“The Shack”

These are all quotes from “The Shack”, a book by Wm. Paul Young, which I highly recommend reading.

(For purposes of understanding, Papa is the personification of God, Jesus is… well Jesus, Sarayu is the Holy Sprit, and Sophia is the personification of God’s wisdom)

 

 

“Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship.”

~Papa

 

“Most birds were created to fly.  Being grounded for them is a limitation within their ability to fly, not the other way around. You, on the other hand, were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around. Living unloved is like clipping a bird’s wings and removing its ability to fly.  Not something I want for you. Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly.  And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.”

~Papa

 

“The problem is that many folks try to grasp some sense of who I am by taking the best version of themselves, projecting that to the nth degree, factoring in all the goodness they can perceive, which often isn’t much, and then call that God. And while it may seem like a noble effort, the truth is that it falls pitifully short of who I really am.  I’m not merely the best version of you that you can think of.  I am far more than that, above and beyond all that you can ask or think.”

~Papa

 

“A bird’s not defined by being grounded but by his ability to fly.  Remember this, humans are not defined by their limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image.”

~Papa

 

“Unless I had an object to love—or more accurately, a someone to love—if I did not have such a relationship within myself, then I would not be capable of love at all. You would have a god who could not love. Or maybe worse, you would have a god who, when he chose, could only love as a limitation of his nature.  That kind of god could possibly act without love, and that would be a disaster.  And that is surely not me.”

~Papa

 

“Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and the enforcement of the rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system of order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it.  You rarely see or experience relationship apart from power.  Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you.”

~Jesus

 

“Creation has been taken down a very different path than we desired.  In your world the value of the individual is constantly weighed against the survival of the system, whether political, economic, social, or religion—any system actually.  First one person, and then a few, and finally even many are easily sacrificed for the good and ongoing existence of that system.  In one form or another this lies behind every struggle for power, every prejudice, every war, and every abuse of relationship.  The ‘will to power and independence’ has become so ubiquitous that it is now considered normal. As the crowing glory of Creation, you were made in our image, unencumbered by structure and free to simply ‘be’ in relationship with me and one another.  If you had truly learned to regard each other’s concerns as significant as your own, there would be no need for hierarchy.”

~Sarayu and Jesus

 

“Your choices are not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome.”

~Papa

 

“You try to make sense of the world in which you live based on a very small and incomplete picture of reality.  It is like looking at a parade through the tiny knothole of hurt, pain, self-centeredness, and power, and believing you are on you own and insignificant.  All of these contain powerful lies.  You see pain and death as ultimate evils and God as the ultimate betrayer, or perhaps, at best, as fundamentally untrustworthy.  You dictate the terms and judge my actions and find me guilty.”

~Papa

 

“You cannot produce trust just like you cannot ‘do’ humility.  It either is or is not.  Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved.”

~Sarayu

 

“Humans have a great capacity for declaring something good or evil, without truly knowing.”

~Sarayu

 

“Evil is a word we use to describe the absence of Good, just as we use the word darkness to describe the absence of Light or death to describe the absence of Life.  Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence. I am Light and I am Good. I am Love and there is no darkness in me.  Light and Good actually exist. So, removing yourself from me will plunge you into darkness.  Declaring independence will result in evil because apart from me, you can only draw upon yourself.  That is death because you have separated yourself from me: Life…This could mean that in once instance, the good may be the presence of cancer or the loss of income—or even a life.”

~Sarayu

 

“A child is protected because she is loved, not because she has a right to be protected. Rights are where survivors go, so that they won’t have to work out relationships.”

~Sarayu

 

“My life was not meant to be an example to copy.  Being my follower is not trying to ‘be like Jesus’, it means for your independence to be killed.  I came to give you life, real life, my life.  We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do.  But we will never force that union on you.  If you want to do your thing, have it.  Time is on our side.”

~Jesus

 

“It is not love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it.  Love is just the skin of knowing.”

~Sophia

 

“He doesn’t stop a lot of things that cause him pain. Your world is severely broken.  You demanded your independence, and now you are angry with the one who loved you enough to give it to you.  Nothing is as it should be, as Papa desires it to be, and as it will be one day.  Right now your world is lost in darkness and chaos, and horrible things happen to those that he is especially fond of… Papa has never needed evil to accomplish his good purposes.  It is you humans who have embraced evil and Papa has responded with goodness.  What happened to Missy was the work of evil and no one in your world is immune from it.”

~Sophia

 

 

“You don’t need to have it all figured out. Just be with me.”

~Jesus

 

“I don’t create institutions; that’s an occupation for those who want to play God. I’m not too big on religion; and not very fond of politics or economics. They are the man-created trinity of terrors that ravages the earth and deceives those I care about.  Put simply, these terrors are tools that many use to prop up their illusions of security and control.  People are afraid of uncertainty, afraid of the future. These institutions, these structures and ideologies, are all a vain effort to create some sense of certainty and security where there isn’t any. It’s all false! Systems cannot provide you security, only I can.”

~Jesus

 

“All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can, and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you.  It’s not your job to change them, or to convince them.  You are free to love without an agenda.”

~Jesus

 

“The world system is what it is.  Institutions, systems, ideologies, and all the vain, futile efforts of humanity that go with them are everywhere, and interaction with all of it is unavoidable.  But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social, or political.  You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems and to move freely between and among them.  Together, you and I can be in it and not of it.”

~Jesus

 

“The people who truly know God are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”

~Jesus

 

“Those who love me come from every system that exists.  They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions.  I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous.  Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians.  I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved.”

~Jesus

 

“All roads to do not lead to Me. Most roads don’t lead anywhere.  But I will travel any road to find you.”

~Jesus

 

“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.  That will only lead you to false notions about me.  Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”

~Papa

 

“Faith does not grow in the house of certainty.”

~Papa

 

“All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice.  If I were to simply revoke all the choices of independence, the world as you know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning. This world is not a playground where I keep all my children free from evil.  Evil is the chaos of this age that you brought to me, but it will not have the final say.  Now it touches everyone that I love, those who follow me and those who don’t.  If I take away the consequences of people’s choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all.”

~Papa

 

“You demand your independence, but then complain that I actually love you enough to give it to you.”

~Papa

 

“My purposes are not for my comfort, or yours. My purpose are always and only an expression of love. I purpose to work life out of death, to bring freedom out of brokenness and turn darkness into light.  What you see as chaos, I see as a fractal.  All things must unfold, even though it puts all those I love in the midst of a world of horrible tragedies—even the one closet to me.”

~Papa

 

“It is not the nature of love to force a relationship, but it is the nature of love to open the way.”

~Papa

 

“Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions.”

~Jesus

 

“The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules.  It is a picture of Jesus.  While words may tell you what God is like and even what he may want from you, you cannot do any of it on your own.  Life and living is in him and in no other.”

~Sarayu

 

“Religion is about having the right answers, and some of their answers are right.  But I am about the process that takes you to the living answer and once you get to him, he will change you from the inside.  There are a lot of smart people who are able to say a lot of right things from their brain because they have been told what the right answers are, but they don’t know me at all.  So really, how can their answers be right even if they are right?”

~Sarayu

 

“We wanted you to give up trying to be righteous on your own. It [the law, the commandments] was a mirror to reveal just how filthy your face gets when you live independently. How can you clean your face with the same mirror that shows you how dirty you are? There is no mercy or grace in rules, not even for one mistake. That’s why Jesus fulfilled all of it for you—so that it no longer has jurisdiction over you.  And the Law that once contained impossible demands—actually becomes a promise we fulfill in you.  But keep in mind that if you live your life alone and independently, the promise is empty.  Jesus laid the demand of the law to rest; it no longer had any power to accuse or command.  Jesus is both the promise and its fulfillment. ”

~Sarayu

 

“Rules cannot bring freedom. They only have the power to accuse.”

~Sarayu

 

“Responsibilities and expectations are the basis of guilt and shame and judgment, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis for identity and value.”

~Sarayu

 

“I don’t want to be first on a list of values; I want to be at the center of everything.”

~Jesus

 

“Forgiveness does not establish relationship. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.”

~Papa

 

“If anything matters, then everything matters.”

~Sarayu

 


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