I love fall. As weather begins to cool and leaves begin to litter the ground, I always find myself feeling excited for the change. Growing up in south Louisiana, I became used to heat and humidity, so any change from that constant is most welcome.
Another reason I love fall is because of Halloween. Granted, I never went trick-or-treating as a kid; Fall Festivals took precedence. But I always loved the Halloween season. I’m not sure why, but darker themes and spooky stories have always captivated me, even in the days when I was too scared to actually watch the stories on tv. I’ve long been intrigued by the mystery that comes with the unknown, and, in writing, I try to capture that mystery when I write poetry or fiction. The problem is that I’m not very good at it.
For instance, one of my favorite authors is Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve long enjoyed his poetry for both its structured rhythms as well as its eerie content, and I’ve held his short stories in high regard for much the same reason. But when I try to write in the same style, I hit a problem: I can’t write unhappy endings. Even when I succeed at creating a work that touches the mystery and creepiness for which I’m aiming, I finish the work with a touch of hope or with a way of escape.
I’ve wondered about this, and I think I’ve determined the primary factor at work in these situations: the gospel. You see, the good news of the Bible is that no sinner is without hope if he will repent of his sin and believe in Jesus. No darkness is too deep for the light of the world to penetrate. And when the sinner trusts in the savior, he then can never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Indeed, there are no situations where darkness overcomes the light.
So as I write, I don’t see hopeful endings as hindrances to the art. Rather, I remember that Christ has saved and that none are beyond his reach. I remember that no case is utterly hopeless, for no man’s sin can exceed God’s grace. And I rest in the knowledge that no matter how deep the darkness may become, the light will always pierce through. Because of Jesus, there is always hope. May we remember him this season and hope in such a great God.