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A movie that asks hard questions and then answers them with the thing that matters most

I felt tears threatening to well up, followed by them actually welling up, which was admittedly a bit awkward since I was with coworkers.

Normally I'm not a crier, but I couldn't help it. When I watched The Shack movie, I immediately connected with the characters. More specifically, I related to the very real, very challenging questions about faith, about God, and about life's hard things that the characters in the movie wrestle with.

I related because I've had those questions. I've watched people I love go through unimaginable loss. I've witnessed the evils of cancer. I've seen people buckle under financial hardship. And I've experienced my own series of heartbreaking events. Events that caused me to ask difficult questions like:

God, do you really care?

Will you be there when I need you? When people I love need you?

Can I trust you? Really? Because sometimes it feels like I can't...

These questions are the narrative of The Shack. And just like in real life, the answers are...complicated. But also just like in real life, hope is found in relationships.

Mackenzie, a heartbroken dad, meets the Trinity in human form. And through their very human interactions, he is changed. This  transformation, just like his challenging questions, is also familiar to me. Because as I relate to Jesus, to the Father, to the Spirit, I am changed, too. The more time I spend in their presence, the more real they become--as if we were sitting at dinner or watching the sunset together like the movie shows.

Of course the movie is an allegory--a story that seeks to picture what we can only imagine, which is what it would look like to meet God face-to-face and ask him our questions. Even though our reality is harder to grasp than a conversation with God over everyday chores, the movie reminded me yet again that it's the relationship that matters. Our questions and doubts are real, and they're hard, and they aren't always answered in a tidy, timely way. But love heals us. Always. I don't need a movie to prove that to me, but it was nice to see it happen on the big screen regardless.

I encourage you to see what I mean for yourself. Watch the movie (releasing March 3), ask the hard questions, and envision what a deeper, even more real relationship with God could look like for you.

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