When someone tells me that “This book changed my life”…I approach the text with much skepticism. When someone hands you that said book and says “You have to read this.”, it is almost a guarantee that I won’t.
Kim told me that The Shack was a must read- I nodded, smiled and thought “Oh this must be the most recent Christian marketing fad.” Although, I trust her opinion on most everthing – its just that the book seemed…well so “Christian.” Then Chris took me out to my farewell lunch at La Milpa, his favorite Mexican place in Milpitas, and he presented the book to me as a gift. He feels that it changes the discussion around faith. That the thoughts in this book are profound and give new definition to how to be with God. He commented that this is no “Left Behind” type book. Red flags popped up everywhere for me.
I skipped the foreword and went straight for the first chapter. I rolled my eyes – its so poorly written, my inner critic ranted. It reads like a pulp mystery novel. I read through a couple of chapters and put the book down. Whatever! Nothing new here – another story on how believing in Christ will change lives.
Yet, I kept the book on my bedstand among a stack of books I wanted to finish before the New Year was upon us. I have a ritual that I don’t like to have any unfinished books creep over from year to year. I decided to keep reading it to honor my friends and try to figure out what the draw was. And the book kept calling me and at some point, I couldn’t put it down. Well, I finished it today…
I cried- I re-read passages – I prayed- I meditated – I asked for forgiveness. This is not a book about being Christian – this is a book about a relationship with God. It reminded me of the power of Spirit and that God is everywhere, in everything that was Created. We are not required to be followers of rules, or to judge others or ourselves, we are here to simply experience and share Love and all that that entails. I actually don’t think that dogmatic Christians would like it that much – the book is almost anti-religion -but oh so pro-Divine.
Yes – the plot is sappy and predictable, but the conversations are impactful – the vision of what is out there for us humans is broad and beautiful. I would suggest that you suspend your disbelief and judgement and read the book – the worst that could happen is that your heart would be softened – just a bit.
Thanks Kim and Chris! What a wonderful gift the two of you shared with me. And now I have shared it with the rest of you! Happy New Year – may it be filled with Love and Joy and Laughter!