The Shack: I’m especially fond of you


An oft-repeated line from the book The Shack that I like.  The film comes out 9 June in the UK.

A great passage from the book:

She stopped and looked at him. “Mackenzie, I have no favourites; I am just especially fond of him.”

“You seem to be especially fond of a lot of people,” Mack observed with a suspicious look. “Are there any who you are not especially fond of?”

She lifted her head and rolled her eyes as if she were mentally going through the catalogue of every being ever created. “Nope, I haven’t been able to find any. Guess that’s jes’ the way I is.”

Mack was interested. “Do you ever get cross at any of them?”

“Sho ‘nuff! What parent doesn’t? There is a lot to be mad about in the mess my kids have made and in the mess they’re in. I don’t like a lot of choices they make, but that anger- especially for me- is an expression of love all the same. I love the ones I am angry with just as much as those I’m not.”

“But,” Mack paused. “What about your wrath? It seems to me that if you’re going to pretend to be God Almighty, you need to be a lot angrier.”

“Do I now?”

“That’s what I’d think. Weren’t you always running around killing people in the Bible? You just don’t seem to fit the bill.”

“I understand how disorienting all this must be for you, Mack. But the only one pretending here is you. I am what I am. I’m not trying to fit anyone’s bill.”

“But you’re asking me to believe that you’re God, and I just don’t see…” Mack had no idea how to finish his sentence, so he just gave up.

“I’m not asking you to believe anything, but I will tell you that you’re going to find this day a lot easier if you simply accept what is, instead of trying to fit it into your preconceived notions.”

“But if you are God, aren’t you the one spilling out great bowls of wrath and throwing people into a burning lake of fire?” Mack could feel his deep anger emerging again, pushing out the questions in front of it, and he was a little chagrined at his own lack of self-control. But he asked anyway, “Honestly, don’t you enjoy punishing those who disappoint you?”

At that, Papa stopped her preparations and turned toward Mack. He could see a deep sadness in her eyes. “I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie. I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”

“I don’t understand…”

“You’re right. You don’t,” she said with a smile still sad around its edges. “But then again, we’re not done yet.”

The Shack, pp. 118-20, Wm. Paul Young.

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