A number of clients have referred to the book The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young over the last several months as they seek to uncover how to understand relating to God in a world where so much pain hurts so many in such deep ways. Often people have a chance to connect with ideas that seem elusive or parts of themselves they can’t quite reach with the help of a book or movie, and so I like to know what is “scratching where people itch”.
It seemed like a good idea to read it, and after a friend finished reading the copy she borrowed, she then passed it on to me.
While I haven’t gotten very far into the book, there are a couple of passages that speak the heart of things that should be understood. Like this one, describing the protagonist’s father:
“Although externally religious, his overly strict church-elder father was a closet drinker, especially when the rain didn’t come, or came too early, and most of the times in between. Mack never talks much about him, but when he does his face loses emotion like a tide going out, leaving dark and lifeless eyes.” (italics added)
I’ve seen those eyes in some of the people who choose reach out for help with us and say, “No more”. As they decide that living the way they are is intolerable and they will risk exploring alternatives, and ask someone to come alongside to find ways to stop the dark and lifeless feeling from hijacking their lives.