Musings From A Musical Mind

I just finished reading  the book, “The Shack” – written by Wm. Paul Young.  If you haven’t read it yet – you may not want to read any further – because I am going to talk about much of the content and don’t want to spoil it for you!

The book is a journey of one man’s life.  I love the quote in the beginning of the first chapter,


 “Two roads diverged in the middle of my life,

I heard a wise man say 

 I took the road less traveled by

And that’s made the difference every night and every day”

—Larry Norman (with apologies to Robert Frost)


This man’s journey takes him through a painful encounter and the loss of a child – thus “The Great Sadness”.  It is the theme throughout the book, interwoven – explained and fully explored – I felt  involved in the tragedy and in the telling of his story I was painfully aware of sadness and the feeling of loss in my own heart and life over the years.  I wept with him – I could feel the gut wrenching anguish of his soul.

In this story – the man is taken back to the scene where his daughter is murdered – “The Shack” – where it all happened.  It is there that he encounters God.  God appears to him in a very different way than most of us would have pictured Him.  Mack (the man in the story) sees God as a big black woman at first – and because God can take any form He chooses – He does this to help Mack understand more about the true nature of God.  In Mack’s case a kindly older woman speaks love and acceptance into his life better than a man could and God knew this.  Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also there in human form.  There is a weekend together all four of them as they try to “help” Mack understand why this “Great Sadness” happened to him – and the very nature and purpose of God is revealed to Mack for the first time in his life – as they share together – live life together as good friends, without fear of judgement or rejection – Just pure love.

It is a poignant book – deep and sweet with many beautiful nuggets of God’s character and great love for us.  It will soothe your heart if you have been through a “sadness” of your own and have many “questions” for God.  What I love about that is this:  God does not mind our questions.  He is not too busy to care – He actually “collects our tears” in a bottle – and lovingly disperses them to bring good out of our sadness.  Things are not always as we see them here on earth – God has the “big picture” of our lives – and just because He does not interfere or intervene does not mean that He does not care.  He loves – and forgives.  His very nature is about restoration and resolution – and His timing is not always our timing.  In fact – we see so little – but some day our eyes will be opened and we will be able to see clearly.

When Mack is able to see clearly it puts things into proper perspective for him.  When he is able to let go of his anger and pain and truly forgive the man that murdered his daughter – he becomes free.  And his hand is no longer around the man’s throat – the man has no more hold on him – and cannot control him – has no power over him anymore.

When he is finally able to see that his daughter is whole and healthy and thriving – beyond death – beyond the “Great Sadness” that has so engulfed him – he is truly free.  I love the song that his daughter writes to him – from beyond the grave – as a comfort for her Dad:

“Breathe in me….deep

That I might breathe…and live

And hold me close that I might sleep

Soft held by all you give


Come kiss me wind and take my breath

Till you and I are one

And we will dance among the tombs

Until all death is gone


And no one knows that we exist

Wrapped in each other’s arms

Except the One who blew the breath

That hides me safe from harm


Come kiss me wind and take my breath

Till you and I are one

And we will dance among the tombs

Until all death is gone


What is your “Great Sadness” today?  Have you carried it around inside of you for a week?  A month?  A year?  Several years?  Too long?  Are you tired of carrying it?  Do you carry it alone?  Is it a broken relationship that you can’t seem to get any peace from?  Or any resolution?  Is it a death of a loved one or close friend?  Is it something that happened to you – that no one knows about?  And you can’t tell anybody?

My best friend Laura has a “Great Sadness”.  She lost her husband, Tim – to cancer 17 months ago.  I wrote this at the time of his memorial service:


“Friday I watched as my best friend, Laura said a final goodbye to her husband.  The service was amazing – the police escorts to the graveside – a thing of beauty – the hundreds and hundreds of people coming to pay their respects for an unbelievable human being – priceless – all for my friend Tim.

Tim was a “larger than life” guy who loved people – and it really showed.  Everyone that knew him loved him.  Everyone that knew him was in some way touched by him.  Everyone had their own unique memories – everyone was thinking he was too young to die.  Everyone struggled with the “whys” and had a hard time grasping the separation that seems so empty.

As I looked around at the people and the family that was trying so hard to be brave – I was clearly lost as to the reasons why someone so young would be taken away from their family.  It is difficult to even try to imagine yourself in the same situation – how would I handle it?  What would I be thinking?  What would I do?

I believe that God becomes very real to people that are suffering.  I believe he does not let people feel helpless and alone – He does not promise that life will always be easy or that we will understand it – But He does promise to be with us.  God sees the Big Picture and I know there is an eternal reason for Tim leaving us so soon – a reason that we can’t see – yet.

My amazing friend, Laura – is a true hero to me.  She has been strong and courageous during Tim’s battle with cancer – and though she is not perfect – she has been a true role model of grace and dignity under extreme circumstances – circumstances tough enough to rock even the strongest person’s faith.  I hope that I can be half the women that she is whenever I am faced with great testing and hardship.  She always has cared about people – even when she herself was on the edge – and most people would not have known anything out of the ordinary was happening to her or her family – she was not one to complain or show emotion.  I am proud to know her.  

 I was blessed to know Tim and to call him my friend.

Death is not a final separation.  We have this hope – we will see him again.  What a reunion day that will be!”

My prayer for you today, dear readers – is this:  that you will reach out to God today to find the purpose for your “Great Sadness”.  To hear His voice in the midst of your pain.  That you will know that you are not alone.  That you will come to know that He is working a plan in your life – to make your life richer and fuller and to bring life from death in your own heart today.  It does not mean you will not feel sadness or emotion – that’s how we are made.  To feel  – to experience – to weep.   Sometime tears are healing for our hearts and souls and release something deep down inside of us that mere words cannot.  So go ahead and cry – release it.  God knows all about it and He is waiting for you to talk to Him about it – today.

I am praying for you,


God Bless

Comments on: "“The Great Sadness”…" (5)

  1. Nice answers in return of this matter with real arguments and explaining everything concerning that.

  2. Deep question – and one that only each individual really knows the answer to. Mine is not for the public – most people would say it is a “private” matter between them and God. Mine is this way. It brings tremendous deep meditative times with the Lord – as we meet Him in that place where pain and sadness threaten to “swallow” us – and allow Him to to a work within our heart to heal us.

  3. Great blog Cindy…so I guess the question we could all ask is, what “shack” is papa inviting us to join him at? We all have one…

  4. Mike you are so sweet. Thanks so much for the encouragement it means more than you know, my friend. I’m sorry you are heartbroken – but glad you are “heart lightened” too 🙂

  5. Cindy! This is beautiful. I am heartbroken, but at the same time I’m heart lightened…thank you for this beautiful and inspirational blog. It’s touched me and I don’t know why. Time to pray on it. Love you and your inspired blogs…:)

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