(If you get that last question, congratulations. You, too, were one of the few people tuning into Firefly before it was cool).
We could have an ending here, where God smites Jonah and we learn a lesson in asking God to kill us now. We could have Jonah realizing the error of his ways and all hear the increasing swell of the music telling us, "Hey! Jonah figured it out and all shall be well!"
We hear no reply from Jonah and nothing else from God. God’s question hangs in the air. This saga that has taken us from Joppa to a sea voyage to Tarshish into the belly of a great fish and then a vomiting upon the shores of Nineveh just…ends. We tuned into the story, only to find out it hasn’t been renewed for a second season.
And this is what we say to grieving spouses and partners, parents and siblings, friends and loved ones. This is what we confess to our own unsure souls. What about the story that happens after we die? Well, the details are bit vague, but much like the not-end of Jonah’s story, we know that God is with us. This is our sure and certain hope. No, we don’t know all the details, but we know we are with God in some way. And yes, what happens after we die is a holy mystery, but it is a holy mystery written in love.