The Shack and Taking Chance

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to offer a retreat to teachers with several other gifted healers, in a new healing center envisioned by one of my friends. I taught a yoga class and then offered Reiki sessions continually in 20 minute segments, for a couple of hours. It was a wonderful experience, and I found myself going into a deep, meditative state...

In the afternoon, I lay in bed and finished reading The Shack - a book that had been recommended to me, by a couple of students. It took me a little bit to get into it, but the last third of the book was truly rewarding and moving. As a former theologian, I was very interested in many of the discussions in this book...

The book is about a man whose young daughter is murdered, and his return to the site where it occurred, to meet with God. His encounter leaves him totally transformed.

This book is really about changing one's perception of God, and the importance of experiencing healing and expressing forgiveness on many different levels, and it has become almost a cult book of sorts. Interest in the book has been spread primarily by word of mouth.

I also watched the HBO movie "Taking Chance," last night, about a colonel who volunteers for escort duty for the remains of a young Marine. It is based on a true story and it documents the amazing moments this colonel experiences as he executes his duty with incredible reverence and respect. Along the journey, PFC Chance Phelps, the fallen Marine, manages to deeply touch the lives of many.

I found both this book - and this movie both to be profoundly moving. Each brought out something different in me. Chance Phelps was only 20 when he died in the line of duty in Iraq - born mere months before my own son - thus bringing his story so much closer to home.

I also have a cousin - a single parent - whose only child - a son, now also a Marine - is being deployed to Afghanistan next month. He is 22 - and I could only think of him and his mother as I watched this movie. I can't even begin to entertain what it feels to be her right now - for it is truly unimaginable and unspeakable to me...

I wish to end with a few quotes from the last chapters in the book The Shack:

"You can kiss your family and friends good-bye
and put miles between you,
but at some time you carry them
with you in your heart,
your mind, your stomach,
because you do not just live in a world
but a world lives in you."
- Fredrick Buechner

"An infinite God can give all of Himself
to each of His children.
He does not distribute Himself
that each may have a part,
but to each one He gives all of Himself
as fully as if there were no others."
- A. W. Tozer

"Earth has no sorrow that
Heaven cannot heal."
- Author Unknown

"Faith never knows where it is being led,
But it knows and loves the One who is leading."
- Oswald Chambers

God to Mack, the protagonist in the book:

"Mack, if anything matters
then everything matters.
Because you are important,
everything you do is important.
Every time you forgive,
the universe changes;
every time you reach out
and touch a heart or a life,
the world changes;
with every kindness and service,
seen or unseen,
my purposes are accomplished
and nothing will ever be the same again."

And finally this one, which I've read before:

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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