Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Shack Reactions

Hundreds of small groups and chruches from all denominatins and walks of life are discussing The Shack. I have personally sent out nearly a hundred of my own study guides to bridge the gap for when the offical guide comes out next year. Comments and opinions are as diverse as the groups that are reading The Shack and it is my personal observation that much spiritual growth is coming from it. People are being set free to Love God and live loved.

My cousin in Kansas just happened to run across my comments in the News Week article on The Shack last month. It surprised him that I would be so “progressive”. In his terms, that would be a good thing, I think. Had he known my dad better he might not have been so surprised. Dad (Waldemar Walter) was raised in a strict German immigrant family in Los Angeles. True to the times, they had a rule for everything and Dad did a really good job at keeping the rules. So good, that I can tell you today exactly what he did the couple of times he did not keep the rules of the day. I am conflicted as I write. I want to tell you of the ONE time he did break a rule when we were together…but with 50 years of silence and loyalty I think I will leave it in the locked archives of my childhood memories. Dad an I can have one secret. For the overly curious, it was a minor fishing law violation that may not even have been a violation at all. Like I said, Dad kept the rules but he never had the rule keepers attitude… you know the one where the saints the fruit of the spirit is lemons! I think my dad would really have liked The Shack. For the upcoming Shack movie he would have casted Ma Phelps as Papa. She was everything you would imagine Papa to be except her cabin was a one room shanty with strung blanket walls. Once when I was going through a difficult emotional time Dad took me to her shanty for a personal revival. She sat me down in an old wooden chair, stood behind me, laid her hands on my head and prayed and prayed and prayed. I don’t know what she did or said but whatever was troubling my spirit melted under the warmth of her hands and prayers. For his time, Dad was on the cutting edge of Christianity. He ministered in Youth For Christ and was willing to do whatever it took, personal feelings aside, to bring teens to Christ. He had little physically to give, but gave all he had and more for the opportunity to minister. There was a popular Christian Rock band in the mid 60’s. He HATED rock but paid for the band to come and share on the local high school campus assembly and a special concert that night. He refused to listen spending the night in the parking lot. He preferred the pipe organ but loved to tell teens about Jesus any way they would listen! It really bugged him that so many lemon saints (as in loving the fruit but enjoying the sour expression) would, as he would say, “sit, soak and sour” to the point that they were “so heavenly minded, they were no earthly good”. He understood the difference between culture, times and the heart of the Gospel. His mantra was “never change the message, just the method” when it came to presenting the gospel. I guess Dad was progressive too, and that's a good thing for sure. I guess Dad was more of a pineapple Christian. He appeared to be prickly on the outside, but was pure sweet goodness on the inside.


Aimee said...

Amen and Amen!

Doni Brinkman said...

I remember Grandpa saying that. This post makes me miss him.

heidi jo said...

and it makes me wish i could have known him better. oh to go back to that dinner again doni? what i might ask in light of what i'm learning of him now. ok, so i'm adding him to the list of people i want to share neighborhoods with in heaven. :) well, that is a given, if i want doni there, i want the whole entire family. :) it's nice to get to know him through your eyes papa z.