I posted on Facebook the other day that I was finally finished reading the book, The Shack. I said that it has changed my views on God, church, and my relationships with others. It is not an easy book to read. If you want to read something light that will entertain you, this is not the book for you.
But, if you want to seriously invest in some time with God, aka Papa, in the book, then cuddle up and start reading. I know it sounds dramatic to say that it has changed my thoughts on life, but it has.
For one, I will never, ever, think of God as this super unattainable person standing over me ready to discipline me or strike me down. This book reminds me that God is like a big, proud Papa waiting on me to turn it all over to him and watch him take the struggles in my life and turn them for His glory.
This book has a great story line, but the dialogue between God, Jesus, and Mack is where the meaty part of this book lies. At times I could only read a page or two and ponder them for a day or two. Other times I could not put it down:)
The overwhelming message of the book is to remind us that God wants a relationship with us and wants us to call him Papa. Our relationship with God should be so intimate that he is our beloved Papa. We all need a God in our life that is real and approachable. I love the idea of curling up in Papa's lap and crying on his shoulder when things are rough.
Some people get so bogged down in the legalistic nature of religion. They feel that if you want a relationship with God then you have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, follow a bunch of silly rules, and so forth. This book reminds me that His love is so simple. He died for us out of total love and He is there waiting for us to turn to him and follow Him. So simple, but our man made little laws and silly notions we get from church sometimes muddy the waters. He loves us, died for us, and desperately wants a relationship with us, his beloved children. Easy:)
For some reason this book reminds me of that night that sweet Davey was born. It was a wonderful, glorious day but totally changed the course of our lives forever. I remember after the nurses left Mike and I to ourselves with our sweet bundle after telling us the shocking news of his DS, I just laid in Mike's arms and cried. I clung to Mike but I know that we as a couple were clinging onto our dear Papa for life that night-knowing that He gave us this wonderful gift of a son with Down Syndrome but begging him to walk the rest of the way with us.
I also know that our Papa was wiping our tears and whispering in our ears that he makes no mistakes and that this child is His and He will walk every step of the way with us as we parent him. (I guess Papa should have maybe given us a heads up about his super strong-will but that is another topic for another day).
Read the book, it is totally awesome. I will admit that it is "out there" at times. It is confusing a little when he gets to The Shack and meets Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu. Just know that those are meant to be God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It took me a couple of pages to understand that:) The ending is so amazing that it is worth the harder to read parts in the middle. Enjoy and let me know what you think about it!