review | The Shack

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Last night, we decided to try watching the movie “The Shack”. It was about a father who, while trying to save his son from drowning, had a daughter being kidnapped and murdered. A few years later, he was grieving (as any parent would) and he happened to receive a letter in his mailbox from “Papa”.

Which brought him to the same shack where the police had found remnants of his daughter when the inevitable sadness occurred. He almost kills himself and as the plot unfolded, it turned out that Papa was God. God, Jesus and Creativity had invited him to the shack to help heal him from the pain he had been through in his childhood and through the loss of his daughter.

Okay, it was a Christian movie which I did not realize (though it was not like FULL ON Christian teachings galore, it was more of playing with human thoughts and ideas of spirituality and religion) but I am glad I watched it till the end, despite how slowly the plot unfolded in the beginning. Mr Grumpy gave up at the start, went to the night market and bought me some goodies instead. I was in tears at the end, which could have been due to my unstable emotional condition right now, but I think it was more because of the dialogue. It had a beautiful climax and ending.

He questioned God why bad things were allowed to happen and why God was not there for his daughter and what was interesting was one bit where God said “When all you see is your pain, you lose sight of me.” There was also another bit where he was questioned what was good, what was evil and what was the deciding factor. Are things wrong or right simply because we judge so? Are we ever not wrong?

Towards the end of the movie *spoiler alert*, he was asked to forgive his daughter’s killer and he broke down saying he could not, to which the reply came: “It’s not easy to forgive, you may have to say it 1000 times before it starts to feel better.” And it is so true, isn’t it? It is all a process. When we are struck with an incredible sadness, tides of anger, we lock our hearts away and let ourselves drown. We think we are alone, that nobody can understand what we are going through when God is there, ever-forgiving, ever-accepting. When we feel furthest away, it is sometimes a way to find our way back to God.

He manages to bury his daughter and is given the chance to remain in the shack or go back to his mundane life. In the end, he decides to return to his family and he reaches out to his other daughter who blames herself for her younger sister’s death, and apologizes to her for not having been there for her. He recognizes that he is new in the process of healing but she would never have to be alone. It was something that they could learn to do together.

Through his healing journey, it was like becoming a child again. To learn how to forgive and be even quicker in asking for forgiveness. To enjoy each day and learn with the curiosity of a child and remain ever hopeful when you are coupled with your faith. Yes, it was a Christian movie and no I am not intending to convert, but I appreciated the beauty of it and the underlying lessons within the movie. Such lessons are universal. 

It was timely to watch it when I did and reminded me of how even when it is difficult and I may not pray as consistently, God is always waiting for me to turn to Him. To tell Him of my sorrows and while it may not instantly get better, talking to Him as a friend may help the sorrow and anger dissipate faster. I may learn how to forgive faster and accept things when I repeat it in my mind and it starts to reverberate in my heart and actions. I got some sad news today and burst into tears in the office. I was sad, not angry but if I keep on recognizing I am human, I can hurt but I am not alone, maybe I will not be as sad for so long. I must forgive even when it is difficult but I will try doing so on my own terms and not force things.

So, here is to reflecting and focusing more on the home front, to enjoying my time with my own little family and hey, that’s a pretty positive step. With some thanks to that movie.

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