The book (written by William P. Young) starts out like any other- you meet the main character Mac, but he starts by giving a disclaimer to the story you’re about to read- because some of it may seem a bit to radical to have happened.
At first glance Mac seems like any other guy, he could be your neighbor, your father, your long ago high school buddy, but once you get a bit closer you see that Mac is carrying something, a sorrow (or “the great sadness”) brought on by a deeply close tragedy that happened to someone he loved dearly. And because of that tragedy Mac has trouble loving God, trusting him and even conversing with him.
One day Mac gets a letter in the mailbox (hand delivered) from someone claiming to be God. The letter asks Mac to meet him at the shack- which is a place that played a very significant role in the tragedy that rocked his world (and faith) years ago. Reluctantly he goes and what he finds there is the reason for the disclaimer – it’s impossible, unbelievable, but very real.
Mac spends the weekend with God, his conversations delve into some of the hardest questions- questions that mankind would ask God if they could, questions that keep very broken and lost people from coming to God. And the answers in the book are very familiar, they ring true of the character that we know God to have through the scriptures.
Mac faces his misconceptions about God, his un-forgiveness towards his own father, his guilt for the part he thinks he played in the tragedy and many other deep issues that help bring him much needed healing.
This is not a breeze through book, it’s only 248 pages but they are so loaded that you may find yourself re-reading certain pages again and again to better grasp what it’s saying. It is a book that will challenge you and change you. It had me in tears more than once.
Critics like to say that the book is full of blaspheme – that God being a Big black woman is ludicrous but if they really read it they’d see the part where God says that he’s showing himself to Mac in a non-offensive form, that he wasn’t in a place to accept God as the stereotypical Father figure. No one has ever seen Gods true form and so to write a humanized version of him will always fall short but in this attempt I think Young was right on- Gods words were drenched in love and spoke of such deep yet simple truth with every word.
All in all it is an AMAZING book- and I’d recommend it to anyone! And everyone! And if you’ve already read it then I’d suggest you go to William Young’s website and read the follow-up – some additional conversations between God and Mac in response to the books release and the attention it attracted.