Do you remember a book or movie where the ending somehow just didn’t feel right? Depending on where you’re from, you might say it didn’t pass the “smell test.”
In stories (just as in reality), this unease can arise from questions the story raised, but never answered. The actions of certain characters may have seemed forced – one or more of them behaved “out of character” in something they did (or didn’t) do. Or maybe the author raced to the end. In so doing, she glossed over or “failed to mention” a double life a character had exposed to us earlier. Even in fiction – a double life is a lie.
This is not my first election by a long shot. I’ve watched large numbers of people shift their views as Election Day arrives. But an unfinished story is still the way that the 2020 election and the 2021 inauguration feels to me. It’s what I’ve seen and learned about people throughout my life that tells me this. It’s not altered by “talking heads” assuring me, “There are no American troops in Baghdad,” as we watched them marching down the streets behind where Baghdad Bob sat.
I can’t help but wonder: Is some of this because we are unwitting actors in this great election drama? Have we been deliberately shown only a portion of the full event and all the actors? Just given our lines without access to the entire script? Were the events in which we participated deliberately filmed in the shadows, with patches of sunlight mingling among the shadows through the trees above? Were our views controlled by the cinematographer and the camera’s sensitivity and light rendering, deliberately obscuring our vision amidst the patches of light and shadow?
Perhaps the election story author forgot to resolve an important character’s dilemma – one we were promised early on was important to the story, but then at the end asked to forget. Or maybe a seemingly insignificant character actually played a far larger role than we knew. If democracy dies in darkness, then do republics die in the midst of big media, big tech and cinematographic magic?
All fiction and human-crafted stories are a form of deceit. But a good story is fiction only in the sense that the events in the story didn’t happen. The key is: They could have happened, and someone we know could have responded as the characters did. It would have been perfectly reasonable that events did happen as the author related, and so we let the story continue. We suspend disbelief, because we want to see how the story ends.
I wrote a while back about what Ernest Hemingway described as a writer’s most important tool: it’s called “a built in, shock proof s–- detector.” Mine has been blaring loud and clear since the campaign attorneys did not cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1997 Foster v. Love 9-0 decision, which ruled that Election Day means Election DAY. Ballot counting stops at midnight. That’s when it’s over.
States never considered this when they counted their ballots and certified their election and ballot counting that went on for days. The Senate and House ignored it when they accepted those flawed results. You can work out for yourself where the end of Election Day left the two candidates last November. Maybe that is part of what is giving me this unfinished-story feeling.
Or maybe, just maybe, we are all bit players in a drama that transcends us, our nation and perhaps our world. To get to this point you have to start at the beginning. It doesn’t take long. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created …” God is the creator. He made it all. He owns it all. He paid a terrible price to restore humanity unto Himself.
Is it possible this coup is really directed against Almighty God and His government? The usurpers would be many: governments, our own as well as others, with cameo appearances by big media and big tech.
As such, would it be so surprising to see such an insurrection addressed by Almighty God? As the momentarily former President Trump likes to say, “I guess we’ll see what happens.”
Maybe you’re not there yet. I understand. But I think we are going to see a divine response to what is in reality a coup against our Creator and His Laws.
Are you getting that uneasy feeling that the story isn’t over yet?
craigemcmillan.com Behind Enemy Lines, Vol. 2, Armageddon Story series.
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