between sisters, and love from God who calls us his brothers and sisters. As we all love the Lord, we are also sisters in Christ. Christ can make our bond stronger then any of us can as mere humans. Through Christ, the love between us is stronger then Itachi or Sasuke could ever know.