Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Shack (copy)

Mackenzie Allen Phillips “Mack” is troubled. He spent his life serving God, married a better Christian than himself, and raised his children in the church. Why was he the target of such pain?

Before “The Great Sadness” overtook Mack, he thought his life blessed. A beautiful wife who loves him no matter his gruffness. Five children who are truly beautiful inside and out. He likes to joke, “They took his good looks because Nan still has hers.” Oldest sons are out making a living and his two middle kids, Josh and Kate, are getting good grades in college; although, they still live at home. And then there is Missy, the late in life little surprise.

It happened at the family’s last-hoorah camping trip before three of Mack’s kids had to return to school. Mack rose early to prepare a pancake breakfast in the wilds of Oregon for the crew. His wife Nan was still at work and would try to join the family later that day.

It wasn’t long before everyone was out of the tents and rubbing their eyes. Apparently, the cakes became stuck to the griddle and Mack burned two fingers trying to save them. His expletives could wake a hibernating bear, no wonder everyone was up.

While cleaning up his mess the group wondered off to the river for some canoeing. Mack joined them just in time to see the canoe capsize with Kate and Josh entering the water. He felt okay, they had on life jackets, but Josh didn’t surface!

Mack didn’t waste any time. He took two big strokes and was on the scene and under the water. Josh was pinned down between the canoe and a log which held his jacket. Mack surfaced for another breath then went back under to force the canoe over.

Josh popped out, but unconscious. It took a few seconds of Mack administering CPR and Josh was throwing up this morning’s eggs to everyone’s relief. Okay, Mack stood back and regrouped. Kate is fine. Josh is fine. Where is Missy?

The Shack, written by William P. Young, is an incredible story. The plot combines a modern day mystery with biblical theology that has America talking. The shack of the title is a metaphor for that which is our “great sadness.”

The controversy evolves from one man’s fictional opinion of the Holy Trinity. Readers may not like his choice of characters to depict the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; although, they will not forget them. I personally love the book and thought Young’s voice refreshing.