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Journey of Discovery – The Shack

I first heard about a book called ‘The Shack’ from my good friend Phil Costar. Within a matter of weeks two people had told me that I just had to read ‘The Shack’. It was something I resisted for a while. You see, I do a lot of reading but I don’t read fiction. I used to read a lot of fiction books when I was growing up. I can still remember staying up all night shivering with excitement while I read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story about Sherlock Holmes, ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’. However, at that stage I hadn’t read a fiction novel for over two decades.

But we shouldn’t let tradition stop us from doing something different. So, I started on the journey of discovery and read the book and became an avid fan. At that stage I was one of only 3.6 million people who had read The Shack. It went on to stay on New York Times best-selling list as number one for 70 weeks and according to Amazon is one of the top ten bestselling novels of all time, with over 22 million copies in print worldwide. It has now been turned into a movie and is currently in Australian cinemas.

The Shack (2017 Movie) Official Trailer – 5,800,000 views

The Film synopsis tells the story well: “The Shack takes us on a father’s life-transforming journey that will show him the ultimate truth about love, loss and forgiveness. MACKENZIE “MACK” ALLEN PHILLIPS (Sam Worthington) enjoys a blissful life with his wife and their three children, until the unthinkable happens and his youngest daughter MISSY is abducted from their vacation campsite. Evidence indicates Missy has been murdered, but her body is never recovered.  The tragedy sends Mack spiralling into “the great sadness” that isolates him from family and friends, causing him to question his innermost fundamental beliefs.  Teetering on the edge of self-destruction, he receives a mysterious letter, apparently from God, urging him back to the scene of the crime—an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.

Despite his doubts and fears, Mack journeys to the wintry mountain woods to revisit the most agonizing moments of his life and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named PAPA (Octavia Spencer), at the shack. Through them, Mack will find important truths that will transform his understanding of Missy’s tragedy and change his life forever.

The film stars Sam Worthington (Avatar, Wrath of the Titans, Clash of the Titans), Academy Award®-winner Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress, 2012 –The Help; The Divergent Series film franchise), Grammy Award® Winner Tim McGraw (The Blind Side), Radha Mitchell (Olympus Has Fallen), Alice Braga (Queen of the South, Elysium), Aviv Alush (The Gordin Cell) and Graham Greene (Longmire). The screenplay by John Fusco is based on the best-selling faith-based book, “The Shack,” by William Paul Young in collaboration with Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings. Stuart Hazeldine (Exam) directs the film, which is produced by the Oscar-nominated Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side, Marley & Me) and Brad Cummings.”

You will want everyone you know to see this film or read this book. I remember when I first read the book I was so inspired I ordered ten copies to give away to friends. It is exactly the same with the film.

What really got to me was the deeply moving fatherhood theme running through the film. Fathers are rarely the heroes in modern films. From that point alone it is a movie worth seeing for every dad.

Jaymie Stuart Wolfe said so eloquently, “Everybody has a shack: a place of pain, regret, and what-ifs, a canyon of terrible sadness and hidden rage at unsustainable loss, the kind of loss that makes you wish you’d lost everything. Everybody has a shack, a place you can’t unsee, but one you will spend the rest of your life running away from. You just can’t go back, maybe because you never found a way to leave it behind in the first place. It’s the place where everything grinds to a halt, where you hold your breath, where silence is broken only by the sound of your own sobbing. Everybody has a shack.”

I guess this is why the both the book and the movie speak so deeply to us all. These three comments give us some further perspective.

– “This film will surprise people. Its power comes from the simplicity and genuineness of the story.” Jeff Nesbit, US News and World Report

– “A powerful film that tells a timely and profound story.” Hannah Goodwyn, CBN

– “It’s a wonderful movie that holds true or even improves on the book.” Steve Strang, CEO Charisma Media

Lovework

Go and see The Shack just so you can say, “I saw it on the big screen.”

Yours for a Journey of Discovery

Warwick Marsh

PS: Firstly, I would love to hear what you think of ‘The Shack’ and if it has changed your outlook on fathering.

Secondly, we are beginning to raise funds for the Annual Dads4Kids Matched Giving End of Year challenge to help the children of Australia. If you can help us please donate now.

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