My friend had been telling me about this curious and amazing book he had read that really changed, tweaked, and stretched him. I knew the title vaguely. I honestly forgot about our conversation until I received the package the following week. (I have great friends!) I'm not much for fiction, but I trusted his judgement. So, I decided I'd jump into the book over the weekend.
"The Shack" by William P. Young. Hmm... cool cover. What? Eugene Peterson has a very strong quote on the front:
"This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good!"
That's an endorsement if I've EVER heard one! Very strange summary on the back:
"Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack..."
I was very intrigued to see how in the world these two statements could possibly be referring to the same literary work.
Sat. 5:30p - I crack open the cover. What???? There's an endorsement from my pastor in the front cover? Crazy. I am definitely supposed to be reading this book. Preface....
Sat 6:00p- I'm getting kind of hungry. Dinner first and then I'll pick up chapter 3. Why oh why did I start this book when it was dark? It's a little creepy to be here all alone reading a story about a murdered girl and a man holed up in an abandoned shack. I've got to know what happens though...
Sat 8:30p- Phone rings. Jody checking in on me. Gosh, had no idea it was all ready so late. "Jody, this book is good. WEIRD. But really good. Okay, talk to you soon." (Click) Ch 8 continues....
Sat 10:30p- Phone rings again. Good night Jody. Be safe tomorrow. (click) Ch 11
Sun 12:00a- Finishing Chapter 14. Hmm... I should really go to bed. But, I really can't stop. I am learning way too much. I've got to know how this ends. There's no way I'll remember it all in the morning. There's so much deep thinking! Ok, I can do it...
Sun 2:00a- reading the website links and how to get involved in the online community. Utterly amazed at how small of a box I have put God in. In AWE of the beautiful way I've just seen the Holy Spirit. So happy that I know Jesus. (And I won't lie... a little scared. WHY DID I READ THIS BOOK AT NIGHT ALL ALONE?)
I almost can't explain how this book has touched me. If you love theology and your view of God, you'll probably despise this book. It only took me 9 hours to get through the book. But it's quite possible that these truths and challenges will continue to change and mold me for the next 9 years. I have a lot to chew on.
I usually don't like reading fiction because if I'm going to read, I would rather be reading something that helps me. Imagine my surprise that a fiction work would change my heart much more than any Christian Living book ever has.