…And the bad guys went to jail and the good guys fell in love and got married, “…And they lived happily ever after!” NOT. At lease not in the world I live in. In my world, the bad guy goes on being bad with impunity, the good guys end up suffering from depression and post-traumatic-stress-disorder, and no one is living happily ever after.
Maybe that’s why we love Hollywood endings. In the movies, it usually seems like there’s some sense of cosmic justice that occurs at the end of the film. It makes things feel complete. finished. Real life is so much more messy and well, incomplete. Issues that occur in our lives like illness, divorce, lost friendships and so much more seem to never find closure or finality. We humans crave a happy ending and the movies and television have inadvertently led us to believe that we’re somehow being cheated if there isn’t one. What do you do when the dilemma in your life isn’t wrapped up with a good ending in 90 minutes or less?
God has a whole different idea about endings. He sees the ending of a relationship or the loss of a loved one or any other trauma in our lives as a way to not only draw closer to him and gain strength from him but also wisdom. The very over-done question, “what would Jesus do?” is exactly the one God wants us to ask ourselves. He wants our endings to be the kind of ending that show Jesus to the world, stretches our capacity to love, even in the face of heartbreak, and leave us wiser and more in tune with God’s kingdom and less in tune with the one we’re living in now.
So what would that look like in action? Well, the bad guy repents of his sin, asks the good guys for forgiveness and the good guys give it to him because that’s what Jesus would do. And they lived in God’s love ever after. Maybe not always happy and dancing through life, but definitely wiser.