By William P. Young
Reviewed by Rick and Cheryl Shallenberger
Ever wondered what a conversation with God would be like? Every wonder how God would respond when you are angry with him? In The Shack, you will meet Mack, whose young daughter was kidnapped and murdered. In his grief, Mack is invited to the shack where his daughter lost her life. The invitation is from "Papa," the term his wife uses when speaking of God.
Mack is surprised when he meets "Papa" the first time, but it’s just the beginning of surprises as he meets and interacts with the Triune God in a very personal and moving way. The weekend spent in the company of God is one he will never forget. And the weekend we spent reading this book is one we will never forget.
This book helped us see God through another person’s eyes and get some answers for the tragedies we often face in our lives. By the time we were finished reading, we knew "Papa" as we’d never known him before. The book made us laugh, made us cry, made us understand people, made us understand God and made us want to get a copy of the book into as many hands as we could.
The book has great insight into a myriad of emotions we all face when we suffer a great loss or when we are going through a tragedy. And all along the way, God shows his understanding and his love. There is an answer to everything, but sometimes the answer must wait.
The author used the story of Mack to help the reader understand that God does not cause the tragedies we face, but he uses them. He shared the love of a Father who hurts when his children are suffering but who knows that the suffering will make us stronger in some way. The book helped explain why God does not intervene in every tragedy in ways that we can see, but that he is never separate from us and will always be there to give us his strength.
The author has a gift in showing how God meets us where we are in life and reassures the reader that God is not judging us by our emotional outbursts. He created our strong emotions and he wants us to learn to use them properly. We can be honest with God about our feelings and emotions because he knows what we are thinking anyway. His goal is to live in us and help us react to things in love as he does.
The book encourages readers to take an honest look at the way they view God. Through its pages, you might find yourself rediscovering God as the Father who loves you, the Son who already did everything for you and the Spirit who wants more than anything for you to know and worship the Father and Son.
William P. Young, The Shack, Windblown Media.