Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Boston Reflection

In light of everything that happened yesterday I was reminded of an amazing conversation between Papa (God) and Mackenzie towards the end of “The Shack”. I’ll make no commentary but just let it stand on it’s own.

“But if I understand what you’re saying, the consequences of our selfishness are part of the process that brings us to the end of our delusions and helps us find you. Is that why you don’t stop every evil? …” The accusing tone was no longer in Mack’s voice. 

“If only it were that simple, Mackenzie. Nobody knows what horrors I have saved the world from ’cause people can’t see what never happened. All evil flows from independence and independence is your choice. If I were simply to revoke all the choices of independence  the world as you know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning. This world is not a playground where I keep all my children free from evil. Evil is the chaos of this age that you brought to me, but it will not have final say. Now it touches everyone I love, those who follow me and those who don’t. If I take away the consequences of people’s choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all.” 

“Also,” she interrupted  “don’t forget that in the midst of all your pain and heartache, you are surrounded by beauty, the wonder of creation, art, your music and culture, the sounds of laughter and love, of whispered hopes and celebrations, of new life and transformation, of reconciliation and forgiveness. These are also the result of your choices, and every choice matters, even the hidden ones. So whose choices should we countermand, Mackenzie? Perhaps I should never have created? Perhaps Adam should have been stopped before he chose independence  What about your choice to have another daughter, or your father’s choice to beat his son? You demand your independence but then complain that I actually love you enough to give it to you.” 

“Mackenzie, my purposes are not for my comfort, or yours. My purposes are always and only an expression of love. I purpose to work life out of death  to bring freedom out of brokenness and turn darkness to light. What you see as chaos, I see as fractal. All things must unfold, even though it puts all those I love in the midst of a world of horrible tragedies–even the one closest to me.” 

“You’re talking about Jesus aren’t you? Mack asked softly.

“Yup, I love that boy.” Papa looked away and shook her head. “Everything’s about him, you know. One day you folk will understand what he gave up. There are just no words.” 

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