Friday, September 26, 2008

My Time In The Shack

I just finished an amazing journey this week. It was to a dilapidated shack deep in the heart of Oregon's backcountry. The journey was not taken by air or car, but via the book "The Shack" by William P. Young. I flew through this book and loved every moment of it.

When I first heard of the book, I had my guard up. Most fictional works regarding God contain gross distortions or incomplete pictures of Him, and no doubt any work describing God is going to be limited and incomplete. But I started reading with my shields and sensors up, looking to identify the "Aha! There it is!" moments of theological weakness.

I'm an idiot.

This work captured my heart, skirted my defenses and quickly started transforming my preconceptions about my spiritual life.  I very quickly switched from a critical mind to an open heart.

(Spoiler Alert)

It is the story of a mid-life dad, raising a family. During a family vacation in Oregon, his youngest daughter Missy goes missing (abducted). An all out search is undertaken which ends in the crushing discovery of her blood stained dress in a remote shack deep in the woods of Oregon's back country. The family is plunged into a deep despair, and "Mac", the dad, is haunted by guilt and regrets which never fade.

Years later, still emotionally a wreck, he receives a note in the mail which reads "Meet me at the shack this weekend. Papa.". Papa is the wife's "pet name" for God. After ruling out pranks and bad jokes, Mac secretly packs some gear and heads to the "ground zero" of his despair. The resulting spiritual journey will captivate your mind and release your own misconceptions about who God is and the relationship He desires with us.

I "read" this as an audiobook (iTunes $3.95), and I would highly recommend that, if you are not the reading type.  The embarrassing part was, I found myself (multiple times) wiping tears from my eyes on the bus or other public places I happened to be listening.  You've been warned!

It was a mistake to approach the book looking for theological flaws. Just join your heart to Mac's and share in the journey he goes through. If you have never read a "religious" book, this is the one to read.  It won't be long before you may be raving about the time you spent in "The Shack". It is time well spent, and it is no overstatement to say it could change your life and even your eternity.

Peace, Love and Good Books,


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Dote said...

Thanks for sharing. I passed this book multiple times at the book store, it has a great cover! he he he. And tho you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover I suppose in this case the contents lived up to the cover art.

I don't think I'll buy it though -- as any story about child abduction, especially a young girl, would be too depressing for me -- hits too close to home when I see my little 4 year old daughter and watch the endless stream of missing children on the news.

I love audiobooks via iTunes, makes any commute bearable! I subscribe to and buy a few audiobooks a month. When I worked in a book store I used to "look down" at books on tape, now I'm a believer! he he he. My only problem is I now have about 10 audiobooks that I've listened to mid-way but haven't finished.

Rich said...

Hi dote! I understand your reservations, but as hard as the first few chapters are to read, the end of the book leaves you anything but depressed!

Mahalo for your comment! I have a few abandoned books myself. So much so that I had to create a category for them (see sidebar "What I'm Reading"). said...

Enjoyed your review of "The Shack" Thank you for taking the time to share.

I was not in total agreement with The Shack (I am not in total agreement with several of my favorite authors).Any book that includes conversations with God is bound to receive criticism. How can anyone put words in God’s mouth? But this is one moving book! I smiled, cried, pondered, prayed, and repented as I read ( I have been hurt a lot in churches so I was profoundly impacted.). I read it twice and now listening to the audio. Amazing! Be sure to check out "The Shack Blog and Forum.

I wrote a lengthy review on blog. Please visit.
Robin @ HeartofWisdom