Friday, February 14, 2014

quality literature: the shack

i'm sure that if you've heard of "the shack," you've heard good things or bad things or both, depending on your religious circles.  if you've not heard of it, it's basically one man's views on various aspects of theology told through a somewhat radical fictional story.  my sister actually mentioned it to me over a year ago and it was recently brought back to mind by a speaker in a wednesday night class on loss at my church.  i honestly feel like this isn't the place to share my thoughts on what i may have liked or disliked about the book.  that would do better in a one-on-one conversation.  "the shack" is a book that should be left to speak to each individual on a personal level.  i think i will leave it at that.

incidentally, i was feeling stressed last night about a work conversation that had gone on earlier in the day.  i woke up at 11:30 and flopped around in bed for the next three hours, not thinking about much of anything, but not being able to sleep either.  i also finished this book last night.  its final message of forgiveness is pretty powerful, but human stubbornness runs deep.  this morning i woke up tired, crabby, way late, and still struggling with inner turmoil.  i pulled into the drive through at mcd's on the way to work.  as is often the case, i was irritated by someone who neglected to read the traffic signs in the gas station parking lot and was going the wrong way to get in the breakfast line up.  i went ahead and let him in ahead of me.  i wish i could say that i did it graciously, but i did not.  i did it, because at 43 i've trained myself to choose kindness as often as humanly possible.  i ordered my hotcakes, large coke, and a chocolate chip frappe for one of my student's to give to his girlfriend.  at the checkout window my credit card was declined, not from insufficient funds, but because the man in front of me left me the message, "i've paid your bill, jesus loves you, and happy valentine's day."

i am so grateful for the clear reminder that i am loved.immeasurably more than i can ask or imagine.


  1. I LOVED this book so much. I think of it often and my favorite (mis)quote is "Who did you expect me to look like? Gandolf?"

    So nice to have someone do something kind when you're not feeling it. Instant mood changer.

  2. I really liked that book too, it was very thought provoking, but then I felt the author copped out at the end in a way that watered down the message that many could have benefited from in the book. But like you said, I hope it does start many a conversation. The kindness of strangers is always uplifting - glad you received a dose when you really needed it.

  3. i am not familiar with the book but i have, over the last few months been the recipient of so many acts of kindness. my children and i have been buoyed by these gestures and they have given us a candle in the darkness. kindness matters xxxx

  4. Rejoicing that you,were given some loving kindness too :).