(Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity)
Mackenzie Allen Philip, a skeptic when it comes to matters related to God and faith, was content just being a Sunday- Christian, until a letter finds its way to his letter box; a letter from none other than but God, inviting him to spend a weekend with Him at a shack. It was at this very shack, four years ago, that Mack found the blood soaked dress of his six year old angelic daughter, Missy, who was abducted and killed by a serial killer leaving behind no trails but this dress. This incident which he refers to as ‘The Great Sadness’ left an incurable mark on Mack’s heart , straining his relationship with God as he blames God for this shattering tragedy that happened to his family. It’s for this reason that God invites him over to the shack to fix things up with Mack and to answer some of his most painful questions.
So Mack reaches the shack expecting God to show up as a big grandpa figure with flowing beard or someone with striking features like Jesus, but voila he is left stumped when he confronts the Holy Trinity in Elouisa(God, the Father) as a large African American woman, Sarayu(The Holy Spirit) as a diminutive Chinese woman and Jesus as an Arab. Cynical as it may all sound, but “The Shack” is a no-nonsense book for sure. Over the next two days, God takes Mack into a rhetorical theological journey, revealing his compassionate and his unbiased loved for all the creation, delving and explaining all the major fundamentals of Christianity like the need for Christ to die for us, God’s expectations from us, the inter-relation between The Holy Trinity, the art of forgiveness, etc.
“The Shack” is kind of an invitation to a journey into the very heart of Almighty God helping us to look through His eyes. It cuts through the clichés of man-made institutions like church, religion, marriage, politics, etc to reveal something beautiful and compelling about life’s integral connection with the divine. Age old questions like, “If God is all powerful and full of love, then why doesn’t he do something about the pain and distress in this world?” are answered with never before clarity and conviction. If you are one of those with “A Great Sadness” in your lives or are stuck in a spiritual rut, then “The Shack” is surely the book for you. It’ll truly change the way you think about God and bring you closer to Him with every page!!
By: Nikhil Mathew