Posted by on March 8, 2017 in Faith & Healing | 8 comments

Many of us read the book a few years back, and I have to say it changed my life. With the movie The Shack now in theaters, I wanted to know if you plan to see it, if you read the book, and your thoughts.

I was bemused by the many differing opinions of the movie now that it’s available, and all are very strong even though many have not read the book or seen the movie. I feel this is an important discussion to have. After all, is there anything that affects our life more than our perceptions of God? 

Our beliefs about God, spirituality and religion are formed very young and continue to grow throughout our life, very much affecting every area of our life. They are part of our decision-making process, our mind chatter, influential in how we react to circumstances and fear, shape the dynamics in relationships, forms what we believe about ourselves and judgements we make of others, and are the basis for what we prioritize. And probably most impactful, is the lens through which we view the world as friendly or hostile.

So, considering how important these issues are in every area of our life, I feel strongly that discussion and openness would be so beneficial.

I’d heard rumblings about The Shack when the book was released, but now with social media, people feel free to voice strong words, some of which come off condemning and self-righteous. I found it interesting that those who were adamant against the movie were those who say they love God and consider themselves the most moral. And again, most of which have not read the book or seen the movie. The bottom line of most “don’t go see this move” comments were based on beliefs that it’s “unbiblical,” or they were screaming “sac-religious,” much based on being unable to tolerate “God” being played as a woman, when at the same time they would agree that “God” is neither male nor female.

It actually saddens me greatly to see this movie get slapped with judgment of any kind. In fact, the movie has a great deal to do with the very issue of how judgmental we are. The experience of watching this movie will mean many different things to different people, but what I find so sad is that it offers a great gift that any prejudgment or negative comments may rob many whose lives will surely be changed, as mine was.

Many of my perceptions of God had undergone an overhaul quite a few years before I read the book, but were blown to bits afterward. The ways in which I experienced circumstances and saw the world went from black and white to color. It was one of those I want to give a copy to everyone I know kind of book.

It was only a few years later that I walked through the depths of grief; my worst nightmare. My daughter was killed in a car accident ten days before her 21st birthday. The way The Shack reshaped my beliefs and the way I live life, I can say without question, is what carried me through such an inconceivable time, and does to this day. I was able to feel God’s arms, hear the tender, soothing lullaby, and feel into the love for my daughter, the love for me. No, I did not escape the wanting to die, the anger of why, and all the other questions and confusing buts.

But the intimacy with God I was able to feel is what walked me in to a place of peace and acceptance, without which would have been impossible to experience joy ever again. I was able to receive the new life I am living, yes, without my daughter, but nevertheless a life of joy and peace and beauty. Yes, I feel the pain, I shed tears, but I can lean into all the gifts and divine love I am still offered every day of my life.

So, I know the way this movie can and will change lives for those who are hopeless, have and will experience tragedy, who are angry at God, those who see the Divine as an angry punisher and feel the weight of condemnation. This is why the discussion needs to happen. 

What are your perceptions of God?

How did this book / movie impact you?

Is it fair to allow a stance of judgment to prevent someone from receiving the gift of a powerful love and presence they’ve never experienced?

What about those who have stopped living because they can’t conceive of the tragedy they have experienced and a loving God at the same time?

How about we live in the trust that the love of God knows what each of us need from The Shack.

Living in the greatest love,



Maybe you would like to check out the book


  1. What a powerful post, Ruthie. I was given a copy of The Shack many years ago by a work colleague who had very different religious views from me. At first, I thought it was an attempt to convert me but I learned the further I got into the book that there were many different perspectives to be found within its pages and I was most appreciative. I especially recall feeling so good about the ending. I can see how it may have helped carry you through a time of tragic grief. You have suffered any parents greatest fear and for that my heart goes out to you.

    I doubt I will see the movie version as I’m not a big movie person and typically books are enough for me. Much love to you and thank you for sharing such a powerful and deeply personal post. <3

    • Thanks so much, Sheila! Yes, the message is so powerful and it breaks my heart that anyone could find fault with it. Thanks for the love and for posting! Much love!!! xoxoxo

  2. I read the book years ago and can’t wait to see the mivie. I’m ready to revisit that wonderful message.

    • yes, you will love it. It is absolutely gorgeous videography and they stuck almost precisely w/ the book. I can’t imagine anyone would find fault with the chance to feel so loved. Thanks for posting! Much love xoxoxo

  3. hi Ruthie, I thought it was interesting, the book. When I was able to perceive people who had passed, it changed my perception of what “death” is. Bodies die. But the energy/soul definitely continues. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes, it is helps us see so many things in a new light which is always good. Thanks for posting! Much love! xoxoxo

  4. thank You Ruthie ~ I still have not seen the movie. But, I will!

    • Thank you for posting, Susan! It is definitely worth the time and money! Much love! xoxoxo

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