Friday, March 27, 2009

I May Have Figured It Out

No, not death ~ I haven't figured that one out.

But I think I've realized why I have had such a visceral reaction against The Shack, which many generous people in real life and online have recommended to me.

The Shack presents a generous God who cares for all of the people of the world, who lovingly acknowledges the depth both of social sin and individual sin, who exudes forgiveness in situations we would find challenging beyond the possible, and who gently reminds us that we are the creatures and not the Creator. So far, so good.

But in The Shack, as in real life, the child is GONE. She is not coming back. She will never live the life her parents dreamed of for her, she will never marry the young man they would have loved, she will never have the children who would have brought her such joy and made her parents delirious with ecstasy. Her mother will never touch her hair again; her father will never kick a soccer ball down the beach with her again. Her many good gifts will never again be shared with the world. The doctor, the architect, the teacher she might have been ~ she will never be. All of those things which made her uniquely the child she was and the adult she would have become, all of them are gone.

Just gone.

I know that my Musical Friend finds comfort in her vision of the life to come, a vision in which she and her husband will be reunited. She relies in part on the words of her sister, who lost a teenage son and says that when they are together again, none of this will matter.

I find that my own feelings are quite the opposite.

This is the life I want back for my child. This one.

The Shack just rubs my face in the thick, dark reality that it is not to be.

Cross-posted at Search the Sea.


mompriest said...


Jodie said...


I agree.

But in the The Shack, the child is a metaphor for the author's own childhood. He is mourning for his own lost innocence and the crime that was committed against himself.

As such, the Shack is the place of prayer through which he found his own healing and a way to trust in God again.

His mistake, not his because the book was first written to his own kids who were alive and well, was to use a metaphor that for some is not so metaphorical.

Indeed it is even in poor taste.

Cynthia said...

The Shack was another book I had to throw down.

karengberger said...

I'm not into Lent & Easter, either, at this time.
I haven't read this book yet, though it has been recommended to me, too. "Comfort," by Ann Hood, was a good, honest book, for me.
I agree wholeheartedly with you: The great tragedy is the life left unlived, the death of those hopes, dreams and anticipated joys. That is the death that we live with, every day. The death of her presence, in the flesh..and that is a heavy burden. I do sense her presence in another dimension, and I am happy that she is out of pain and suffering, but I miss her physical presence; that is why I posted the prayer on my sidebar. I cling to that prayer and its honesty.
Keep telling the truth in your writing. It is healthy for you and us. God bless you.