Last week I received a phone call from my mother (which isn't out of the ordinary, as we talk often through the week). Usually there isn't any purpose in calling one another, other than the usual "Hello, what's going on there? Anything new with you?" type of stuff. But this phone call was a little different. As soon as I answered, I heard my mother on the other line saying "Hi, I'm calling because I just finished reading a book and I want you to read it."
Now my mother is an avid reader. She has been a teacher for over 13 years, and has had a love for literature as long as I can remember. She was always buying me books and reading to me aloud when I was younger. She's even the reading specialist in the school district where she teaches. She's often asked by the school board to present work shops to other teachers on how to teach literature. My mother is amazing at what she does, and so when she tells me there's a book she wants me to read, I tend to listen :)
She warned me that this wasn't just any "normal" book, and probably one I would never pick up and read on my own. She also warned me that when I started reading it, I would probably find myself thinking "Really? My mother wanted me to read this?" But she assured me that I just needed to stick with it, and in the end I would be glad I read it. She told me in that stern, mother knows best voice "You're going to start reading it and wonder why I wanted you to read it, but you just have to finish it. Promise me Michelle, you'll read this book. I even told Grandma she needs to read it."
Woah? Grandma too? Okay, she must REALLY like this book. My grandmother reads a lot too, but her taste in books differs completely from my mothers. But obviously my mom saw something special in this story. Special enough that she wanted to share it with her mother and daughter.
"Okay Mom, I'll read it. What's it about?"
"I'm not going to tell you what it's about, you'll just have to see."
"Yeah but surely the back cover of the book gives you somewhat of an idea, which I'll end up reading anyway, so at least tell me a little bit..."
"It's just a wonderful story, Michelle. And it's not one that you will expect. All I'm going to tell you is that it involves a man, and something horrible happens to him. And this horrible thing that happens takes place at a shack. One day he gets a letter in his mailbox from Papa telling him to meet him at the shack."
"Papa? As in his dad?"
"Papa, as in God."
"Uh, God? He gets a note from God signed Papa?"
"He and his wife use the term Papa for God, and yes, he gets a note in his mailbox from 'Papa' telling him to meet him up at the shack. And that's all I'm going to tell you. Go get the book and read it. I would give you my copy but I've already given it to one of the ladies I work with."
"Mom, are you serious?"
"Just read it, Michelle."
"Okay, I'll read it!"
And so, I read it. And now I understand exactly where my mother was coming from. And now, just as my mother told me, I'm telling you to read it.
I know, I know, what you're thinking because I was thinking the same thing. I'm not affiliated with any specific religion. I don't go to church on Sundays, and I'm not the type of person to pick up a book about God. But- I am a spiritual person, and I do believe in God, and because I trust my mother more than anyone, I read this book. Even if you don't believe, read this book.
I'm not going to tell you what it's about other than what you've read in this post. After reading this book, I appreciated even more that my mother only told me the little amount that she did.
And so for today, I leave you with this... read The Shack. You can learn about it here: http://theshackbook.com/