"Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
Mackenzie, the main character in this novel, doesn't understand how a loving God could let his little girl Missy get abducted and murdered during a camping trip to the lake. He is angry not only at his daughter's killer but at God. He didn't have the strongest faith before this tragedy, but now he is lost in a sea of tears, guilt, and pain and he is drifting even farther from God.
Four years later after his daughter's tragic death, he is stuck in "Great Sadness" and doesn't know how to live anymore. One snowy afternoon he walks out to get the mail and receives a note from Papa (the name his wife Nan uses for God) telling him to meet him at the shack where they found Missy's bloody four years ago.
When Mack goes back to the shack where his nightmare begun, what he finds there changes his life forever. It changes his relationship with God and makes him see the world differently. After one weekend, his heart is healed and he sees the world with new eyes.
The question that this novel focuses on is: Where is God in a world full of unspeakable pain? While I haven't been through the tragedy Mack and his family went through, I have had some hardships in my life and I've always wondered where God was during those times. This book definitely answered my question and made me see the world and my religion in a totally new way.
This may seem crazy or far fetched, but I felt this book was a way that God was reaching out to me and reminding me of his love. This book made me realize that God is "especially fond of me" and that he doesn't cause bad things to happen, he just makes tragedies in this world full of chaos into something beautiful. I cried and cried and cried because, in a world where religion is controversial and where there is so much pain, I realized that we all are loved no matter the mistakes we make and that there is always a beautiful rainbow at the end of the dark tunnel. "The Shack" answered questions I've always had about my relationship with God and answered questions I've never thought of before. I never felt closer to God, and I have this beautiful book to thank!
If you haven't read "The Shack" you have to go read it! It will transform you and make you see everything in a way you've never seen it before! Also, it's about to come out as a major motion picture! So make sure you read the book before seeing the movie.