last weekend i ventured with my family to clinton county to attend the fall foliage festival which is held in a town of minus 10 if you know what i mean. it has been years since i’ve gone, but decided to schedule my life appropriately, and make it this year.
i do love being in the midst of the mountains and the trees and their leaves magically changing to colors that make the world seem better. i took a book with me because i knew i’d have time to curl up by the fire and read, and frankly… i haven’t had much time for reading lately and was craving it.
my book of choice? the shack.
i’ve read the shack before and i loved it and decided my heart/soul/mind was in a place where i could really use a re-read of the book. saturday came and i started to read, stayed up late on the top bunk reading chapter after chapter of mack’s experience with the lord. by the time we reached home i had finished the book, and like before my heart was refreshed and i was invigorated once again in my pursuit and relationship with jesus. there were many times during the book where i had to hold back my emotions due to the people surrounding me, but numerous times tears were brimming in my eyes.
when i got home i started to google some things, and to my surprise, the story is fiction.
someone wrote a story for their children.
there is no mack.
there was no missy.
there was no little lady killer.
i sat there feeling like my whole thinking was coming to the ground. what? this didn’t happen?!? but wait…
in my heart i wanted it to be true. i want to believe with all of my heart that in the midst of my deepest pain, anger and grief that god would be so relentless in his pursuit of my heart and our relationship that he would write me a note and bring to me a place. a place where he can show and demonstrate his love for me in tangible ways. where he can speak to me, ask me questions that bring revelation to my heart and lead me to a place of healing, reconciliation and a greater love.
what do i do with this knowledge that the story in the book, the shack, didn’t actually happen? does it make my interpretation different? does it make any of the elements of the story less true? does it change god’s character?
i’ve decided for me, it hasn’t. i will keep believing that jesus wants to lay on a blanket and look up at the stars with me. that god wants to whip up some amazing meal because he/she knows how much i love to eat, and will sip coffee with me on the front porch. that the holy spirit is collecting the tears i cry, and using them to create something beautiful in my heart.
because i think it’s true. the shack in essence is true. i might not be physically giving jesus a hug. but they’re here. living and residing with me. living life with me. everyday. i just forget sometimes.
but now every time i see a cabin i get tempted to go up and knock on the door, because who knows? papa might just have some coffee brewing…