Making Sense of Happy Endings

A Tribute to James and the Giant Peach

I can still picture Mrs. Leach standing at the front of the classroom reading James and the Giant Peach to my 4th grade class. The adventure of an orphaned boy and his bug friends aboard the miraculous peach was the most thrilling story I had ever heard. Having escaped his two cruel aunts, James made his way to New York City and settled into a new home in Central Park:

“And James Henry Trotter, who once, if you remember, had been the saddest and loneliest little boy that you could find, now had all the friends and playmates in the world.”

I’ve always loved happy endings and, remarkably, the Christian worldview makes sense of them. The human heart longs for love and home because that’s what humans were created for: to be at home in loving communion with each other and with their Creator. God originally placed Adam and Eve in a paradisal garden, to tend it and to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). Their disobedience led to banishment from their garden home and separation from their Creator (Genesis 3). The rest of the scriptures reveal God’s miraculous plan over 1500 years to redeem fallen humanity and provide us with the hope of happiness surpassing that of Eden (Revelation 21:1-8)–A happy ending that’s lasting and true.

By contrast, in a universe without God, the happy ending doesn’t really make sense. On such a view, there are no happy endings to look forward to, only meaningless non-existence. If that were what the future held in store, I wonder why the vast majority of stories suggest an almost universal desire for things to be otherwise? How could the idea of happy endings have evolved, anyway? I’ve never heard convincing explanations as to how ideas would’ve evolved on the evolutionary scheme, but the idea fits perfectly with the Christian account of human history in the past, present, and future!

*****

In honor of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book and the joy of happy endings, I altered this discarded jewelry box! (I found it at Goodwill for only $2.99!) I’ll let the photos tell the rest!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! ~Scarlett

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