Monday, June 23, 2008
Just before we left on our vacation, I read my cousin Sarah's blog and decided that the book she recommended, The Shack by William Young, would be my vacation book. I quickly looked it up on Amazon and rush shipped it. It arrived just in time. I finished it up on the plane ride home--very satisfied, but a bit disappointed.
I wasn't disappointed in the content, but how it was written. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but the Forward should have been part of the story. I guess I was thinking it was background for the true author. Not so--it was part of the story. However.....as the rest of the story unfolds it was just moving. Brutal at times, heart-warming during others. In the end you just want all the conversations with Papa, Sarayu, and Jesus to be completely true.
About two-thirds of the way through, I began folding down pages where there were lines I wanted to read again. So many of them spoke to me about my own tragedies, love, forgiveness, relationships, faith and family.
"...just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
It helped me understand how much God loves me by comparing his love to my love of my children. "I guess what I want to ask you is why do you love me when I have nothing to offer you?" ..."you can offer us nothing, at least not anything that can add or take away from who we are. That should take away any pressure to perform. Do you love your children more when they perform well?" "No, I see your point." The same goes for when your children disappoint. I don't love them any less and neither does God.
Mercy, grace and forgiveness--"Why did you give us the 10 Commandments?" Actually we wanted you to give up trying to be righteous on your own. It was a mirror to reveal just how filthy your face gets when you live independently." ..."There is no mercy or grace in rules, not even for one mistake. That's why Jesus fulfilled all of it for you--so that it no longer has jurisdiction over you."
This is only the tip of the iceberg, and it has so much more to say in forming a true relationship with the Trinity and those around us. An ingenious book and one that I will probably re-read. Thanks Sarah. What's the next recommended read?