Quotes from the book "The Shack" by William P. Young

I enjoyed reading this book very much. It is difficult to truly understand & grasp the paradoxical “One God, in 3 persons” idea, which is at the heart of the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit.) When an author writes about the Trinity, & portrays the Trinity as three different people, we run into difficulties. Nevertheless, the story contained in “The Shack” is brilliant, & I found it very thought-provoking & intriguing. Here are a few of the best bits (for me, at least!):

The Holy Spirit as verb

“I,” she [the Holy Spirit] opened her hands to include Jesus and Papa, “I am a verb. I am that I am. I will be who I will be. I am a verb! I am alive, dynamic, ever active and moving. I am a being verb. And as my very essence is a verb, I am more attuned to verbs than nouns. Verbs such as confessing, repenting, living, loving, responding, growing, reaping, changing, sowing, running, dancing, singing, and on and on. Humans, on the other hand, have a knack for taking a verb that is alive and full of grace and turning it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules. Nouns exist because there is a created universe and physical reality, but the universe is only a mass of nouns, it is dead. Unless ‘I am’ there are no verbs and verbs are what makes the universe alive.
― William P. Young, The Shack
[Bold added by me (Martin) for emphasis!]

This means a lot to me. Instinctively I can see the truth in it: that we try to name things & pin them down – I guess that’s what science & our enquiring minds try to do. But to remove all the mystery from the world would simply reduce the universe to a set of principles, & generate enormous smugness in the human mind! I think mystery is great, & that we can not really understand the subtle complexity of God & His Cosmos, however much we try to nail it all down with our physical laws & principles! The more we find out, the more we find out that we have more to find out!
Long live mystery!


“Don’t ever think that what my Son chose to do didn’t cost us dearly. Love always leaves a significant mark,” she stated softly and gently. “We were there together.”
Mack was surprised. “At the cross? Now wait. I thought you left him – you know – ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’” It was a Scripture that had often haunted Mack in The Great Sadness.
“You misunderstand the mystery there. Regardless of what he felt at that moment, I never left him.”
“How can you say that? You abandoned him just like you abandoned me!”
“Mackenzie, I never left him, and I have never left you.”
“That makes no sense to me,” he snapped.
“I know it doesn’t, at least not yet. Will you at least consider this: when all you can see is your pain, perhaps then you lose sight of me?”
― William P. Young, The Shack
[Bold added by me (Martin) for emphasis!]

I can certainly relate to this part of the book! How many times I have thought (bitterly) that God must have abandoned me, during the most painful times in my life. Personal, intense pain does indeed blind us. But when I think about it, I can see that God never has left me, there is great comfort in knowing that.