Though attributed to several different authors, Brazilian Fernando Sabino seemed to have been the first to coin this phrase: “Everything will be okay in the end; and if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” These words keep me hopeful. They keep me trusting in Providence and reminding me that so many of the things I worry myself with, can never have the final word in my life – or yours. Our stories are still being written, and in the end – wherever and whatever the end is – all will be made right, whole, and complete.
I’m with Dostoyevsky who believed in ultimate redemption, that all “suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage…that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, and for the atonement of all.”
The Chinese have a parable that embodies this hope and Sabino’s proverb, a parable about an old man who owned a beautiful white horse. One morning he awoke to find his beloved horse missing. His neighbors descended upon him, saying, “You fool! We knew someone would steal your horse. Now you have nothing.” The old man responded, “Don’t judge so quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. There is still hope.”
After a few days the horse returned, and with him he brought along a dozen wild stallions! The village people gathered around: “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing.” The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back and a dozen horses returned with him. This is not yet the whole story.” The old man’s only son began to break the wild horses, but after a few days, he fell from one and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments: “The horses are a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now you have no one to help you.” The old man answered, “Say only that my son broke his legs. This is not the end.”
It so happened that the village entered a war, and all the young men of the village were required to join the army – except for the old man’s injured boy. Once again the people gathered around, crying and grieving. “This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing,” they said. “He is with you and our sons are gone forever.” The old man responded, “You are impossible. Say only this: Your sons went to war, and mine did not, but the end is not yet told.”
Yes, I believe that everything will be okay in the end, and if everything is not okay, then it’s not yet the end, because our stories continue to be written.