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“Honey, there’s no easy answer that will take your pain away ... I have no magic wand to wave over you and make it all better. Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship.”
- “Papa,” speaking to Mack in The Shack
We’re reading and discussing The Shack, by William Young, in our Wednesday evening Bible and book study. It’s one of those “love it or hate it” books, and I proudly stand in the “I love it!” camp. Young touches on many of the most compelling theological themes in ways that challenge the reader to think outside of whatever religious dogmatic boxes we’ve settled into. In my opinion, that’s probably what fundamentalist/evangelical types find most offensive about it.
For those who don’t know the story, the main character of The Shack is a man named Mack who suffers one of life’s most heartbreaking tragedies - the murder of his young daughter. Missy’s death was confirmed by evidence found in a run-down shack near the place where she was abducted. The grief which becomes a constant, pervasive presence in Mack’s life as a result is referred to as The Great Sadness.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the Holy Spirit this week. In particular, I’ve been thinking about how divided we Christians are when it comes to the story of Pentecost, charismatic worship, etc. The precise Gift that should unite us ends up being a reason that some of us cannot worship God together.
I call it the Battle of the “Holy Rollers” vs. the “Frozen Chosen.” I’ve encountered it in multiple settings and contexts. Some people are absolutely convinced that whatever way they worship is the only “valid” way. I’m sharing my experience around that, in hopes that it will be beneficial to someone.