Whether you know this about me or not, or care to at that, one of my most favorite things to do is read. Let me rephrase that – novels. Not textbooks, not MAD magazine, not the Bible, not porn. With that being said, I would like to talk about a book I am re-reading – The Shack.
Millions of people all over the world have read this stellar book, and yes, I’m sure many of you even reside in Philadelphia. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to spend time with the story’s main character, Mack, I will clarify. But for those who have heard the name, first let me say that in heart, this really isn’t a religious book, meaning it’s not solely about Christianity, Judaism, Commandments and Rules. Actually, I think the author should have titled it “Explaining God’s Love for Dummies.” I would also like to make it clear that I am not trying to enforce my beliefs onto anyone, as I would expect the same courtesy from you.
To sum it up, the story unfolds from an unfortunate, all too common plot: a father dealing with the mentally crippling loss of his youngest daughter, Missy, who was abducted and murdered while on a family camping trip. Although his journey begins with pain, it plateaus with a mystical weekend in which Mack receives the blessing of confronting the one being he has cried his “Why’s?” and “What if” and “Where were You?” to: God.
I do not know what has subliminally compelled me to pick up The Shack and retrace Mack’s path; if not my own convictions, maybe I’ve just had enough of questioning the world right outside my door. The world that, unfortunately, my children are experiencing, one where innocence is lost and violence is becoming a way of survival. A world in which prayer is slander and difference in beliefs is a breeding ground for extremists. I could go on and on but know I don’t have to, you have all seen the news, read the papers, watched the slaughter of the innocents.
But imagine how amazing it would be if all we needed to do to begin to fix things was simply to love. And I don’t mean the hippie free love kind. The love to know that humans are ridiculously flawed, and to forgive does not mean that you have forgotten, to judge is not your right, it’s your weakness. To know that your religion isn’t something that needs to be followed to the T or you go to Hell. I know, personally, this is a hard concept to swallow, but hell, stranger things have happened.
There is another Kardashian on the way…