It’s as if my body knew this was the first day in two months that I didn’t absolutely have to be somewhere or someone or something. So I woke with a pounding headache, fever, wobbly-kneed, sneezing, coughing and an entire box of crumpled kleenexes on the floor that I’d used during the night.
And despite my regret for missing my friend’s birthday lunch, it’s almost a relief to be weak and bedbound, unable to produce. From my bed I’ve directed chores and refereed squabbles, and from my nightstand I pulled a book I ordered over a month ago: The Shack (there are several one cent copies on Amazon).
Lying in bed with a book is a delicious luxury for a mother of six. I turned the pages slowly and wriggled my toes beneath my white sheets. Eating languidly, I consumed giant bowl of raspberries from my mother’s garden; a few dropped and stained the sheets, but washing them is tomorrow’s task.
Within a few hours, I’d turned the last page and felt my heart shift and soften. It’s not a book for atheists or agnostics–nothing in it proselytizes the existence of God– rather, it is for those who believe in God but have come to question if He is good. Does that sound strange to my non-religious friends? Why would anyone worship a God that they don’t trust? But it happens to the best of us, times when life is so incomprehensible that we wonder if God really knows what he’s doing.
Googling the title before beginning this post, I found that The Shack has been the center of a firestorm in Christian circles– Wm. Young’s theology doesn’t match any religion precisely but he’s obviously a devotee of C.S. Lewis (whom I unabashedly adore). As a Mormon I’m pretty secure in my own beliefs and simply enjoyed the refreshing writing.
Surprisingly my mother’s death didn’t shake my faith in the least; I saw His hand in every leaf and tree and blossom. It was the ensuing events that left me floundering.
But luminous strands of hope are weaving into the broken seams of my heart. I only pray that charity and faith will follow.
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pick blackberries.