Monday, August 25, 2008

When I attended the Red Hat Readers group last week at St. Philip's, I heard differing comments about The Shack by William P. Young. I had not read the book, but was intrigued by the pros and cons of those who had. Two in the group did not like it at all, and one of them gave me her copy, saying it was nothing she would ever go back to.

It has taken me a week to read it, the first few chapters seemed a little contrived and tedious to me, but it got better, and I finally finished it this morning. Did it change my life? I don't think so. I already knew God as loving me unconditionally, or as Papa says in the book, "I'm particularly fond of that one." (She says that of each of us.)

Did I gain new insight into the Trinity? A different perspective, maybe, especially with God being portrayed as a black woman.

Did it affect me emotionally? Yes, I cried toward the end. The last novel that made me cry was The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, which I read 10 years ago, and it produced way more copious tears than this one. (I am a die-hard romantic.) Post-menopausal tears do not flow nearly as freely for me as pre-menopausal tears did. It just doesn't happen very often.

My take-away from this book is what Papa says about forgiveness: "Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat." People who want punishment meted out to those who have hurt them (or a loved one) will probably not like this book, but they are the ones I would most like to see reading this story.

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