Saturday, September 18, 2010
Revising "The Shack"
Okay, I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't like, The Shack. But I heard rave reviews like, "This was the most amazing book I ever read, it changed my life." Apart from the grisly abduction/ murder situation which prompts the main character's journey, there is an interesting fantasy element to the way he "meets God." He spends a day or two with the Trinity; God is suddenly made up of two women and Jesus helps out around the house.
I've mediated on the idea of God as a woman, even the Holy Spirit as a woman, but I never thought of them as a two mom family with a son. I guess it's more scientifically accurate to see God as the Mother and the Holy Spirit as the Father with Jesus as the son? Anyway, apart from a lovely pie making scene, this fantasy has no fantasy. Everything is very literal. The man and the three parts of the godhead sit around a cozy cabin to discuss systematic theology. There are no flights of fancy, feasts, angels or anything else to sink your teeth into.
Now that I've bashed the form of the novel to pieces, I'd like to say that I have problems being creative too. Hopefully I"ll have an editor that says something like, "Keep the pie scene, and scratch the rest." There's something wonderful about revising that gets us to the good sentence, then cracks it open to reveal a whole new world or two just lying there in the white space around the letters.
Thankfully there was one part of this book that wasn't thrown out. What I keep from this book is something I can't forget about the author's description of love. Something about the love between,, in and among the Trinity itself is something I've never thought about before. That kernel of an idea has grown so large in my mind that, most times, before I open my mouth to say something to my family I ask myself, "Is that loving?" If what I'm planning to say is what I'd say to an enemy rather than a friend then I stop to find a way that is loving. Because why would I want anyone to doubt how much I do love them over something like cherry pie on the floor?
I'm the spiky sister who keeps everyone else out.
Sure I start small, but then I spread out. No one
will get by me and my hazard. I keep things
from getting too dry around here.
I would sacrifice to save them.
I'm the quick one. I race to the top.
I'm the second layer of defence, and I feed the other
two. If it weren't for me, they'd be scrawny, skinny,
and lonely too. Without me, they'd be done for.
I'd give everything to make sure they had enough.
I'm the darling, the sweet one. I take my time.
I'm golden. I last forever. I stay strong
to support the others. I come last,
so they will be first.