About a week ago I started reading the book “The Shack” by William Young. It’s this novel about a man who becomes extremely sad when his youngest daughter is abducted while they are on a camping trip together, and the police track the perp to a remote shack, where they find the truck and the girl’s dress but not the girl or the kidnapper. Three years later, he is called back to the shack to have a very strange encounter with three very loving and generous people. Over the course of conversing and interacting with them, he learns to understand his pain and accept his loss. I am only halfway through the book, so I don’t know how it ends yet. It’s well written and entertaining, and I am enjoying the break every evening to get absorbed into this man’s adventure at the shack.
Sidenote about The Shack: I greatly dislike the Foreword, which is written from the author’s perspective and tries to convince the reader that the following story is true. I cannot accept this premise, and my impression of the book is negatively tainted because of it. To me, the author has spoiled an otherwise engrossing tale with the intentionally misleading deception of trying to make me believe that the events in the book really happened to someone. That is dangerous false hope and unreal expectations for others. He should have simply left it out. If you ever get the gumption to read this book, I encourage you to skip the Foreword.
Anyway, back to my story: a friend from college has been battling cancer for several years, but passed away this last weekend. She is a mother of 4, and was diagnosed with the illness during her last pregnancy (I think that was 8 years ago now, or maybe more). I haven’t seen her in over a year, at which time she was well enough to make the trip to another mutual friend’s wedding. Before that, it had been several years, probably since before the diagnosis, that I had last seen her and her family. It was a slow decline with ups and downs, but never particularly good and cancer free anywhere in there. She lived her life as well as she could, and fought the disease with all she had. I am sad that I won’t get to see her again. I am sad for her husband, who is a great guy full of life and overflowing with opinions. I am sad for her children, who really only knew their mom while she was sick.
I am not looking for a lesson from her death. It pretty much sucks. It is a strange coincidence, though, that I am reading a book about sadness after loss and the redemption and healing that God can give you. Perhaps the book will help me deal with this.