Reflections on the movie “The Shack”

I recently saw a great movie at a local theater.  I went and watched The Shack, based on the bestselling inspirational book.  It is about a man who loses his daughter to death (she is kidnapped and murdered) and his loses his faith in God, but God hasn’t lost his faith in him.  The man’s name is Mack and one winter morning he receives a letter in the mailbox saying “Come to the shack, Papa” (parahrased).  The shack was the place where his daughter was murdered.  Papa is the name his family gave to God.

This movie breaks all traditional perceptions of God.  He is not a man with a big white beard standing on a mountain.  Papa exclaims when Met states that description, “I think you have me confused with Santa Claus.”  We are shown Papa as the Trinity- Papa (in 2 different forms; a kind, compassionate mother figure portrayed by black actress Octavia Butler and a Native American man), Jesus (in Middle Eastern Jewish form, naturally), and the Holy Spirit portrayed by an ethereal Asian woman.  They all help Mack see that he is judging God based on his limited perceptions and that God doesn’t cause pain – people do that to people due to sin in the world.  We have free will, after all.

“Love leaves a mark” – Papa.  Papa and Jesus show their marks from the crucifixion.  I don’t want to give too much information away on this beautiful movie, but it is ultimately a love story between humanity and God.  The Trinity is explained in such an understandable way.  The relationship between God and humanity is made simple so that anyone can understand.  Theology doesn’t seem so difficult to understand after watching this movie or reading the book.

Please go watch this movie, cry as I cried during the movie, and listen to what the film has to say.  The film is also about forgiveness and mercy, a lost concept in these modern times, but it’s wonderfully there.

Peace be with you & Blessings,

Josh

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