Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Shack by William P. Young


Tell me all your thoughts on God?

Cause I would really like to meet her.

And ask her why we're who we are.

Tell me all your thoughts on God,

Cause I am on my way to see her.

-Dishwalla


The Shack by William P. Young Is about a father who loses his youngest child to the hands of a sexual predator. Angry with God as to why He would allow such things to happen the innocent, Mack questions his faith and God’s ability to love and want good things for his people. About a year after his daughter’s death Mack receives an invitation from “Papa” (His wife’s personal name for God) to visit with Him in the place where the last traces of his daughter were found, the shack. After confirming that the invitation hadn’t come from anyone he knew, Mack sets off into the cold winter day to meet the jerk he calls God.


When Mack gets to the shack it’s cold, empty, and still have the remnants of a blood stain from his daughters clothes. This is the end of the line for Mack and he loses it, screaming the typical “I hate yous” and “why did you let this happens” Mack storms out of the shack in frustration and sadness. Then the inevitable happens, in this isolated cold winter place of the soul a Disney like spring appears in a matter of seconds. The shack has now miraculously transformed into a cozy rustic cabin, and out of it comes, bursting forth a big black woman who calls herself, “Papa.” It’s God Himself in the form of a black woman to buck all traditional senses of the long white haired gent that seems so prevalent in our imaginings of Him. Along with Papa is an Asian woman of undetermined nationality, and a Jewish guy that looks suspiciously like a carpenter.


Yes, Mack gets a weekend retreat with the Trinity. In between nauseatingly perfectly crafted scenes where they laugh at things that don’t seem to be amusing, or eat food that comes from unknown corners of the world, there really are some in-depth discussions going on. A lot of them were way beyond my scope of understanding, and some of them seemed way out there in left field, but perhaps worth taking a second look at. Of course the first in-depth discussion is about Mack’s daughter, who Papa is, “especially fond of.” There was a particular brief scene that gripped when, when Mack brings his daughter up, and “Papa” begins to cry with sadness. I thought, it’d be interesting to know if God truly does weep with us when we’re sad….

The conversations continue as to the nature of freedom, the Trinity, and the judgment of God. They were all very interesting conversations, somewhat mind bending, and it was about three in the morning when I finished this book. It wasn’t exceptional writing, but I think a lot of his theories and ideas were unusual and possibly in the right circumstances, revolutionary. I think my favorite idea present in the books is that people are fractals, our lives seem to be in random patterns and happens but in the end it creates a something that fits together and makes sense, perfectly. I can only hope this true.

2 comments:

Carlton said...

I used to really like that song.

Anonymous said...

Mack received the letter 4 years after Missy's death.