With the wave like rise and decline of interest in William P. Young’s The Shack I find myself engaged in a brief questions about my thoughts on the book or current film. I do not wish to share my feelings about that creative work, rather I want to acknowledge what I hear in the questions that I am asked, “Does God care enough about us to meet us in our pain?”
What I have learned is that no one gets through this journey unscathed by hardship or loss. As these events or moments take place they leave a mark on our hearts that we carry with us the rest of our lives. No one else may be able to see these moments for often they cannot be seen, but they are present with us all the rest of our days. What we find particularly troubling is that we never know when, how, or why we are having to “deal with that again.”
If you found that The Shack spoke to you and brought you a sense of encouragement about God I would recommend that you pick another book by Frederick Buechner called Telling Secrets. In this short memoir Buechner tells about how at age ten his father, who was an alcoholic, committed suicide and the impact it had on him, his brother, and mother. He shares in a very authentic way that does not overwhelm you, but draws you in like the voice of a longtime friend.
The final section of this powerful short book shares how God brought about healing to his story, restored his ability to hope, and give and receive love.
My friend whatever you carry with you, the marks in your heart, there is a God who pierces the pain with pure love and restores our soul.