THE SHACK (2017) Movie Review
The Shack was brought to my attention due to the large amount of controversy around it.
At least, pseudo controversy, pseudo challenge. A story where God is depicted as a black woman is hardly controversy in my book. Instead, it is the most pathetic example of the fundamentalist inability to see beneath the surface that I've ever seen.
Allow me to enlighten you:
In Jeremiah 23:24, Father God asks, ”Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” (New Living Translation)
The Shack is a story that illustrates the extent of God's omnipresence. It discourages the mentality that caused the controversy. It breaks God out of a stereotypical image: a white man with a gray beard residing on a stained glass window inside a pristine church building.
Is that image of God any less controversial than the beautiful trio depicted in The Shack?
Mack Phillips is a man in pain after an experience of the worst kind. He comes to doubt his faith. He slips into a hopeless depression that affects his neglected children. His behavior is selfish and reckless. He needs serious direction off this destructive path.
God hears his cries and invites Mack into His presence. Not in a church. Instead, the invitation takes him to the shack – his dearly departed daughter's last known whereabouts. It is the place that causes his pain. Yet, God dwells in it.
Papa is not a name to suggest gender. It is the name that Missy, the dearly departed, uses to reference God. Papa uses this name, because it holds significance to Mack in the same way that the location and God's forms have personal meaning.
In Isaiah 43:2, God assures us, "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." (NLT)
God is alive in places that give us pain.
God is alive in the people that give us comfort.
God is alive in the minute details of our lives as well as milestones.
He is alive in our joy, our grief, our comfort, and our refinement.
At the same time, God is with the dearly departed.
God is truly everywhere.
The only controversy here is the unwillingness to see the beauty and truth behind Mack's journey. It is the most impressive story of spiritual refinement, forgiveness, and closure I have ever seen. I would urge those caught up in the hype of controversy to lay it down. See this film, and judge it for yourself.
REMEMBER: GOD IS ALWAYS WITH YOU.