Between Barbie playing, light saber battles and birthday parties, I was able to get “The Shack” read! I am learning to read among chaos and distractions. And I feel I have accomplished this! I am not going to pretend to be a professional review writer or make this into a school essay to be turned in. I only want to share something that I love. The love to read and to tell you about a book from my own perspective.
First off, I must remind everyone that this is a fictional book; the story is not actually true. This story appears to have caused some controversy and division among Christians. Some believe this is “patently unbiblical”. I caution you to read at your own risk, take from it what you want. I have inserted a link to a review of this book that gets answers from the Author’s:
I read through a lot of different online reviews of The Shack, and I have to say, I am surprised by some remarks and how offended so many got over this fictional book. God first appears to the main character, Mack, as a jovial black woman. This apparently caused uproar by some who have an image in their head of how God should look according to their interpretation of the Bible. I think the point got missed; God appeared to Mack as someone he needed in his life at that moment. A mother figure that would help Mack heal old wounds. God later appears as the stereotypical image of God, an old white “Gandalf” looking male when Mack was in need of a father figure.
This book makes me think of a couple quotes by Sister Joan Chittisler:
· “Its not necessary for us to rethink the existence of God, what is necessary is for us to rethink our own definitions of God”.
· “We are not talking about the divine male and the divine female. We are talking about the God who is life, who is all of energy, who is the seed of everything that ever existed, who burst into the universe with everything that we will ever see and ever be able to be.”
I found out about Sister Joan through a show that really inspires me and helps me to look at spirituality in different ways. You may have heard of this show by Oprah, Super Soul Sunday. I thought her quotes were very fitting for this book.
This story personally resonates with me as it speaks to what deep down I believe to be true. That God is all love. That God only wants well for all of us. This story strips down and removes the wrath of God, a God that is punishing. It removes a “hierarchy”, someone we need to be obedient to. And instead suggests a “circle relationship” opposed to “chain of command”. To love is not to force upon. Once Adam decided to go his own way from God and be independent, it brought evil and corruption to the world. And Jesus paid the ultimate price so we could have the relationship he has with God. This book reminds everyone that It’s already been paid for and that all God is asking from us is…to let Him into our lives and let Him be part of our relationships.
I recommend this book if you are looking to rekindle your relationship with God, want some inspiration during hard times, or if you just want a fresh perspective or outlook on the spiritual world.
But be warned, you will need a box of tissues and I found the first part of the book tough to read. I have trouble with books that involve tragedy with young children. But if you can get past that part, the rest is very much worth it! There were so many, as Oprah would say, “Aha” moments in the book. If I had highlighted them all, most of the book would be colored. Here are a few that really hit me:
· “Judging requires that you think yourself superior over the one you judge.”
· “The person who lives by his fears will not find freedom in my love.”
· “This garden is your soul. This mess is you! Together you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process.”
· “Our Earth is like a child who has grown up without parents, having no one to guide and direct her. Humans who have given the task to lovingly steer the world, instead plunder her, with no consideration other than their immediate needs.”
· “So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it.”
· “Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again.”
I think an open mind is needed when going into this book. I personally love when someone can get me to look at anything from a different angle. I am excited to see this movie with a very good friend of mine! I treasure our deep talks and am interested in her take of the movie as I know we have slightly different views on spirituality. But we both respect the others view, we listen and allow the others perspective to open our minds and grow. What we have discovered is that even though our paths may be different, they ultimately lead to the same place.
I did not mean to get so deep here on my blog. But that’s what The Shack does; it opens the gates to have these life conversations.
Let me know if you have read this book or if you are going to see the movie, which opens today, Friday, March 3rd, and let me know what you think!