The Shack – William P. Young

The Shack

Mack as he is known,  is married to Nan and they have beautiful children.  On a weekend when Nan was out of town, Mack takes his children for a family camping adventure.  After making some friends at the camp and exploring the hills and waterways of where they are  relaxing and enjoying the day, his older children are in a canoe overturn it and need help.  Mack leaves his daughter Missy sitting at the picnic table to run and help his other children in the water.  When he returns however, Missy is gone.  The only thing that shows she was there are her coloring book and crayons.

His new friends help and go on a search around the campground and cannot find her anywhere, then contact the grounds security and the police.  The search begins and someone notices that there was a pickup truck with green camouflage colors that was leaving the campground.  When the investigators go to where Missy was sitting, they notice there is something there that wasn’t there before – a ladybug pin with 5 dots on the top.

The FBI investigator tells Mack  that it is someone that they know as the ladybug killer.  He always leaves a ladybug pin with the present number of girls at or around the same age that he has taken and murdered.  Missy is number 5.

After finding out where the truck was discarded,  finally having some sense of where he would be in the area, the police and Mack search and come across a shack.  Not that it would have been found by anyone else but  when they do, they find a streak of blood inside.  Mack is beyond words, and this is where “The Great Sadness” begins.  After testing, it is found that it is the blood of his daughter.  The murder is solved yet,  he doesn’t have his daughters body.  He blames himself for leaving her.  Nothing will ever be the same.

Three years into “The Great Sadness”  it is the middle of an ice storm, Mack decides to go out and check his mailbox.  It is glued shut because of the pelting ice and rain that is blowing.  Once he finally slips and slides and manages to get the box open there is a letter in there – with no stamps or return address.  Puzzled, he returns to his house and slips and hits his head on the base of a tree.  He manages to get in the house and opens the envelope – it says someone wants him to come to the shack where his daughter was murdered for the weekend, and it is signed “papa”.  Once thinking someone is playing a cruel joke, or  could be the killer playing with his emotions, he cannot understand who it is that sent him the letter.  He thinks that there is only one person that would possibly know his wife’s pet name for god.

He doesn’t tell anyone except for his best friend, who helps him prepare for this journey, he really doesn’t want to do in the first place.  Every time he thinks of the shack he is frozen with anger and fear. He begins his journey where he is at the place where he needs to walk to get to it, the memories from that day when they searched the woods and the accompanying area, he stops and forces himself to keep on going.  He arrives at the shack and steps inside, after a while he gets angrier as he sees the streak of blood on the fireplace, and yells out “Well I’m here” “What do you want from me”.  As he is about to leave, something happens.  It is transformed into a beautiful shack, filled with furniture, and someone singing in the kitchen. This is where his journey begins…

Now, before I talk about anything, I want to say to keep the comments polite and non abusive.  This is a somewhat controversial book, some people love it and some hate it. It is their opinion and please respect it.

For me personally, this book would be great for someone who is needing questions answered, re questioning their faith, whichever their faith is.  It is a personal journey, but there are some points that EVERY person should take into their everyday lives and incorporate them.

  • No one is forced to do anything they do not want to do
  • Everyone deserves love “Birds were created to fly.  Being grounded for them isn’t within their ability.  People 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 the bird’s wings and removing it’s ability to fly”.
  • It shouldn’t be the work that we do, but the purpose that makes it special.
  • Freedom involves trust and obedience inside a relationship of love.
  • People have a great capacity declaring something good or evil, without  knowing the truth.

Personal judging determines good or evil.  We become the judge and what you determine to be good or evil will change over time and circumstance.  There are billions of people on the earth who determine who or what is good or evil.  “So when good or evil clash with neighbors, fights and arguments happen and even wars break out.”

  • “By choosing to declare what is good or evil, you seek to determine your own destiny.”
  • We need to be open and available to others and stimulate and grow those relationships.
  • “Laws gives us the power to judge others freedom and feel superior to them.”
  • Each relationship between 2 people are unique, which is the why you cannot love 2 people the same.  You love differently because of how unique they are, and what they draw or why you are drawn to them, and the more you know one another the richer the relationship is.
  • Forgiveness is to release you from something that is eating you alive, that destroys your joy and ability to love freely and openly.  It doesn’t require you to trust the person.  If they or you forgive and confess it helps you to reach out and begin to rebuild and start to reconcile.

Now, there are many more tidbits of wisdom in the book. I have tried to be as diplomatic as possble.

The Shack Book Site

Buy the Book – Chapters Indigo Borders The Shack


6 thoughts on “The Shack – William P. Young

  1. I read this when it was released and absolutely loved it. Recommended it to everyone I know. It tells a very powerful tale, the interpretation of which is different for each reader. I think it’s controversial because it involves faith, and our perceptions of it.

    • It is that EXACTLY! I had talked about it to a friend here who has also read the book, and it is different for everyone. Their interpretation, how they see the story, and then how they feel about it, and how it connects in their lives. If you thought about it even if your faith is different then in the book, some of what is said will relate to any.

  2. I was terrified going into this book that it would be a damning fundamentalist Christian take on the world but in actuality this book is VERY radical in its viewpoint. At one point, if I remember correctly, God is a black woman. I was sold on this re-imagining of faith. The book is not perfect (the story is a little flimsy) but it tackles a question most others would recoil from – how can there be a God when there is so much darkness and evil in the world? Brave.

    • That is one of the questions he does answer in the book. Mack asks the question, and which one of the three answers it, I think it all comes down to free will and being able not to judge. In my opinion, it is just another take on what questions that have been asked for thousands of years. There was a time with myself and questioning things and it was basically the same way it was explained to me as it was in the book. You have to personalize it to your own life, although some points are relevent to everyone, or which ever faith you are.

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