Another story is over. I have read another tale told. I walk softly to the kitchen for some water, avoiding the places in the hallway where I know that if I put my weight down, the creaking will resounding across a sleeping house. I should have gone to sleep hours ago, but I couldn’t put down the book.
But now it is over, and I have that feeling that it was incomplete. Every story. Every book. No matter how intriguing, riveting … no matter that I can’t even lift my eyes from the pages until I have turned every last one. Over, and somehow strangely incomplete.
“The End.” The words resound hollowly in my mind.
Will there ever be a story that ends just right? It’s not that the books I read had bad endings; most of them ended on a good note, but somehow, something was missing … something I can’t even verbalize, something I can’t even visualize, something I can’t even imagine.
I don’t know what it is; I just knew it wasn’t there, for when I closed the book, I felt the story was incomplete. Is that all? What more did I want? I don’t even know.
Is there something deep within the soul that seeks for the story to continue? That recoils somehow against seeing those words written in stark finality upon the page: “The End”?
There is a story that begins in a garden of life and beauty, a time before death and sorrow and pain corrupted it all. This same story ends with a picture of another garden, living and breathing, with color and life and wonder. It is your story. And it is mine.
A story in which the ending is not an ending; it is simply a new beginning that promises love and light forevermore. And the promise has been given by One who called Himself the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He, the writer of the story, walked in the garden with its blessed inhabitants, before it fell to ruin. He walks in the garden at the end of the story – that ending which is only another beginning – bringing light that endures forever to a world that for so long waited in darkness.
He promises a new beginning. Perhaps this is why no story, no matter how wonderful, completely satisfies the soul. Because when we read these words, “The End,” something deep inside whispers, “But it’s not the end.”
Even that which we think of as the final ending – death – is only a new beginning, where we stand at the threshold of a time when time shall be no more. At the dawn of a morning that will see no end, illuminated by the Creator of light and love. At the first page of a new chapter of a story that is truly “happily ever after” – an ever after where the final page is never turned, an ever after that is not followed by the words, “The End.”