Monday, April 9, 2012

The Shack - A Book Review

Enouraged by Mrs Readalot I picked up the shack at my small temporary quake library, it has only the most popular books stocked because it is in such a small space (only 3 shelves). The Shack awaited my arrival.



I remember this book going around christian circles a few years ago and I remember people taking it as gospel. That's why I didn't read it. "That's not gospel!" I would tell myself. It's a novel; A completely made up, ficticious book that a man created for his family to read. And it is brilliant. Instead of telling you about I'm going to tell you what it did for me.

Not many books have the power to do something for you which is what makes this book unique, it ministered to me in quite a different way.

At first I was disturbed, I had to face the realities of loosing a young child and dealing with blame and guilt and fear and absolute disgusting MESS. This world is so messy. Good people get hurt, some people are twisted, evil and scary and are words that I don't even have to describe them. I couldn't read these parts alone, I had to be near my husband. They upset me and opened up my heart "Please God, not us" I prayed.

I was then confronted with meeting god and she [He] wasn't what I expected. I was confused and challenged and determined to push through. I came to meditate and accept that perhaps God is far bigger than myself. In the book god explains that often peoples picture of him is of a better version of themselves. That is definitely how I have viewed God. Just maybe 100x better than me. But still, that limits him. Still, that shows that he has flaws, as I do. But in reality that is not the case. God is far bigger and greater than I could possibly imagine and I started to believe that because of the picture that was written in this book.

I started to believe in God. 

The real God of the universe. Not my small God.

Through reading this book my prayer life has changed. I especially loved the story where the main character Mack was at the dinner table where god had prepared him a meal. He bowed his head and went to say "grace" before looking up and thanking god. God had literally provided his meal for him. It was a little comical. Also, at the dinner table the Holy Spirit asks Mack how his family is. Mack goes on to tell the 3 his familys troubles and triumphs and about each of his children until he stops and asks "Don't you know already?" the Holy Spirit then goes on to tell him that they do know, but they choose to give up that power for a relationship with him. Who wants a friend who knows absolutely everything about you so there is no reason to speak to each other? Who wants a relationship that is based on power and having that lorded over you? Instead, she [because in the book the HS is a female asian] explains that they would rather hear from you, from us, about whats going on. They like to hear it from our perspective. Isn't that wonderful? I have known this of course because the bible encourages us to pray in all situations, but hearing it in this form put a whole new understanding and perspective. God wants to hear from us. Mind blowing!

I started to pray.

Isn't that amazing? As a result I have been talking to him. Not just when I need things or huge things are happening. I have been vocalising my little worries, my little joys, how I feel when I see my beautiful daughter, my nerves, my triumphs, my relationships. I have been sharing almost everything with him and it is amazing. I really hope to keep it up. You know how it is. Ebbs and flows and all that.

The novel ends, and wont ruin it, but I could definitely think of 5 people off the top of my head who I thought needed to read this - people who needed a new perspective on a God they felt had left them.

Thank you for suggesting this book Mrs Readalot.

Next on my night stand is Growing Great Girls by Ian and Mary Grant. 

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