GOD'S MYSTERIOUS WAYS
I wake up every morning these days never wondering if God is going to be up to something in my little world but instead wondering what it is going to be and what it will look like. Everyday is a surprise and very unique because my job is about people and none of us are the same. Today, like many days since The Shack was released last May I had 5 conversations about life, faith, freedom, pain and healing and they all began due to the fact that all these clients had read the book or are in the process of reading it now.
All of these clients are in a sense more like friends because I have had the privileged of getting to know them because I have seen them every 4 weeks for many years now.
The first one was two chapters from finishing and was flying to Colorado with her son tomorrow for a few days away with him. She and I ended up in a conversation about her brother and his family and the pain and difficulty they experience everyday with a daughter with severe handicaps. She said as she read the book all she could think of was the Great Sadness that her brother suffers under and was praying about getting him a copy of the book. She said she wasn't even sure he believed in God any longer. I told her that this book is for people just like him.
My next client was my agnostic client whom I have for many years now had wonderful conversations. She and I have moved beyond the many conversations we have had in the past revolving around her repeated bad experiences with religion. She seems very interested about how The Shack is doing every time she comes in. She read it last fall and told me that she wanted me to know that it was a miracle in and of itself that she would read a book like it. At the time she said she was only doing it because of her respect for me and due to the respect I had extended to her over the years. I've never been more convinced of someone being on a journey with God and more than likely not even being aware of it. I'm certain Father does things like that.
The third client lost her 38 year old daughter a couple years ago to cancer and left a husband and three young daughters to carry on in her absence. It doesn't matter how old our children might be, a parent having to bury a child is never right and I can only imagine it being one of the most difficult things to face. I gave her the book several months ago and when she came in today she was carrying it and was just a couple chapters in. She said she sensed she was getting close to the gut wrenching part of Mack having to face the pain of the loss of his daughter. She ask me: Do you think I can make it through it? All I told her was once she reached chapter 6 and on through the end she might just find a healing and comfort that anyone who has suffered great pain and loss long for. I will see her again Saturday morning and maybe she will be through the book at that time. I look forward to that conversation.
My next client read it a couple months ago and when I saw her last month she expressed some concerns about the content. All I could do was assure her that I knew the author and my friend Wayne who was responsible for the book being published and that it was Father, Son and Spirit of the Bible that they are committed to and love. Today when she was in we had an open conversation around our faith, the Bible, and certain doctrines that we see a bit differently and how we can trust God to accomplish his purposes in us even when we don't see everything the same way.
Another conversation was with a male client who was raised in Christian Science and over the past few years has begun to attend a more main stream Protestant men's Bible study. He read the book around Christmas time and was so encourage and challenged by it. He told me he had lent it to a friend and that friend returned a new book to him last week. She bought him a new copy because the original one had been battered a bit by herself and a few friends she had shared it with. I think that is pretty cool.
And I believe all of this is being brought about by the Spirit touching people through this little book written by William Paul Young for his six children with no intentions of publishing it for public consumption. A story to share with them so that they might come to know and love and trust the Father and brother and Spirit that loved him so much and never gave up on him in his Great Sadness and healed him of a deep deep pain. Papa doesn't hold back anything when he sets out to set us free from the things that are destroying the objects of his affection. My day at work was a perfect example of this playing out before my very eyes.