I was very hesitant to read “The Shack.” In fact, it took me two tries to read it, but I’m really glad I did.


As a new father, who has a baby girl after 10 years of trying, it was very hard to get through the first few chapters of the book. In fact, I quit reading the first time I tried.


I had a sense that the “bad guy” wasn’t going to end up being punished in some really ugly, painful way, and, if that was so, I didn’t want to read anymore (just being honest…)


I REALLY wanted to hurt this guy and was so pissed off that (I assumed) he was going to “get off the hook” that I tossed the book into a corner and tried to forget about it.


Then, I went back a few week ago and read it again. I’m really glad I did.


It’s a wonderful allegory, and the scene in the “judge’s chambers” made me look at my faith is a different way than I ever had before. In fact, the whole issue of “judging and forgiveness” really opened my eyes to something new.


A little history to explain my original hesitation:


I was part of a mega-church in the mid-eighties when Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness” came out (another great book) and I remember the hype that followed. Everyone carried a copy of the novel with their Bible and, by golly; we saw demons behind every shrub.


This made me a little hesitant to read Shack in the first place.


Again, I’m glad I did. Like “Darkness,” the author wrote a great work of fiction, with some spiritual enlightenment mixed in. I doubt Peretti ever meant anyone to take it as a “second gospel” and I know (cause I’ve met him) that Young didn’t have any intention of that either. I guess I’m just older now and less likely to fall prey to the hype that can unintentionally follow a great book.


Now, in all fairness, Young adds some stuff near the end about “the church” that I felt was superficial, and actually pulled from the weight of the story. It seemed a little contrived and PC to me, and I think the flow of the book would have been better without it.


But, I didn’t write the book. If I want a book that will say exactly what I want it to say, I’ll write it myself. I read to glean from the other’s perspective, and I think I did.


All of that to say…great book, great allegory, it’s worth the read.


Read it and then read your Bible again.


-Gracie’s Daddy