You’ve felt it every time a story has a happy ending.

It’s the feeling you get when you walk out of a store with the right shoes in the right size and the right color–for 50% off.

It’s the ice cream to your apple pie.

It’s the exhale to your pranayama (yoga breathing).

It’s when a scripture leaps out at you from the pages of your Bible, lassos your heart, captures your mind, and reveals its truth over and over again in the most unexpected ways.

You’ve felt it every time a song ends on just the right note. What that note is you have no clue (C#? E♭?), but you feel it. It rings in your head and in your gut. It tells you this is right. It’s complete. It’s resolved.

It’s a sharp contrast from the feeling of dissonance.

It’s how you feel when “To Be Continued” flashes across your TV screen. It’s the feeling you get when there’s no ketchup for your fries. It’s when the love interests on-screen never kiss. When the song ends and you feel like “where’s the rest?” When you feel ripped off, cheated.

It’s what you feel when your marriage doesn’t go the way you dreamed, when your kids don’t turn out the way you planned, and your whole life feels like you are missing something.

Like God left you hanging.

That’s how Eve felt. And she had it all—an organic garden to make a vegan envious, a hottie for a hubby without a female competitor in sight, and no worries about fitting into her size 5 jeans after a night of overdoing it on the dessert.

But the serpent knew what she wanted.


He planted the seed of doubt. Of discontent. Of dissonance. Of believing that God was holding out on her.

And it worked like a charm.

I hate conflict. I’m so impatient to make it right. I hate waiting for things to work themselves out. I want everything in books, on TV, and in my life to wrap up with a nice big, red bow.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the throes of Stravinsky’s Firebird. The drums beating me like mallets. The frenzy and intensity of the sharps and flats rake against me. Like I’m in the orchestra pit and the musicians are standing over me driving their horns, their bows, and their strings down, down, down on me.

And just when I think it’s coming to a climax, when the hero should sweep in and save the day, plunging the music into a melody of majors, it ends on a single minor note, leaving me with my breath stuck in my chest like a splinter in the eye. Like a knife in my chest.

That’s when Satan comes and whispers, “He’s holding out on you.”

And I must—oh, I must—see the cross.

See God weeping.

Feel the creation heaving.

Hear Jesus’ resolving, “It is finished.”

Then whisper back to the villain, “No. No. He gave it all.”



Read “When God Leaves You Hanging, Part 2”