I love a happy ending. Don’t you?
Several years ago, I read a “literary fiction” book. The plot line tells about a single woman who is shy and reticent to develop relationships with others. She is reconciled to the fact she will never marry. Through a serendipitous incident, she meets a kind, gentle man who also believes he will never find someone with whom he will spend the rest of his life. The two develop a friendship, eventually falling in love. Well-written, with warm, delightful characters, the book immersed me into these peoples’ world. Then two chapters before the end, alone in his apartment, the man dies of a heart attack. The woman goes back to her solitary existence.
Distraught, I felt sucker-punched. I was downright angry at the author. Later, I discovered that unlike commercial fiction, literary fiction doesn’t always tie up with a happy ending. In literary fiction, exploration of character and social issues come before plot. The book received glowing reviews, but if you ask me, I thought it was a terrible novel.
Why? Because I wanted the hero and heroine to ride off together into the sunset, happily ever after, which unfortunately isn’t always realistic. Life is often messy, unsettled, and difficult, especially during the holidays. Pressure abounds to produce the quintessential Thanksgiving dinner or purchase the perfect Christmas gift. Enter unmet expectations, and the event goes off the rails.
As Christians, however, we can rest easier knowing this life is temporary; that a better life, an eternal life, is to come. A life that is full of not just happy endings, but of joy at being in the presence of our Lord and Savior forever.
May you experience the joy of Christmas this December and beyond.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news
of great joy which will be for all people.” (Luke 2:10 NASB)
Linda Shenton Matchett
With a BA in Psychology and Masters in Human Resource Management, Linda Matchett has had a wide and varied career as a crisis counselor, HR generalist, B&B owner and youth center director. She is currently the Front of House, Snackbar & Catering Manager at Brewster Academy. A journalist and blogger, she has written for numerous online and print publications. An author of Christian contemporary and historical fiction, Linda is also a a motivational speaker. Available topics include Life on the (WWII) Home Front, Wartime Baking, Women in the (WWII) Workforce, The Writer’s Life, God in the Workplace, The Proverbs 31 Gal: The Woman We Love to Hate, and Ruth: Lessons from a Foreigner. Linda is a member of First Baptist Church Wolfeboro where she sings in the choir and serves as Church Treasurer and a member of the Fellowship Team.
Read some devotional blogs from around the region!