I started reading a book called The Shack (by William P. Young) yesterday. I finished it today. When I say that I am forever changed, it is not a supposedly clever title for my blog post, or something random that came to my mind, or even anything profound. It is the truth of what has happened in my life. I am forever changed. Try as I might to resist it, though I do not wish to resist it, my thoughts and concepts, and feeling and relationship toward God has been challenged and will never be the same again.
I picked up The Shack because one of my professors recommended it. I didn't know anything about the book, and at first I wasn't at all interested in it, but Dr. Bob kept talking about it in such a positive light that I decided not to write it off, but I was still more interested in reading Blue like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What. Then DB told us something he said to someone else who he told to read the book. I think the person he talked to has lost a daughter, but I'm not one hundred percent sure. He said I know where (insert name) is, she's behind the water fall, read this book and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. That peaked my interest, but I wasn't planning to special order the book, but I thought, sometime I'll go to Barnes and Noble and get it. Then I went to the Bethel book store with Naomi to get some supplies I needed and I saw the book. It was the last one and I did not hesitate to buy it... But I didn't start reading it until yesterday. It couldn't have happened with better timing.
I don't know exactly how God has wired me. I don't know why even though I may be feeling and entering into the excruciating emotional pain someone else is feeling that I don't always cry the way Naomi does when she shares in someone's pain, but I cried during this book. The funny think is that I didn't even cry in the part of the book that held the mans hurts. I didn't cry until chapter 11. I cried in his healing. I know that sounds weird, but I think in the midst of his healing God was healing something in me. I don't know how to describe it because it's not the same as the character Mack experienced it, even though I entered into his story and shared in it. It was different. It was like God was speaking directly to me through this story.. challenging my theological concepts and the way I see the world and the way I see God.
I wish I could just sit here and share everything that reading this book has provoked in me. In no way do I uphold it over the Bible, but I think it is a tool God can and is using to help us see see past our own theological interpretations that may or may not be inline with the heart of God. I wish I could tell you the way I see things more clearly, I wish I could tell you of the new freedom I feel, and the love that I can't hold in. But I can't tell you about it, because honestly, this is mine. I don't say that to withhold anything from you. It was my journey with God, and what I say may or may not mean something to you, but you really need to have your own journey, to discover the challenges and truths in this book for yourself, to let God transform you and change your world through his guiding you, and to discover truths that are relevant to your current understanding. Read the book, and then come talk with me.