By Cameron Gaub, Columnist
One of my favorite Christian movies of all time is The Shack. If you have not seen the movie or read the book, I suggest you get on it. But, in the meantime, here’s a quick synopsis. After a tragic accident, McKenzie is burdened with “the great sadness”; something that weighs upon him every day. One day he gets a letter, supposedly from God, asking him if would return to the place where “the great sadness” began. What happens next transforms McKenzie changing his life and his perception of God forever. The movie is not 100% theologically correct, but that’s ok,because this movie is not about facts. It’s about faith.
I cried from the very beginning to the very end, and I’m actually not ashamed to admit that. One of the things that caught me off guard about the movie was that God was portrayed as a woman. Now I didn’t think this was normal, but after doing some research (thank you Kelsey), it turns out that God has no gender. God is a spirit. But God is represented as a man most of the time because centuries ago, people would not believe God to be a woman, because women were seen as inferior. In fact, seeing God as a tender loving mom was exactly what I needed to see. The movie does a perfect job of explaining the Trinity, and each individual part of it. But at the movie’s core is a very real message, a message that most of us find hard to come to terms with. In the end, it’s a message of forgiveness. For many of us, forgiveness is difficult. But it seems that forgiveness can be hard to do in our lives. We are human, we make mistakes. Sometimes others’ mistakes cut you deep; deep enough to where you don’t want a relationship anymore. Deep enough to where you want the other person to suffer for what they did to you. What if we, rather than choosing anger or rage, went to a place of humanity; a place where you can realize that this person is human, and humans fail – sometimes horribly. Forgiveness is truly the best option. By doing so, not only are you helping yourself, you are transforming others lives. When others see your selflessness towards those who have hurt you, their hearts change. Christ didn’t gain followers just by preaching the good news; but also by forgiveness. When others saw how He forgave those who wronged Him, they realized God was a loving and merciful God, and not a god of fire and wrath. As we begin the new year, try to forgive more. It can be hard, almost impossible at times, but it will only allow you to grow in relationship with Christ and others.
I hope this year is filled with prosperity and growth. I will be praying for you that you may grow in forgiving others and yourself. I ask that you pray for me too. Together we can give forgiveness a whole new meaning, a meaning that not only brings kindness to the world but a meaning that also shows Christ’s love and cares for us.