On Tuesday night, I finally got around to seeing “The Shack.” Check out the trailer above.
I read the book, which the movie is based on, when I was in college and I am a huge advocate for the book. I really love allegories on Christianity. So when I went to see the movie, I was hoping that it would tell the story I knew and love. It did. The movie matched the book.
For those of you who don’t know the story and want to avoid some kind of spoilers (well not really) then I suggest you stop reading now.
Are you ready?
One of the main themes of this movie is that God is a black woman. Even the main character Mack acknowledged that the image of God was a man with a white beard. “That’s Santa,” God responds jokingly. But that is one thing that really stands out because God has always been portrayed as a man. But for Mack, God was a black woman. The woman is actually the body and spirit of one of Mack’s neighbors who cared for him when he was a kid. I found this to be so profound because it is exactly who God is. God takes on many forms and communicates to us through many ways or people. Sometimes God knows that the best way to communicate to us is through something we are comfortable with.
Later in the movie God takes on a form of a Native American man. This was to help Mack get through his relationship with a father and also as an homage to the waterfall tale he told his daughter earlier in the movie. God takes on different forms to communicate with us. But the spirit of God remains the same. I like that about this book.
Some people may not like the idea of God being a black woman or God taking on all shapes and forms. But I believe that if this is a way God wants to go to help connect to us, then I am cool with it. It is not like what God said or did in the movie was not God-like. They were all accurate to what we already know of God. This was nicely done.
The other thing that I liked was it was just not God at the shack. God was joined by Jesus and the Holy Spirit — also taking in forms of people. (Also, I like to note that the Trinity here were of minorities — black woman, and Israeli man and a Japanese woman. Colored people yay!) In Christianity, we know that all three are necessary for each other and that each of them were all different. But they were in harmony and unison. Each of them offered something to Mack which allowed him to heal.
God was the caring parent for Mack. Jesus was the guy friend he could relate to. The Holy Spirit was the comforting voice he needed.
It’s tough sometimes in church to really get a proper explanation of the Trinity, let alone the characteristics of each. I like how this was told and I feel that for someone who grew up in the church, it’s still a refreshing way to tell of the Trinity. Given how we focus so much on God or Jesus mostly, I like that all three had equal parts in the film. Also, the wisdom part was very intriguing but I think that also was told well.
This book/movie isn’t for everyone. I think the book told the story better because it allowed my imagination to take over. I think that some may not like how God is portrayed like this. Some people don’t like to hear about any interpretation of the Trinity in any form other than what we read in the Bible. It’s just not right, they’d say.
But I believe God takes on many forms and uses many different mediums to reach us. After all, God came in a form of a human to reach us. Why wouldn’t God use a book/movie to do that too?
I love the book. The movie is good. Regardless of whether or not you like the movie or not, the truth of God remained in this story and I like how it was told.