The Shack, a novel written by William P. Young, is a #1 New York Times bestseller. The novel delves into the life of its central character in a way many books do not.
The Shack, about an ordinary family, focuses on a father’s journey through life. The father, Mack, lived a life without much excitement. He has enjoyed his kids, worked hard, had a few friends and maintained a pretty normal life, until tragedy struck.
During a family vacation, Mack’s youngest daughter, Missy, was abducted and evidence revealed she had been brutally murdered at a shack deep in the woods. Guilt and grief became Mack’s everyday companion as he carried the burden of his precious murdered daughter.
In the novel, Mack was an angry man on the inside, and wondered how a “loving” God could allow his innocent daughter to lose her life in the most devastating way.
Years later, Mack receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the same shack his daughter was murdered in. With nothing to lose and with a lot to get off his chest, Mack decided to take God up on the offer.
Who is this God that allows such darkness to prevail in the world? What’s the point of having a God if we just get beat up our whole lives? Does God really love us?
How could we ever trust a God that allows tragedy to happen to our loved ones? Mack took these questions with him to the very place his daughter lost her life.
What he found in this shack changed his life. God was indeed there, all three of Him.
But, he isn’t there as the common grand angelic figure. God, the father, appears to Mack as a heavy-set black woman, Jesus is a Middle Eastern carpenter, and the Holy Spirit is an Asian woman.
The book breaks down all barriers of preconceived ideas as to who God is.
It is clear the author seeks to show God in a new light, through these diverse characters.
Spending time with God, Mack is introduced to the deep love He has for him.
Hanging out with Jesus, he finds friendship and a brotherly relationship.
With the Holy Spirit, he finds mind-boggling truths to how God moves.
Every question under the sun is asked, and the three work together to give Mack peace and understanding.
Mack is also faced with challenges and ghosts of his past as his journey is filled with forgiveness, reconciliation and pure bliss.
Young’s interpretation of God is illustrated with beautiful imagery intermixed with common conversation.
He takes the readers to high spiritual heights, yet deals with the basics.
The Shack should be interesting for anyone who has asked the same questions Mack did. It should also be fascinating for anyone who would enjoy a good read about the most complex being.