After talking with several of my friends who are reading The Shack for the first time, and catching their excitement and enthusiasm anew, I decided the other day to pick it up and read it again. The first time through, I have to admit as a mother I hated the first few chapters. I wasn't even sure I was going to keep reading at one point. Too painful. Too raw. Too scary. Monsters and boogey-men, blood and gore don't scare me. The stuff that really happens, that scares the hell out of me. So I knew at least on that level it would be a religious experience.
Then yesterday on Rob Horton's blog there were these two interviews with Paul Young, the author of The Shack. I love it when a series of things seem to be pointing you in one direction. I prefer this to the vague sense that you should move this way or that. There was a specific part of the second interview that I wanted Kendra to hear, addressing the "gender" if you will, of God. Yesterday morning we watched a video called The Case for Christ with Lee Strobel (which I would highly recommend!)- and this interview clip dovetailed very nicely into a discussion we were led into regarding patriarchal societies, and how much of what is taught in church and religious circles revolves around that mindset. She decided that she wanted to read The Shack too, so we decided that we would start it as a family read-aloud.
Late last night we started the book. Everybody was really into the story, even Travis which is rare. We typically can only read one or two chapters - but last night we read four together until 1 am. It grabbed everybody's interest, and I hope that it continues to do that, challenging our image of God, helping us together take the lid off of some old dust covered boxes.
If you are interested in reading the Shack, I stumbled on a website not long ago called Papa'sLove.org who will send a copy of the book to you and your friends for free. If you are uncomfortable doing this for yourself, consider me your friend - email me your address at julientexas AT sbcglobal DOT net and I will be glad to have them send a copy to you!