I had read about 100 pages of The Shack before I went away for the weekend. At this point I was struggling with the concept of reading a fictional story which was written as if it was a real story and deliberately blurs the line between reality and fantasy. (Perhaps I should point out that I don’t read a lot of fiction and even less fantasy!)
So I packed The Shack and took off for the weekend. One of the novelties for us of staying in a motel is they quite often have pay TV which we don’t have at home. (Pay TV is a lot less common in Australia than in the US.) I was flicking around the stations on the motel’s TV and came across the movie, Stranger Than Fiction which had only just started. It was a movie I had wanted to watch for ages and had been on the verge of hiring a couple of times but it hadn’t happened for various reasons. So I watched the movie and really enjoyed it, being about a writer and all. Later as I was thinking about it I realized that in this movie the line between reality and fantasy is also blurred. I thought about another couple of movies I like, The Lake House and Kate & Leopold which also blurs reality and fantasy. I realized this ploy enables the writer to bring out outcomes that would not be achievable otherwise.
I decided I should stop being concerned about the reality/fantasy thing in The Shack and just enjoy reading it which I did, so much so that as soon as I had finished reading it, I started again and reread most it! It is such a great story that I felt like I missed many of the powerful truths the first time through. I will write a proper book review in a couple of weeks when I have had more time to process it. However in the meantime I will leave you with a quote from the book which is part of a conversation where the character representing God is talking to the main character, Mackenzie:
“The real underlying flaw in your life, Mackenzie, is that you don’t think I am good. If you knew I was good and that everything – the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives – is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I’m doing, you would trust me. But you don’t.
… Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me.” (pg 126)