Faith at Work LII

November 2008

At the beginning of November we remember those we have loved and who are no longer with us. There is an opportunity to think of them at All Saints time (1st) and All Souls time (2nd); we also think on the 11th of those who have sacrificed their lives during active service, so there are formal reminders on our calendar. But, what about all those other memories of our loved ones that come back and haunt us … if we have lost them through unfair or difficult situations, how do we come to terms with what has disturbed us; how do we contain our anger if that is how we feel; how do we make sense of unexpected, or undeserved, loss; how can we live more fulfilled lives?

These are just some of the questions that a recent novel by William P.Young titled THE SHACK seeks to answer; you may have heard of it. Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, says that ‘this book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good.’ Well, that’s as may be, but there are certainly filmmakers looking at turning the book into a blockbuster film and there is plenty of scope for special effects. The storyline would keep the viewer enthralled by the twists and turns that take place, all the while providing lots of opportunities to ask searching questions and to be offered possible ways to answer them. We may be able to see it in a year or two as well as read it but, as a friend of mine would say, the scenery’s much better in the book.

It’s all about someone called Mack, a family man who loses his youngest daughter in highly distressing circumstances. He goes to extraordinary lengths to find out who is responsible for her death and explores why a God of love would allow such a cruel act to take place, how he can help himself and his family find a way through their grief and, in the end, what forgiveness really means. When you read it, you’ll discover the tremendous potency of the situations that Young takes the reader into and the possibility they create to ask a great many challenging questions. They speak to our world’s condition in a way that many other approaches would struggle with – I found it stimulating and affirming.

At the end of THE SHACK, there is a looking forward to things that transform our lives: "the quiet daily powers of dying and serving and loving and laughing, of simple tenderness and unseen kindness, because if anything matters, then everything matters. And one day, when all is revealed, every one of us will bow the knee and confess"

in the power of the Holy Spirit
that Jesus is the Lord of all Creation,
to the glory of the Father.

PS. do get hold of a copy of THE SHACK and enjoy the read ...

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2008-10-05

Copyright © 2008 Mike Fox
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