#3. “The Shack”
First of all let me just say kudos to whoever cast Octavia Spencer as God. Brilliant move……brilliant move. As a young Ghanaian woman who is a third generation baker, to see God portrayed as a black woman who loves to bake and dance in the kitchen with the Holy Spirit is something I treasure.
Hang on, let me correct myself – God is a Black woman who loves to bake and loves to be called Papa.
Wow, what a movie. A movie I watched back to back on the first day I got it from my friend Elorm. A movie that made me laugh, then made me cry, then made me think deeply about my faith.
In case you haven’t watched it, I won’t give too much away. But the lessons I learnt from it are:
- God can do beautiful things with the most heartbreaking of circumstances.
- God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are perfectly in tune with each other and want nothing more than fellowship with us. They rule over everything but they want us have a relationship with them. None of them is interested in slaves.
- Plus, none of them is interested in all the fuss we make over our religions and religious doctrines. As Jesus put it : “All I want is for people to know Papa.”
- In this movie, Jesus Christ is portrayed as a young man with Middle Eastern features. This is perhaps the first time I’ve watched a movie were Jesus Christ wasn’t a tanned Caucasian man. It was refreshing to see him portrayed with better historical accuracy.
- Jesus has a sense of humour
- The Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life is portrayed by a young woman who is as graceful of speech and movement as the wind.
- Forgiveness is never about forgetting what the other person did to you; it’s about taking your foot off his neck so you can place it somewhere that gives you peace. And, you will never ever forgive someone completely the first time around; it is a gradual, consistent process.
- And lastly, when life throws lemons at you and you are angry with God, tell Him. He can handle it and He won’t love you any less when you share your hurt and fury with Him. After all, just like with our human parents, when the mess of the argument is out of the way, we can sit and talk it through. And we don’t stop loving each other through the pain.
One of my favourite quotes from the movie is what Papa says to Mack when he asks Her where She was when his father was abusing him and his mother: “When all you see is your pain, you lose sight of Me.”
I’ve tried applying that to my life and it’s true. When rocks are hurled at you, all I can see are the rock hurlers, and not Jesus who sits beside me and whispers “Don’t worry, this too shall pass. I am with you, this too shall pass.”
Because it does pass, it does. As a Christian in the 21st century, the temptation to believe that this world owes me nothing but goodness is one I fall prey to constantly. Not to mention the fact that I want my miracle riiiiiight now.
But that’s not how life works and that’s not how God works. He does it in His own good time; and His time could be a day, a year or a lifetime. But He gets it done. He is not a man that He should lie. Mine is to trust and not be afraid and His is to fulfill His promise.
I found God in a movie where He is portrayed as a Black woman who loves baking and likes to be called Papa. Where did you find God today?