It is not often or easily that a person admits to you their experience of being sexually abused or of severe dysfunction within their childhood family or of having been involved in an extra-marital affair. Especially not in your first conversation with them.
When this person is rapidly becoming famous as the author of a book that has more than 5 million copies in print, it seems an unbelievable transparency and vulnerability.
But that is exactly why William P Young, or Paul as he prefers, came to write The Shack in the first place.
In the novel, Mackenzie Allen Philip’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack for a weekend.
“The weekend Mackenzie spends in the shack represents 11 years of my life. That 11 year process of reconstruction in the shack of my internal heart ended in 2004 and I was pretty much ready to write this for my kids and it just flowed out.”
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