I finished reading The Shack last night. It's taken me a while to work through it for 2 reasons: 1) I don't get a lot of quiet time for reading, and 2) It's deep. I could only read so much before I felt like I had to stop and take a few days to absorb the content before I could move on. But because it was deep, it was good. I realized by reading this book just how much I have settled down with God. I am comfortable--probably too comfortable. In spite of my personal encounters with the living God, I continue to perceive Him in a certain way and imagine all kinds of limits and parameters to how and when He might work or speak. I am challenged to think differently and to look for--no, to expect--God to show up. I want God to be Papa.
As a reader, I'm a notetaker. Many of my books have lines highlighted or notes in the margins. I like to go back and see what impacted me. Here are quotes from The Shack that affected me:
"Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place."
"You don't play a game or color a picture with a child to show your superiority. Rather, you choose to limit yourself so as to facilitate and honor that relationship. You will even lose a competition to accomplish love. It is not about winning and losing, but about love and respect."
"Mack realized that as much as he thought he knew Jesus, perhaps he didn't...not really. Maybe what he knew was an icon, an ideal, an image through which he tried to grasp a sense of spirituality, but not a real person."
"The person who lives by their fears will not find freedom in my love. I am not talking about rational fears regarding legitimate dangers, but imagined fears, and especially the projection of those into the future. To the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believe I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it; you talk about it, but you don't know it."
"Among the mysteries of a broken humanity, that too is rather remarkable; to learn, to allow change."
"So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it. Love is just the skin of knowing."
"When I think of each of my children individually, I find that I am especially fond of each one."
"If you try to live this without me, without the ongoing dialogue of us sharing this journey together, it will be like trying to walk on the water by yourself. You can't! And when you try, however well-intentioned, you're going to sink."
"...just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
"Love that is forced is no love at all."
"I am a verb. I am that I am. I will be who I will be. I am a verb! I am alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. I am a being verb."
"The trouble with living by priorities is that it sees everything as a hierarchy, a pyramid...if you put God at the top, what does that really mean and how much is enough?...I don't just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. Even if you were able, which you are not, to give me the biggest piece, that is not what I want. I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day."
"An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others."--A.W. Tozer
"Forgiveness is not about forgetting, Mack. It is about letting go of another person's throat."
"If anything matters than everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again."
"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it knows and loves the One who is leading."--Oswald Chambers