proverbs 3:5

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.

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pick blackberries.
–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

July 7, 2010
July 10, 2010



  1. Tracy

    July 9, 2010

    Oh hon, I hope you are on the mend – but maybe you should stay in bed another day just to be sure. 😉

    If I can be honest and quite revealing of myself…I blogged about trying to read that book awhile back and I hated it(very strong word I know) – it drove me mad. I did like his writing, but the subject made me shake my head. And as one that perhaps falls into the categories that you mention, now I understand my frustration better, and I appreciate your insights. My mom and her sisters read this book after their mother’s death. They loved it, obsessed over it, talked about it constantly, and bought me a copy and insisted I read it. I did and it left me angry, confused and questioning my own mother and what her faith really meant.

    I loved your review though – and it helps me look at the book with a new light and appreciation for why they loved it so much.

  2. Selwyn

    July 9, 2010

    Aw, Michelle, I hope you get better (or as soon as you finish the next book/s)!

    I’m 5 chapters to the end of The Shack, so I guess I should finish it…

    Luv you!

  3. Rachelle

    July 9, 2010

    I finally read The Shack this year and really enjoyed many of the ideas about heaven and God. It was refreshing. I hope you are on the mend now. Those raspberries sounds wonderful… not to mention crisp white sheets.

  4. Sue

    July 10, 2010

    I do remember how luxurious it was to get in bed and just read when my kids were little. It was even worth being sick!


    PS. So, do get well. But take your time if you like…

  5. Kerri

    July 10, 2010

    Ensuing events are leaving me floundering, too. Thank you for sharing your honest journey through this last year. Your writing has buoyed my spirits so many times.

    And hooray for the growth of hope. I’m working on keeping mine alive. Some days it’s flourishing. Some days…it’s not!

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