Ezekiel 36:26, 28b
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh… and you shall be my people, and I shall be your God.”
Violet Evergarden is an Auto Memory Doll. An Auto Memory Doll is a writer for those who cannot write, and a writer for those who don’t know how to voice what they want to write. Before Violet became an Auto Memory Doll, she was actually known as a weapon of war. All Violet knew was war, and all who knew Violet feared her. She was raised on the battlefield and she had no family. During her time in the military, she took direct orders from a man known as The Major. To Violet, The Major was her family. But before the war had ended, The Major died while Violet hopelessly tried to save him.
Violet knew nothing outside of war. When she woke up in her hospital bed, the war was over, but Violet couldn’t leave her post-war mannerisms. Everyone she met, she saluted, and she always sought orders from her peers. She had no civilian skills and she considered herself a ‘tool of war.’ She even declared if she could not be used for war, she should be discarded. After she spent a day with Lieutenant Colonel Hodgins, Hodgins asked Violet what The Major’s last order was for her.
Violet: He said, “you have to live and be free… and I… ”
Hodgins: You’ve been in the army ever since you were a child. You’ve spent your life fulfilling your duties. However, you’re going to learn many things in the future. Although, it might be easier to keep living if you never learned them. You see, you don’t realize yet, but your body is on fire and burning up because of the things you did.
Violet: *confused* I’m not burning.
Hodgins: Yes you are.
Violet: I’m not burning. I don’t get it.
Hodgins: No. You are burning. I saw you like that and left you alone. That’s why when Gilbert [The Major] left you with me, It was my chance of redemption. Someday you’ll understand what I said, and then you’ll realize for the first time, you have many burns.
After her conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Hodgins, Violet tries to understand what Hodgins meant by these burns. Eventually, Violet understood that these burns were the things she had done in her past. These burns were the scars of war she carried through her day-to-day life that she couldn’t shake. These burns were the memories she couldn’t forget and the regrets she couldn’t forgive and just like Violet, we also have many burns. The burns we have may not be scars of war, but these burns are a reminder of our past sins. Sins we cannot shake and sins we feel shouldn’t be forgiven. These burns affect our everyday life. These burns cause us not to trust those who love us, and other times, these burns cause us to hurt the ones we love.
How can we stop burning?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
At the end of the first episode, a man with a straw hat comes in requesting a letter be written for him. He wants to write a letter to a childhood friend of his. At the end of the letter, one of the Auto Memory Dolls writes, “I love you,” at its end. As Violet related to the feelings of this man, Violet goes before Lieutenant Colonel Hodgins and asks to be an Auto Memory Doll. Her reason: She wants to know what the phrase, “I love you,” means.
As Violet sought to understand the phrase, “I love you,” she begins to see what love can do. She sees how love can change a person to be better; how love is honest and can cover someone’s insecurities; she sees how love can inspire others. Ultimately, Violet sees that love causes everyone to live. Love is the reason why people stop burning. Love is what makes everyone leave behind what once burned them, and it is the reason why people can live and truly be free.
God is this love. If anyone has come to seek God, they seek love because love is who God is. Just how Violet saw what love could do. We can see what God has done because of his love for us (John 3:16). When we find Christ, our burning stops. Because of God, we find a love that desires us to be free and in this love, we find God’s desire for us to have life abundantly.