Friday, November 3, 2017

Piers Anthony on The Shack

I watched The Shack, which is not at all what you might think. This is a kind of study in Good and Evil and the ways of God. As a nonbeliever I found it fascinating. Mack's little girl gets abducted and killed, devastating the family. Mack can't move on. Then he receives an invitation to go to an abandoned shack, signed “Papa,” their pet name for God. A joke? Not funny. He goes, and suffers an extended vision. There, in a setting suddenly transformed to summer—it had been snowy winter—he meets three strangers, all manifestations of God. So why didn't God save his little girl? That's his problem; he remains bitter. Elouisa is a middle aged black woman. Sarayu is a young white woman. She clarifies that there are billions of people deciding for themselves what is good and what is evil, as he helps her work in her garden. It's a mess, and she says “This mess is you.” Then when he goes out on the river in the bout, it starts to leak and sink, but the man, who is the third aspect of God, walks on the water to him and enables him to walk on water back to shore. He then takes a separate path into and through a mountain—I mean the rock becomes porous—and meets a woman called Wisdom. She invites him to sit on her throne, to judge others. To choose which of his remaining children to send ho Heaven, and which to Hell. He can't choose. Similarly God can't always choose. As long as there is free will, there is evil, not God's doing. Then comes the most difficult challenge of all: to forgive the man who killed his daughter. Only then is he whole again. He returns—and collides with a truck. He wakes in the hospital. They tell him that he never made it to the shack. But he knows what happened. Now he is mending relations with his wife and children, helping them heal as he heals. Their life is improving, thanks to the revelations he gained at the shack. I recommend this movie to all, believers and unbelievers; it really makes you think. So this is all a vision, but what a vision!

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