After about 15 years of debating and looking into it, I joined the book club in my ward last month. I was able to go to a planning meeting and hear about all the books that were read last year and what was possible for this year. I had a nice time being with others who have been able to give me a different light on some of the books I wanted to read or have already read.
So, I was able to be the host for March. When you host it is at your house on the fourth Wednesday of the month in which you are hosting. You provide the book title and refreshments. At the meeting you lead the discussion, easy task for me since I am a talker anyway. You also introduce the author and give a brief history of him and some of the books they have written.
This month's book was The Shack, by William P. young. He is originally from Canada, however he now live in Oregon with his wife and six children. This book, as I believe, was a heeling for him as it is about healing through a tragic loss. Mr. Young was raised for six years in an aboriginal tribe in the former Papua New Guinea, they were considered to be stone-aged. He was abused sexually as a child, then chipped back to Canada to boarding school where it happened again for several years. The book gives a perspective of the Godhead that will shock some and impress others.
Here are my thoughts on the book:
I liked it. It was very interesting to see the pain that Mack went through from childhood through adulthood. He never really let go of the abuse he and his family suffered at the hands of his alcoholic father. No forgiveness was in his heart for his father, even after his father had died.
He married a very sweet lady and had six children. His youngest daughter, Missy, was kidnapped on a camping trip and murdered. Only her blood and red sundress were found in the shack that day.
The entire family was devastated. Mack blamed himself and was not able to see that his daughter blamed herself and stopped talking because of it.
Nan, his wife, called God "Papa", which Mack though was very sweet that she felt that close to him.
Four years after Missy is believed to be murdered Mack receives a note from "Papa" asking him to come to the shack to talk about forgiveness. he is very upset about this, but decides to go anyway.
That afternoon at the shack he walks back into the darkest moments of his life. He meets God, Jesus and the Creator (Holy Ghost). God is a Black Aunt Jamima looking woman who sings and walks around barefoot and loves to cook. Jesus is a carpenter and looks like an Asian/Indian with chiseled facial trademarks of leather, but talks to Mack as if he were his friend. Jesus is tender and soft spoken. The Creator (Holy Ghost) is a short robust woman who walks around creating all the beauty of the earth, including the thorns and thistles. She giggles a lot and talks a lot about the beauty of the world.
Mack is lead through a journey of healing and forgiveness as he sees Missy is okay and is able to feel her wrap her arms around him through a think veil.
This was a very different way of healing through writing. I saw a lot of similarities to some religions as i read this portrayal of the Godhead. I also noted the similarities of the abuse Mr. Young went through as he portrayed the kidnapper and the Godhead.
I recommend this book to others so they may be able to see how forgiveness and healing can only come through the healing of our God and faith in Jesus Christ.
Next month's book: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare