my love/hate relationship with cliffhangers

I watch more TV than I like to admit, so I feel rather qualified to make the following judgment call: Pushing Daisies is one of the best television series that ever was.

The show chronicles Ned, a lovable pie-maker, with an odd ability to wake the dead for just a few moments. Naturally, he uses this odd power to solve murders.

The show is just the right mixture of quirky, serious, and hilarious moments and I absolutely loved it.

Sadly, as is wont to happen to shows I enjoy, it seems the series got cancelled before the writers were expecting. (MILD SPOILER) The last episode ends with an attempt to hastily wrap up the loose strings of the story, leaving us without the time to enjoy its full intended arc, yet we can watch season after season of Pretty Little Liars.

I’m not bitter about it.

I may or may not have watched all of those seasons and seasons of Pretty Little Liars, but that is beside the point.

Anyway, the final episode of Pushing Daisies made me sad, actually. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters or their stories yet.

I’d grown attached to them! I wanted to know more of the details of what happened, not a short little blurb outlining the highlights, nor a snippet alluding to a vaguely happy ending. Tell me more about their lives! Show me seasons and seasons worth of their misadventures. Come, dear Daisy-writers, sit with me and we’ll chat for hours. You can weave me the tail of their love stories over Arnold Palmers. I want to know.

The characters in the story are fictional, of course, so in the end, it matters little whether I ever know what (fictionally) became of them. Yet, I still think about it occasionally.

Even more so, I think about the real-life cliffhangers I experience every day. Did that couple having the really public fight in the grocery store work it out or pack their bags? Will the little boy in the neighborhood who knocked on all of our doors looking for his dog find him? Does it end how I think it does? Am I right that those two friends are meant to be together (why don’t they see it?!)?

And what does my story look like? Where does our family go from here, now that we’re hanging over the edge of our own proverbial cliff, left wondering how we got to this place we don’t recognize.

The non-fiction cliffhangers are worse, actually, because they have real consequences in our lives. It can drive a person crazy if you let it (I only let it sometimes).

But, this is one way that God speaks to my heart, because he is the author of each of these stories and he knows how much I love a good one.

He knows the resolution of every story and one day, because he’ll tell me, I will too.

So, when the days get long and hard and the edges of cliffs loom with too much unknown, I can cling to the hope of one day finding out the beautiful resolution in every story about which I’ve wondered.

I have a feeling we’ll be able to see the whole thing–how it played out beginning to end. Its beauty will be obvious–woven by a master storyteller, whose hand shaped the character and the events, many colors combining in one glorious masterpiece.

And we will think how we should’ve seen the hand of the storyteller all along, that he was there weaving, crafting, shaping as we went along, even when things took a turn we weren’t expecting or the situation seemed desperate.

Even then, we’ll be able to look back and see that it all turned out even better than we could’ve imagined.

And the best stories never are that predictable anyway.


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