Back to Mack

March 17, 2010 at 9:19 AM 1 comment

Here is the post about The Shack that I said that I was going to write in my “A Healing Misunderstanding of Mine.” If you haven’t read that post or my post “The Great Sadness…” I suggest you start there before reading this one.

So I suppose this post really is again about those questions we all ask – especially in the face of grief. Where is God in the bad? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why is this life full of pain and ugliness? Is God good? And this made me think back to Mack in The Shack.

Early in the book, Mack whispers, “I’m done God…I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired of trying to find you in all of this.” The narrator explains, “And with that [Mack] walked out the door. Mack determined that this was the last time he would go looking for God. If God wanted him, God would have to come find him” (p.80).

(What Mack says to God, who he doesn’t even think is there, reflects fairly accurately thoughts in my heart the time my grief nearly drowned me and I wanted to just give up and walk away).

At one point much later, Mack says, “And all I wanted was a God who will just fix everything so no one gets hurt.” But he learns, this is not who God is. Another character asks him later, “You don’t truly believe that God is good, do you?” And he doesn’t hold back, he shouts no.

(Boy can’t a part of all us relate to that?? In the midst of tragedy, whatever that tragedy might be, it can be hard to believe and trust that God is good.)

Further in the story, dealing with this same issue of Mack’s, a character says: “Isn’t that your just complaint, Mackenzie. That God has failed you, that he failed Missy [his daughter]? That before the Creation, God knew that one day your Missy would be brutalized, and still he created? And then he allowed that twisted soul to snatch her from your loving arms when he had the power to stop him. Isn’t God to blame, Mackenzie?

(In the darkest hours of my grief, I will admit I felt that God had failed me, had failed Hailey – which is part of what I wrote about yesterday. In my case, I whole-heartedly believe that God created Hailey the ‘imperfect’ way that she was. So of course in a sense for me, God was to blame because he created her… but that is a perspective I do not have you know if you’ve read my other posts. God created her and loved her and did it all for a purpose. However, when other tragedies strike, like when my dad passed away from cancer, or someone is killed in a car accident, or someone is kidnapped, etc. We all wonder – is God to blame for those tragedies?)

To the above question, Mack answers back, “Yes! God is to blame!

Some great things happen in between that conversation and the next part of the book, but I’m not going to share that here. So later, the character attempts to explain God’s goodness when Mack (and us) blame God for the evil and the pain. “…[God] doesn’t stop a lot of things that cause him pain. Your world is severely broken. You demanded your independence, and now you are angry with the one who loved you enough to give it to you. Nothing is as it should be, as [God] desires it to be, and as it will be one day. Right now your world is lost in darkness and chaos, and horrible things happen to those that he is especially fond of.”

(I think this character’s response is profound and true – it is based on scripture – but these thoughts are thoughts that can be pretty eye-opening and life changing for many of us).

Mack responds as many of us would: Then why doesn’t he do something about it?

He already has…

“You mean what Jesus did?

(Yes! God does not eliminate evil because it would eliminate free will and without free will there can be no true love- and he loves us. So because he loves us, he does offer a solution in his son Jesus Christ. With Easter right around the corner, maybe we all should pay closer attention to the meaning behind Good Friday and Easter – or Resurrection Sunday. We can have hope and life because of Jesus – as I expressed in yesterday’s post and others before it.)

…This only offers a small solution to Mack’s large problem. Mack again, “But I still don’t understand why Missy had to die.”

(Again, something I think we can all relate to when we lose a loved one. For me, why did Hailey have to die when she was only 36 days old? Why did my dad have to lose his battle with cancer so shortly after and when he was a good person, a believer, and only 60 years old? Why did he die before he had the chance to see his grandson grow? And the questions can continue in us.)

The character’s response: “She didn’t have to Mackenzie. This was no plan of [God’s]. [God] has never needed evil to accomplish his good purposes. It is you humans who have embraced evil and [God] responded with goodness.

(I will interject here by saying, again, for me personally, with my daughter’s death, I believe Hailey’s life and death were to some extent a plan of God’s because he created her the way she was. But obviously, I can still agree with the character’s statement above even in Hailey’s case, because if this world wasn’t fallen, then it would be perfect and in that world, Hailey would have been perfect… but that is not the case. Either way, whatever perspective I choose to believe or you choose to believe, the face remains that God will work His goodness in her death (some of which he has allowed me to see as I have revealed in previous posts).

Now the issue of what is good and what is evil – well of course – that’s a whole other issue, but related nonetheless!

Not to get too side tracked, but at one point earlier in the book an idea comes up that shakes Mack’s belief on what is good and what is bad – “…in one instance, the good may be the presence of cancer or the loss of income — or even a life.

(Phew! That’s a hard one to grasp isn’t it?But they can be good…they can be used for God’s goodness, as I have seen in my life and other’s have seen in theirs.)

Back to the conversation in the book I had been writing about – later , the character explains, “…Evil is the chaos of this age that you brought…but it will not have the final say. Now it touches everyone that I love, those who follow me and those who don’t. If I take away the consequences of people’s choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is not love at all.

God is good. His love is perfect.


Entry filed under: Me. Tags: , , .

A Healing Misunderstanding of Mine Today is National Trisomy 18 Awareness Day!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Keri  |  March 17, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    All I can say is, “WOW!” What an amazing post! Thank you, Kristin!


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