I finished reading "The Shack" last week. (Yes, 'cause that's how I usually roll. Always a day late and a dollar short on the trends.) It's a book that, most assuredly, is not considered light reading. In fact, I am still pondering over it, wondering what truths to pull from this fictional book. Because I do believe there are definite truths in it. For instance, Mack, the main character, must ultimately make the decision to forgive or not in order to have healing. I could give several more examples, but I don't want to give it away for anyone who hasn't read it yet. (I can't be the only last hold-out!)
I thought it was extremely well-written, perhaps because I can identify so closely with the theme of grief. I especially liked Mack's description of his grief as "The Great Sadness." Yep, that's an adequate description for child loss. I also thought the portrayal of the relationship between the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit was quite good. It was interesting, of course, to consider calling God "Papa." On one hand, I completely agree. God is the perfect father, one with whom you can have an intimate, trusting relationship. Yet I also cringe just a bit because of the fear of losing the reverence of God, of not respecting Him as the Almighty. I am afraid there are those who make God so familiar that they lose their holy fear and awe of Him. So I continue to mull over this aspect.
I also liked that it portrayed God in ways that one would typically never consider. I believe we put God in a box, so to speak, way more than we care to admit. However, at the same time, I do think it crosses the line a bit to put God in the kitchen. (Read the book for context on this one!) God, again, is in the ultimate place of authority, both here and in heaven, I believe.
What I didn't like was how it ended. There is closure. It just seemed a bit too "tied-up neatly" for me. I didn't like it because I know that there are thousands of bereaved parents out there who don't get an answer, who don't find the closure they so desperately seek. Yet, I understand this is fiction. It's the way it works. It is the way we, as humans, want it to work. It is in our nature to want answers, to have things make sense. All in all, it's a great book. I read it less than a week, and that truly should tell you something!
I give it 4 out of 5 stars!