Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Shack

Have any of you read The Shack yet? It's the tale of Mack, who has experienced horrific tragedy, and a rather unusual invitation he receives from God. Most accurately, it's about what happens when he responds to that invitation.

Mack is understandably confused by the tragic event that has taken place and God role in it. He's also very angry with God. However, he's dealt with these feelings by refusing to deal with them. Life is moving on, as best it can, he believes.

As I read The Shack, I recognized how all-too-common this response is. We're hurt or devastated by something in this life; but, rather than seek healing and wholeness, we diminish our hurt, ignore our wound, or stew in our anger. We live in our brokenness.

And though our invitation doesn't arrive as Mack's does, God does invite each of us to come to him, to engage in relationship with him, and to seek healing from the only source that can truly bind our broken hearts. Yet, we have a choice, and how rarely we choose to accept his invitation.

Last night I attended my mom's book club, which was discussing The Shack. A woman there beautifully shared how she chose to express her devastation to God and pursue answers from him after the untimely death of her 20-year-old daughter.

She explained that she took her many questions to God, and in the course of the past 10 years God has answered each and every one of them. She bravely fought to keep her heart alive and to invite God to restore it, when she could have chosen to shut down and self-protect. Her presence last night was radiant and her story impactful -- we were all blessed that she chose relationship and then shared the beauty and bounty of that relationship with us.

As I listened to her, I was reminded of my experience after the death of our baby last year. God was so generous to provide a spacious place and time to dialogue with him about our loss soon after it happened. In that moment, in the midst of heartache, I had to choose to enter into this and to engage him -- i.e. choose relationship. And he was gracious to respond, to answer my questions, and to provide much healing.

Back to Mack...The Shack raises the question of relationship with God and what keeps us from it or substitutes for it. Pick up a copy to read, and let me know what you think. And if you get stuck when Elouisa opens the door, push through and read on. Ask God to reveal what he'd have you consider. I believe he'll show you.

1 comment:

JB said...

I forgot to tell you that someone gave my brother this book soon after his little "episode." He was reading it, but never did hear if he finished it. Nice Post Susan.