Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Shack by William Paul Young

This is from the back cover:
Mackenzie Allen Philips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgement he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In the world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

Lingering Thoughts:
I love that this book addresses many of the questions that we ask ourselves day to day. I hate that it uses the pain of a family to answer said questions. We've all been a predicament where we ask ourselves, "What if I had only did...? What if I hadn't done....?" These are questions that Mack wrestles with after the abduction of his daughter, Missy. He places blame on himself (and GOD) for the terrible circumstances surrounding her disappearance. He finds himself asking, as I am sure you can relate to in midst of tragedy, "Where is God in my pain?" I felt this way while enduring infertility for five years. I wondered "Why me?" instead of "Why not me?" I felt forsaken by God or punished for past sins. All of these emotions made me feel even more inadequate, but now, after reading a book that addresses many of these concerns, I don't feel so alone. I feel God truly does understand that "when all you can see is your pain, perhaps that is when you lose sight" of God (page 98).

I also loved how this book encompassed what God expects of us regarding forgiveness. Mac has a really troubling situation in which he must forgive someone who hurt him dearly. He struggles with how to forgive and justifies his hatred of this individual until God intervenes and shows him the freeing power of forgiveness.

A final important topic which this book alludes to is the humans ability to be judge and jury of our brothers/sisters. I felt complete conviction during the chapter in which Mac was to be the judge at the risk of saving only one of his children and forsaking the other. Wow! Completely powerful!

If you haven't picked up this book to read you should! It's really good!

You can buy the book here and visit the book's website here.