Friday, May 1, 2009

Removing the Great Sadness

Disclaimer: Please have mercy and forgive me if I make an error on something for I have neither educational background nor the knowledge to enlighten you about some of the main themes of this book. I know there is much controversy surrounding this book. If I say something in error, remember that I am no expert and for this reason there are some parts in the book that are important that I will not touch on. Thank you.

As we finish the book and wrap this up, these last few chapters seem to be made up of long deep conversations between Mack & our characters. Mack states in the book that alot of these things he is learning from them are hard to wrap his mind around. And I feel the same way. Much of what they are saying I'm just not following that well or I can't get my mind around it. As I have stated before I will not go into the deep discussions; so here’s a little, well maybe long overview.

In Chapter 12 Mack begins to feel the “Great Sadness” lift off his shoulders. He has a long discussion with Jesus and the relationship that Jesus wants to have with him. Jesus tells Mack that just because the world is filled with institutions it doesn’t mean that they are right. Man made institutions and people do many things in the name of Jesus that aren’t what he is about at all. In the book Jesus says, “Systems cannot provide you security, only I can.” This conversation in the book I think helps remind us that Jesus wants to have a relationship with us. He wants us to, “let him rescue us when we start to sink.” Let His love in your heart and let Him Love you. In the book Jesus admits to Mack that he knows this is not always easy for us but just a little bit at a time can grow into something amazing. The Jesus in our book also reminds Mack to, “Love others without an agenda,” which is what part of the greatest commandment is all about. We are to love others as we love ourselves because Jesus first loved us.

In Chapter 13 Mack and Papa are now in a long deep conversation. I like where Papa says, “Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes.” God doesn’t need to use force, if He did then when we come to Him it wouldn’t really be love. I also especially like in Mack and Papa’s conversation where she tells him, “My love is a lot bigger than your stupidity.” Can I get an Amen!? I am so happy to know that God is bigger than all the dumb mistakes I can make on a regular basis and that He forgives me. As they continue Mack tries to wrap his mind around everything Papa is saying with difficulty but I think he begins to accept that he doesn’t have to know all the answers right now. We have to have a little mystery with God, we don’t want a God we can fit in a box and manipulate.

In chapter 14 Sarayu is in the boat with Mack and she makes a good point to him, “For you to know or not has nothing at all to do with whether I am actually here or not. I am always with you; sometimes I want you to be aware in a special way – more intentional.” I find this to be very true in our lives today. We may not always realize it but God is always here with us. Sometimes it's a matter of us being quiet and still enough to notice. I have heard that some people believe that God does not intentionally make us aware of him or perform miracles anymore but that it was only back in the Biblical times. I don't agree with this. I believe that God does still make miracles and does intentionally make us aware of him everday. Just because you may not have had an experience doesnt' make it unreal for others.

In chapter 15 Sarayu has touched Mack's eyes so that he may truly "see." We have a very descriptive emotional scene in the forest with Mack that I have learned can give many people comfort who have lost a loved one. I feel happy for Mack and his father as they are able to forgive and let go of heavy hearts. I think that this is a big part of Mack's healing in his relationship with God as well. When we hold on to something in our heart for so long it becomes a part of who we are. We must forgive and let that power that grudge holds over us go; not only for them but for ourselves.

And I'm going to close up this post today with Chapter 16 where something BIG happens for Mack. Papa changes form to a more father figure and shows Mack where Missy is buried. Mack receives closure and he starts the process of forgiving Missy's killer. My heart aches for Mack as I could not imagine experiencing something like this. This chapter is themed around forgiveness. Mack and Papa discuss the old expression, "Forgive and Forget". Forgetting is a big achievement and a little unrealistic sometimes. We are only human and will find it hard to forget something like God forgets things. But when I think of the forgetting part I think it means that we don't bring it to mind every time we think of that person or every time we see them. We may still have it buried down in our brain and it takes alot for us to bring it back to memory but we can say I have forgiven them and truly pray for the best for them. I have had hurts before with friends I see on a regular basis. They apologized and I forgave them and didn't hold on to it. I see them often and I never even think about it but it doesn't mean I forgot it. When I see these people it's not coming to mind, instead I always am filled with joy and love for them and only want the best for them. I still remember the issue every now and then but I'm no longer hurt or effecting our friendship with it. I hope you have enjoyed reading and I will wrap up the book in the next post so we can move on to May's selection.

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