The Shack

excerpts from the shack

on the crucifixion:
Don’t ever think that what my son chose to do didn’t cost us dearly.  love always leaves a significant mark, she stated softly and gently.  we were there together.
mack was surprised “at the cross? now wait, i thought you left him…”
you misunderstood the mystery there.  regardless of what he felt at that moment, i never left him.
how can you say that?  you abandoned him just like you abandoned me!
mackenzie, i never left him.  and i have never left you.
that makes no sense to me, he snapped
i know it doesn’t, at least not yet.  will you at least consider this: when all you can see is your pain, perhaps then you lose sight of me?

jesus’ humanity
when we three spoke ourself into human existance as the Son of God, we became fully human.  we also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed.  even tho we have always been present in this created universe, we now became flesh and blood.  it would be like this bird, whose nature it is to fly, choosing only to walk and remain grounded.  he doesn’t stop being the bird, but it does alter his experience of life significantly.
although by nature he is fully God, Jesus is fully human and lives as such.  While never losing the innate ability to fly, he chooses moment by moment to remain grounded. that is why his name is Immanuel, God with us, or God with YOU to be more precise.
but what abt all the miracles? the healings?  raising ppl from the dead?  doesn’t that prove that Jesus was God–you know, more than human?
no it proves that Jesus is truly human.
mackenzie, I can fly, but humans can’t. jesus if fully human.  although he is also fully God he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything.  He has only lived ouot of his relationship with me, living in the very same manner that I desire to be in relationship with every human being.  he isjust the first to do it to the uttermost–the first to absolutely trust my life within him, the first to believe i my love and my goodness without regard for appearance or consequence.
so when he healed the blind?
he did so as a dependent, limited human being trusting in my life and power to be at work within him and through him.  jesus, as a human being, had no power within himself to heal anyone.  only as he rested in his relationship with me, and in our communion–our co-union–could he express my heart and will into any given circumstance.  so when you see Jesus and it appears that he’s flying, he really is flying.  but what you are actually seeing is my life in him.  thats how he lives and acts as a true human–how ever human is designed to live–out of my life.
a bird’s not defined by being grounded but by his ability to fly.  remember this, humans ar enot defined by their limitations, but by the intentions i have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in  my image.

on the trinity
what’s important is this: if i were simply One God and only One Person, then youwould find yourself in this creation without something wonderful, without something essential even. and i would be utterly other than i am.
and we would be without…?
love and relationship.  all love and relationship is possible for you only because it already exists within me, within God myself. Love is not the limitation; love is the flying. I am love….
you do understand, she continued, that unless i had an object to love–or more accurately, a someone to love, if  i did not have such a relationship within myself, then I would not be capable of love at all?  you would have a God who could not love.  or maybe worse, you would have a god who, when he chose, could only love as a limitation of his nature.  that kind of god could possibly act w/o love, and that would be a disaster.  and that, is surely not me.

in relationship with us
now here i am telling you abt my friends and abt Nan, but you act like it’s the first time you’ve heard it.
sarayu reached across the table and took his hand–mackenzie, remember our conversation earlier abt limitation?
our conversation?
you can’t share with one and not share with us all, sarayu said and smiled. remmeber that choosing to stay on the ground is a choice to facilitate a relationship; to honor it.  mackenzie, you do this yourself.  you don’t play a game or color a picture with a child to show your superiority.  rather, you chose to limit yourself so as to facilitate and honor that relationship.  you willeven lose a competition to accomplish love.  it is not abt winning and losing, but about love and respect.
so when i am telling you abt my children?
we hav elimited our selves out of respect for you.  we are not bringint to mind, as it were, our knowledge of your children. as we are listening to you, it is as if this is the first time we have known abt them, and we take great delight in seeing them through your eyes.

that is the wonder and adventure of exploration, a piece of what you call science–to discern and discover what we have hidden for you to find.
so why did you hide it? mack inquired.
why do children love to hide and seek? ask any person who has a passion to explore and discover and create.  the choice to hide so many wonders from you is an act of love that is a gift insdie the process of life.

on good and evil…
then it is you who determines good and evil.  you become the judge.  and to make things more confusing,m that which you determine to be good will change over time and circumstance.  and then beyond that and even worse, there are billions of you each determining what is good and what is evil.  so when your good ande vil clashes with your neighbors, fights and arguments ensue and even wars break out.  and if there is no reality of good that is absolute, then you have lost any basis for judging.  it is just language, and one might as well exchange the word good for the word evil…it allows you to play God in your independence.  that’s why a part of you prefers not to see me.  and you dont need me at all to create your list of good anevil. but you do need me to stop such an insane lust for independence.  you must give up your right to decide what is good ande vil on your own terms.  that is a hard pill to swallow; choosing to live only in me.  to do that you must know me enough to trust me and learn to rest in my inherent goodness.

women and men…
women in general, will find it difficult to turn from a man and stop demanding that he meet their needs, provide security, and protect their identity, and return to me.  men, in general, find it very hard to turn from the works of their hands, their own quests for power and security and significance, and return to me.
i’ve always wondered why men have been in charge.  males seem to the cause of so much of the pain in the world.  they acct for most of the crime and many of thos are perpetuated against women and, he paused, children.
women, jesus continued as he picked up a stone and skipped it, turned from us to another rlationship, while men turned to themselves and the ground.  the world, in many ways, would be a much calmer and genler place if women ruled.  but power still corrupts…don’t you see how filling a role is the opposite of relatioship?  we want male and female to be counterparts, face to face equals, each unique and different, distincitve in gender but complemetnary, and each empowerd uniquely bay sarayu from whom all true power and authority orignates.  remember, i am not abt performance and fitting into man made structures; i am abt being.
but you came in the form of a man, doesn’t that


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