Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finding faith and love in our "shack"

"There are times when you choose to believe something that would normally be considered absolutely irrational. It doesn't mean that it is actually irrational, but it surely is not rational. Perhaps there is suprarationality: reason beyond the normal definitions of fact or data-based logic; something that only makes sense if you can see the bigger picture of reality. Maybe that's where faith fits in."
quoted from The Shack by William P. Young

I loved that quote because that is what A Course in Miracles says about judgment. That we do not see the "bigger picture of reality" but instead only see our own perception.

I am currently reading The Shack as it had been recommended to me by so many. The first time I heard about it, I was already intrigued. Apparently, the book is known for taking "God out of the box", or changing our perspective on the big guy in the sky.

I was waiting for the book to find me. Does that happen to everyone? Where books find you? I never saw the book, anywhere, though it was on the bestseller list. It finally found me while I was at the airport a few weeks ago.

I'm enjoying this book from a deeply spiritual perspective. I am going to pull some quotes from the book and highly recommend it as a good spiritual read. The quotes are from God.

"Most birds were created to fly. Being grounded for them is a limitation within their ability to fly, not the other way around. You, on the other hand, were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around."

"Living unloved is like clipping a bird's wings and removing its ability to fly."

"Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place."

"All love and relationship is possible for you only because it already exists within Me, within God myself. Love is not the limitation; love is the flying. I am love."

Regarding free will and tragedy in our lives:

"...there are millions of reasons to allow pain and hurt and suffering rather than to eradicate them, but most of those reasons can only be understood within each person's story. I am not evil. You are the ones who embrace fear and pain and power and rights so readily in your relationships. But your choices are also not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome."

"You see, broken humans center their lives around things that seem good to them, but that will neither fill them nor free them."

I think those of us that have been through divorce or some other loss, feel that this next statement is true.

"When a disaster happens, those same people will turn against the false powers they trusted.
(those external seemingly "good" things.) In their disappointment, they either become softened toward me or they become bolder in their independence."

"You try to make sense of the world in which you live based on a very small and incomplete picture of reality."

In the next part of the book, the main character is invited into a beautiful but seemingly wild and unorganized garden. He soon realizes that it may look like a mess from his perspective, but from above, it actually creates a very organized and perfect pattern. Such is the story of our perception vs. true perception.

The book centers around a "shack" where the main character's child is brutally murdered after she was abducted. (No I am not giving the story away. You can read this part on the back cover.) He is invited back to the shack where he meets a strange cast of characters who claim to be God.

Isn't it interesting that sometimes we have to return to our darkest places to find that once abandoned relationship with who we truly are?

I believe it is possible, to find faith, love and forgiveness in our seeming hell. I love that this book takes us on a journey to prove that.


  1. This is one of the greatest, deepest, spiritual reads I've ever encountered. I must read it over and over to fully capture the depth of what it has to offer. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the author at a book signing in his hometown, which is not far from me, here in Oregon. What an amazing and humble man of God. I'm inspired to read it again and capture all the lines that reach me, as you have here.

    Thanks for sharing. :O)

  2. Well, I do think the book just found me! Thank you so much T. This is such a great post, one that as you know really hits home.

    Sometimes hearing others express what we already know in our hearts makes it real. This post is very real.

    I often wander throughthe isles of Barnes & Nobel, just waiting for a title to pop out at me. I have bought many books that way and they always seem to be the right one at the rigth time.

    I will buy this one tomorrow. You are amazing.

  3. I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble at the beginning of January. I've been meaning to go back and buy it. I was talking to my dad yesterday. He had been out of town for the last week and I was asking him how things had gone. He told me that he had read this book while he was there.

    And then you write this post. I think it must be time for me to go pick up a copy and start reading! :)

  4. Great post, T. Thanks. Seems like this one may be trying to find me.

    Quick thought: Were we created to be loved, or were we created to love? Are they different? Of course, the answer may depend on our purpose. It could be that the way to experience love is to love. Maybe we receive what we give, because receiver and giver are the same. Or, maybe not... :)

  5. I love spiritual books, and have read Rumi, Bhagavad Gita, the Tao, works by the Dalai Lama, Yogananda, Krishnamurti, etc. I love philosophy and psychology books too. Perhaps I'll have to pick this one up!

    I did have trouble with this line: You, on the other hand, were created to be loved.

    I tend to think we were created to give love, not to be loved. The Dalai Lama suggests the very purpose of life is to be happy, and happiness comes from giving love though compassion.

    It seems to me if you hold the philosophy that you were created to be loved, you make yourself a victim when that love is not there. On the other hand, if you give love, love is always there.

  6. MySingleMom, Mindy and J.L.S... I'm happy that you all have read or will read the book. I love it.

    Dave and Dads... you both have a wonderful point about giving love.

    I agree. The way to experience love is to love. Definitely.

    Thank you!!

  7. Yeah, I'll send some more love your way, too! (And thanks for that loving reply you sent our way!)

    Love is all you need... :-)

  8. What a book. I, too, believe the books find us when we are ready to learn most from them. That sounds like a book so many of us can learn so much from. Very nice.

    Be well, T.


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