The reason I have loved being involved with THE SHACK, even though it has compounded my life tremendously, is because of letters like this:
I would just like to thank you so much for helping to write The Shack. I had all the questions Missy’s daddy did. I almost quit reading the book several times, because my heart just raged like his: Why? Why? Why? I didn’t realize (and I have been a committed Christian for 30 plus years) that I had so much bitterness, so much rebellion, so much unbelief in my heart!! I knew, in an intellectual way, that I had problems relating to the Father because of my relationship with my earthly father. And he wasn’t even a “really bad father”. He had anger issues he had never resolved, and they “rolled over” onto my mother and my brother and me”, but he was a wonderful provider, and he loved us. I just never knew what his hands were going to do: hit or embrace. I never felt (until mid-adulthood, and by then my thought patterns were set) unconditionally loved. And so, I never could believe, when I prayed, that God really loved me all the time.
All the way up to chapter 15 of The Shack, I was muttering and getting madder and madder. And then, something broke in me and I sobbed through the rest of the book. I still have questions about some of the things theologically and I want to think about those and explore them further: (for instance, I can’t wrap my mind around there being no “heirarchy” in the relationship between Father and Son, and none in our relationship with each member of the Godhead…) but all I know is, I have been set free from a deep-seated distrust of God’s purposes—his motives concerning me, my children, etc.
I know, that as a result of something divine that took place in me during the reading of that book, that I will never doubt His love for me and mine again. And that has affected my whole life. I can’t tell you in words, how the depth of that healing has altered my spirit. I thought I had forgiven my father, but now I know I have, and I am able to love him so much better. I don’t care about the theological questions. I am just so awed, so blessed, to have been truly reconciled to the Father.