I've had this book sitting on my shelf for years. I've always wanted to read it but life just kept getting in the way. I'm grateful it was made into a movie that I watched this weekend.
As a woman who channels spirit, it really resonated with me. The themes of judgement and punishment expecially hit home. Now, if you haven't seen the movie and want to, let me stop you right here. SPOILER ALERT: I will touch on a few things that could ruin the movie/book for you.
As I mentioned in my story, I predominantly channel children in spirit. As I watched the father struggle with the unbearable pain of losing his daughter who was abducted and murdered by a mysterious man, I was overcome with empathy for the father character, as I am when I speak with parents of children who have passed on. To carry the pain of losing a child and still find joy in life is a remarkable feat. The father, who was not finding joy in the beginning of the movie, was not only dealing with the loss of his daughter, he was grappling with his own past. He endured a physically and emotionally abusive father and struggled with choices he made to help free himself and his mother from his abusive father's attacks. He carried the pain of his childhood, as one would, and it became the foundation for his judgmental outlook on life.
In the story, it took a near death experience and encounter with God (in a number of forms) for him to realize that he had to find a way to let go of the pain that was consuming him. To understand his father was also abused as a child, and likely his father before him. It was a cycle of abuse spanning decades and it shaped how he judged others and their actions. Not necessarily seeing his father as a small child who was also abused. I have found in my work that we are being guided to release the pain we accumulate and carry and in the process, live more from our hearts than our heads. I can attest to this having gone through letting go of the anger I had towards my relative who raped me when I was a child. I now see that he was abused, and his father before him, and so on and so on. Living in a state of pain and judgement is literally robbing yourself of your own joy. Don't get me wrong, it's a hard process with many ups and downs but one that is oh-so-worth-it in the end.
In the movie, the father questions if his daughter's abduction and murder were in essence "karma" for what he did to hurt and kill his father as a child. The movie does a great job of explaining that life doesn't work that way, a message I've received over and over again as a medium. With that said, there is no promise of a life without pain. We are, afterall, literally learning to love and grow here in Earth School, so pain is a natural part of our evolution. The point God makes in the movie is that she cannot stop things like that from happening because they aren't of God or of the light. They are born from evil and darkness and not one of us is immune to evil energy. I believe this to be true, as well.
In my work as a medium, I have encountered energies that are so dark I was literally quaking in my boots. Energies that attach themselves to people who are open to letting them in. This doesn't mean the people who are letting them in are BAD people. They could be so severely wounded from trauma in life that they don't realize they are literally hosting these energies.
We live in a dual reality--good and evil, light and dark. It's just they way it is. And we all have a dark side which is part of being human. It takes great courage and a lot of faith in the energy of love to forgive and understand those who are operating primarily from a place of dark and maybe they do not even realize it. For those on the receiving end of the darkness, this is where intuition and faith come in. This is where each one of us has the choice to see the bigger picture. To trust the quiet voice inside. To understand why we are even here in the first place—to learn to love ourselves unconditionally.
I highly recommend the movie and/or the book! I believe we each have our own "Shack" moments in life where we have a choice to move forward operating from a place of love...or not. I hope as we evolve as a society, we continue to choose love more often.