Yesterday my daughter and I watched the controversial movie The Shack. I’d read the book years before, but and had forgotten some of the profound truths I’d learned from reading it and was grateful to be reminded again.
I really don’t understand all the fuss over the movie. I watched it and didn’t conclude at the end of it that I should begin worshipping God as an African American female, rather the movie left me longing to find my way back to the beauty of a God who loves me beyond my comprehension and wants me to know it.
I’ll never forget the early days following my first encounter with God, when I stepped outside and looked up at the sky. All of a sudden, my world changed from black and white to stunning HD. The sky became a sea of deep turquoise filled with enormous 3D clouds that reached out to me begging to be touched. The music of what sounded like hundreds of birds saturated my ears with crystal clear melodies. For the first time in my life I felt connected to the universe, a part of something immense and beautiful and good. All because I’d come to understand that the Creator of all of this beauty loved me and called me His own.
When one grows up in fear, like Mack in the movie and like me, afraid and not experiencing the freedom to be the person we were created to be, life becomes more about what we can control and accomplish on our own. We live in a world of black and white missing the beauty around us and not knowing that we were created to be a part of something more. We settle for cheap imitations of His love that only lead us further away from the person He created us to be.
My own black and white world gave me a false sense of safety, mostly because I thought I’d learned what to expect, until things spun out of my control and everything became black. But lost in the dark and alone, God led me out of the darkness and told me He loved me and for the first time ever I began to see the beauty of His goodness in Technicolor.
I wish that I could stay in those times when life feels alive and filled with color. I wish I didn’t slip back into black and white. I wish I could experience the joy of new life in Christ all over again and every day for the rest of my life, but there’s always something out of my control that calls me back to the black and white.
But watching The Shack helped me to see that God never leaves us and is always calling us back to the knowledge of His great love for us.
God told the church of Ephesus who’d lost their first love to remember. And that’s what The Shack called me to do – remember. And that reminder was worth every dollar spent on my movie ticket.