NameName of InstructorCourse CodeDateTitleThe Shack: Journal #1              “We keep our secrets mostlybecause we are terrified, of losing control, of losing the little bits andscraps of acceptance and approval that we have managed to scrape togetherthrough production and performance.” — William Paul Young. Everyone has secrets to keep. It could be the chocolate baryou pinched from your little brother all the way to the government’sconspiracies. However, the secrets we tend to keep are the ones that isolate usfrom society.

The more dark, embarrassing, or hurtful secrets we keep, the morewe are isolated from society. Telling “dark” secrets to a friend or familymember will bring relief, healing, or reconciliation, but we don’t seem to puttrust in giving them away. Over the course of holding a big secret, we try torid “the great sadness” while trying to minimize any mental breakdowns,especially in front of others.

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For example, we would relax, “shake it off,”distract ourselves, etc. If we can’t rid a dark secret REASONABLY after awhile, we may resort to substance abuse and suicide. Not telling an importantsecret can backfire eventually and more severely.              Mack does not tell Nan about theletter he received from Papa in chapter 5 because he thought Nan would not lethim go to the shack in the first place. This leads to Nan getting quite mad atWillie offering Mack the jeep, which eventually leads to Mack revealing theeverything about the letter and the shack. It’s like Nan having her husband ina coma because he didn’t reveal something abo ut himself. In chapter 2 (whichhappened AFTER the shack), Mack did not tell Nan about the letter he receivedfrom Papa. This reveals that people are tempted to keep secrets, as they do notwant to see what would happen if they leaked a secret.

Mack’s secret backfiredwhen Nan blamed Willie, however luckily, Mack managed to keep Nan’s cool. The Shack: Journal 2              Losing a child is a very rare life event tooccur. Most parents won’t ever think of their child dying unexpectedly—whatcould possibly go wrong? In the Shack, Missy’sdeath was an unexpected event—it would be considered situationally ironic ifhints of Missy’s death were never revealed to us prior to chapter 3—why mayhave left Mack with a syndrome known as TheGreat Sadness.              Mack went full-insane after Missy’s death.

In themovie, Mack is seen crying upon discovering Missy’s bloody dress—which revealsthat Mack’s “life” has broken—more like Mack has PTSD. “The Great Sadness had drapeditself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangibly heavyquilt.” (27) This simile shows that Mack’s sadness has hindered him, howhard it is to get rid of the sadness, and how it ruined his life. Mack’srelationship to God has been ruined, and one of his daughters was never thesame since the tragic event. Mack attempted to kill himself once in betweenMissy’s death and the arrival at the shack. It reflects of how one tragic eventcan impact one’s life (with possible exceptions that have a 1/600 chance ofoccurring).              Large tragic events like 9/11 or the Orlando Shootingcaused lots of deaths.

Family members of those who died would experience thesame amount of sadness that Mack had, and news about events like these would bewidespread around the internet for weeks. I do mourn these events, but as I didnot witness it nor watch any videos live of tragic events occurring, I won’tdescend into the great sadness unlike how Mack did. I kind of blame thegovernment for not monitoring gun laws/security.The Shack: Journal 3              Mack felt despaired and angry— hefelt that God is to blame for “murdering” his youngest daughter. Before Mack’squestions were answered by the Holy Trinity, Mack was insane— he questioned Godabout his ignorance to peace, the reason why he won’t prevent tragic eventsfrom happening, and an explanation to God’s “cruel” actions in the oldtestament. Mack was unable to believe that God loved and trusted him. Mack wasangry with Papa.

In the near-end of chapter 8, Sarayu, Papa, andJesus helped calm Mack down by answering questions that everyone has in themind. Throughout my lifetime, I always questioned God about him not stoppingglobal warming, not preventing 9/11, and not preventing WWII. Mack questionsPapa by saying “How can you say that with all the pain in this world, all thewars and disasters that destroy thousands? And what is the value of a littlegirl being murdered by some twisted deviant?” (59) This question was the onethat burnt Mack’s soul. The use of negative connotative diction makes God looklike an irresponsible slacker. Sarayu did manage to respond to this without anyfrustration.

She said:Brokenhumans center their lives around things that seem good to them, but that willneither fill them nor free them. They have addicted to power or the illusion ofsecurity that power offers. When a disaster happens, those same people willturn against the false powers they trusted. In their disappointment, theyeither become softened toward me or they become bolder in their independence.If you could only see how all of this ends and what we will achieve without theviolation of one human will—then you would understand. One day you will. (59-60)Mackstill slightly struggles to understand this concept, but it did further providea sense of relief to him.

Redeemingmeans to prevent a situation from getting worse. For example, if someone stoleyour chocolate bar, it’s better to forgive the person rather than attempting toassault the person. If one overreacts to somebody touching their personalproperty by accident, the result of overreaction can be more lethal as comparedto the person letting go and reconciling.

In Mack’s situation, Papa and Sarayuprovided a reasonable explanation for Mack’s question, preventing himself fromgoing insane afterwards—God was able to save Mack from sin, depression, andnegative thoughts.The Shack: Journal 4 (Quote 2)              Supposeyour friend goes on your computer without asking and watches a YouTube video.That would be an ok-situation if you didn’t have any sensitive data on yourcomputer. Now imagine your friend going on your computer, watches YouTube,clicks on some ad, and accidentally downloads a virus, forcefully deleting yourprocessed essay you spent months on without a backup. Frustrating? Definitely.That’s like $200 of hard work down the drain, and now you have to stay up until4 in the morning attempting to re-write the essay of your memory.

What would bethe common first-time reaction to this? Reactions include mental distress,suicide attempts, assault, mugging, attempted murder, etc., and by the way, youdon’t even know what forgiving is.Mack, of course,didn’t tolerate whoever murdered her daughter. He has no thoughts of forgivingthis serial killer, and his life is ruined. Mack has attempted to kill himselfonce between Missy’s abduction and the arrival at the Shack. At the start of chapter16, Mack still could not forgive the Ladykiller for taking her daughter’slife—despite being asked to.

This may have caused Mack to constantly whine likea 9-year-old throughout the book. Mack did want to forgive the Ladykiller(effective chapter 16) but felt that getting revenge is the priority. Mack usesnegative connotative diction by literally swearing at the Ladykiller in order toemphasizing Mack’s hate on the Ladykiller.

It shows how much he wants him orher ARRESTED and banished to hell.Forgiveness is theact of letting go of something. If one doesn’t forgive, he/she will have areally bad time trying to cope with being hurt. Often, it will result intantrums, distress, or even heavy thoughts of attacking whoever sinned athim/her. If the sinner asks for forgiveness and you forgive, the problem ismost likely over and you feel revived that the problem is over. It’s “lettinggo of another person’s throat,” (226) which means dropping the will to getrevenge.

And forgiveness is possible even if you can’t talk with the person whosinned at you.TheShack: Journal 5              “God is a verb, anaction we bring to the world to make love, justice, mercy, joy and goodnessknown.” Christians tend to worship God all the time, and treat him as someonewho created everything.

They think him as a real entity. People have worshippedGod for a long time, especially in the 20th century, but after 9/11(much bigger version of Missy’s disappearance), it may be more difficult toworship or thank an all-powerful God who let this tragic event happen. As timepasses, religion will become more irrelevant, and more people will think thatGod is not a real entity or someone that takes prayers, instead they feel thatGod is a “waste of time.”              Papa and Sarayu aretrying to say that the universe needs verbs to exist. If a universe only hadnouns, it would be a dead universe. The concept for God meaning a verb makeshim not a real entity you can talk to, but instead, when God is a verb, so isworshiping, confessing, repenting, living, loving, reaping, changing, sowing, praying,etc.

With these verbs, the universe is able to live. The word “respond” and”responsibility” are similar to each other, but “respond” is a verb and”responsibility” is a noun. Sarayu said to Mack: “I give you an ability torespond and your response is to be free to love and serve in every situation,and therefore each moment is different and unique and wonderful. Because I amyour ability to respond, I have to be present in you.” When Sarayu startstalking about responsibility, the word itself turns gloomy. “If I simply gaveyou a responsibility, I would not have to be with you at all. It would now be atask to perform, an obligation to be met, something to fail.

“—Sarayu. Thismeans that verbs make the world more liveable.              God is not a he, a she,an entity who lives, instead, he is a force. God gives the strength for us moveforward.

He encourages people to do actions in order for people’s happiness andgrowth instead of doing nothing. Because there are many atheists in the world, itwould seem irrational for people to claim “there is a God, he flooded the worldand responds to prayers.” Instead, people can claim that God gives us the powerto be alive and do actions, not affect the morality of the world. Instead of waitingfor God to do something, YOU do something. You can’t ask God to finish homeworkfor you, you have to do it.

Instead, ask God to give you the power to do homework,and it would make much more sense. This makes the concept of God being a verb clearerto those who feel praying is ridiculous, and therefore I do agree with this concept.                       Works CitedYoung, William P., etal.

The shack: a novel. WindblownMedia, 2017.Cohen, Madeline.”The Shack Metaphors and Similes”.

GradeSaver, 10 May 2017 Web. 3 January 2018.