Have you ever read a great book that had a bad ending? I felt that way lately, after reading a recent bestseller.
The story was hard, but drew me in, as I wanted to understand the hardships the author had experienced. Her world was completely different from my own, and I was amazed at her perseverance and ability to simply survive years of heartache and hurt. I pressed on reading, because I learned a lot about the culture in which she lived and how it related to the larger religious community in which she grew up.
As I caught glimpses of hope in her words, I found myself spending an entire evening sitting in my chair reading until I had finished the book. Would she survive? Would she overcome such obvious hardship and abuse? Would she come out on the other side and be a warrior for girls like herself, who were oppressed and ill-treated?
The ending caught me off guard, because while she did escape the family environment that had caused her so much grief, it was obvious that there was still much to work through, as I can imagine there would be for anyone in her condition.
Because all she had was an education, not a relationship. The knowledge she’d gained through college and post-graduate degrees had been just that — knowledge. She now understood much more about her family, and especially her father, but she did not have healing. Education can’t heal the hurts; it can only describe them.
While I learned so much from the book, it could have had a much better ending if Jesus had been in the story. She would have had someone who could replace all the hurt with love and restoration. Her head may have found answers, but her soul had not.
I know, not all stories have the ending we like. I’m a realist in this, yet, I hurt in reading such a book, knowing it’s about a real person who has yet to be made whole. This author spoke recently in my home town, and a friend said, it seemed she was still working things out as she told her story. That just confirmed my thoughts in reading it.
How will the story of your life end? This author still has time to let Jesus bring her true healing from the hurts of life. What about you?
May your story end happily ever after for eternity. It’s possible with Jesus.
Grace and Peace