Thursday, October 23, 2008

THE SHACK (and I don't mean Shaquille O'Neal)

POP QUIZ: What if you got a note, purportedly from God, inviting you to a lunch meeting? Would you think it's a joke? Or would you step out on faith and go without question? Because what if it really was Him? Granted, written invitations to dine with The Lord don't come every day, but who are we to question Him? Maybe He gets hungry sometimes.

If He wanted to meet me at 3:47 on the third Wednesday of the seventh month in the middle of an ice floe off the shores of Finland, I'd make a beeline to get there, but that's because I love Him. Even if you aren't religious, though, wouldn't you want to ask God a few questions about the state of the world today, if given a chance?

Well, one of my almighty friends gave me this wondrous piece of fiction that posits that scenario. It's entitled The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed (that's not her real name, but it is her personality), shoved the book in my hand and said, "Read this."

Fearful of her wrath, and knowing that it's her way or no way, I dutifully complied. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. I laughed and I cried. Don't you just love when that happens?
I guess it's just me then.

Anyway, the story is about a man who has tragically lost his youngest daughter. Evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Fast forward to four grief-stricken years later, he receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack for a weekend. Against his bitter judgment, (typo intended) he arrives there on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. I promise you what he finds there will shock and amaze you.

While reading amazing books is not on my Bucket List, it is the ever present backdrop against which my life is set. So I thank She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed for giving me The Shack at such a timely moment, and I thank God for giving me a friend like her.

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