Um, this book is beautiful.
I read it because I saw trailers for the movie, and it looked really emotional, and sometimes I like a good cry. I didn’t realise it was a Christian novel – and by “Christian”, I mean it deals with Christian themes and, like, God is a main character.
But wow, was this a powerful read!
The Shack deals with the greatest question known to all humans who question the reality of God: how can a loving, all-powerful Father let horrendous things happen to the children He claims to love?
We follow the story of Mack, who loses his sweet youngest daughter Missy to a savage killer. Just, the worst possible thing a parent could experience. He battles with the fact that God let this awful thing happen to his daughter – and justifiably.
The beautiful thing is, God invites Mack to come and meet with Him in the shack where Missy was murdered. That sounds horrifying and dumb, but Mack goes not knowing what to expect.
What he expects least of all is that God will be there, waiting for him, along with Jesus and Sarayu (the Holy Spirit).
Mack can physically see the God of the universe and talk with Him (well, actually He presents Himself as a woman). Throughout his time with them, he comes to understand more of God’s nature and why bad things happen (like Missy being murdered).
Never have I heard such a perfect way of describing God, His nature and His love. Reading this book left me feeling tingly and (quite literally) warm and fuzzy inside. As hoped for, it was an emotional journey. I felt more connected to God myself, understanding Him more fully and experiencing Him beside me, like a normal person – just filled to the brim with love and kindness.
I know I’ll read this book again a few times in my life, because it’s easy to take something in and think you understand it fully, but then forget it. I know I’ll forget what I learned by reading this book. But it honestly brought me closer to God than I ever have been before. It explained a lot of questions I had. It made me feel that God really does want a personal, intimate relationship – that He isn’t there to judge and spite and doom.
Thank you, Wm. Paul Young for this treasure.