The Shack

Published 8:17 pm Thursday, April 2, 2009

There are few novels as powerful as The Shack.

The novel is about how Mack Phillips experiences great sadness, loses touch with God, then accepts God’s invitation to meet him right where his personal tragedy took place.

The Shack can reach readers who do not relate to more traditional, doctrine-ridden writings.

Mack’s comfortable life is torn asunder when his daughter Missy is abducted. Her bloody dress is found in an isolated shack, presumably the location of her murder. Then one winter night, Mack finds a note in his mailbox that says, “Mackenzie, I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. Papa.”

Mack’s wife called God “Papa.” Mack cannot forget the note, and the next week he is on his way to the shack.

Mack is met at the door by a large African-American woman who tells him to call her “Papa.” He meets her friends Jesus, an ordinary-appearing Jewish gentleman, and Sarayu, an energetic female. Mack soon realizes he has met the Trinity. He is welcomed and loved in “a very special way,” as Papa says.

He is enchanted by their replies to his questions. He is impressed by the love the three have for each other, and, for Mack.

But, do they love Missy, and why did they not prevent her death?

Mack doesn’t really receive answers but compassion, listening and love.

He spends several days with the Trinity and learns what trust and God’s love and goodness are all about. You, the reader, will too.

Warren Hamby is the owner of Come to the Waters Christian Bookstore, where you can purchase this book.