Where is God When There’s No Happy Ending?

The dad with 5 young kids dies in a car crash
You don’t get the much sought after scholarship you prayed so hard for
The publisher tells you that your book proposal doesn’t fit their “voice”
A teenager shows signs of mental illness and doesn’t get over it
An atheist friend asks you to prove that God is real and you can’t

So often stories involving faith and God resolve to a happy conclusion. God intervenes or comes through at the last minute. It’s as if we feel obligated to protect his reputation. We hope he/she doesn’t notice our unbelief and eternally hold it against us.

But what about all the stories that don’t have a happy ending? Not just the dramatic stories but the everyday disappointments we routinely encounter. Where is God then?

Stories From The Shack takes this issue head on. We not only hear how Paul Young navigated abuse, disappointment, failure and rejection, we also hear how his readers did the same.

Sometimes a story is so big it demands a new way of being told.

Sometimes it’s too big for even a movie screen. And once in awhile a story is even bigger than the person who wrote it. That’s what happened with The Shack. The flood of over 100,000 stories coming from readers overwhelmed Paul’s capacity to respond. Lectures and speaking engagements could no longer express the emotions and capture the needs. Something new had to be created in order to catch the wave of response that was breaking in on Paul. That’s where the idea of a live show called Stories From The Shack came from.

Stories From The Shack is an exhilarating attempt to capture the interaction between Paul Young’s story and the thousands of stories that it triggered in people all over the world like this one…

“I am 28 years, i from brazil e don t speack engliss…sory, bus i want thankou very much for yours history…i m, gay ,aids, and today undersdod the love the jesus for me… i live your experience with you .God tuch me…i dont know speak more… kiss in your heart mac – thanks – thanks”

and this one…

“I’m 14 years old. My mom asked me to read this book because I had been getting into things that were bad for my health (mentally and physically). I would like to thank you for writing this book. For me, it changed my life. you probably get a lot of e-mails like this, but I would still like to thank
you. I have Clinical depression, and Like Mackenzie, i felt there was nowhere left to go. Your book was the spotlight shining onto the path the led the way to God. I don’t see him the way i did before. i saw him as an old man, wisdom in his eyes, and assertiveness in his voice. now i see him as a friend. always by my side.”

The emotions expressed in stories just like these are told using expressive dance, awesome music, aerial artists, humor and interactive conversations with the author and his guests. Stories From The Shack places the author inside a representation of the story and then follows him as he interacts with people who’ve also been moved by the story.

Stories From The Shack ultimately answers the most difficult question. Where is God when there’s no happy ending? If you’ve suffered a painful loss or know someone who has bring them to Stories From The Shack. If forgiveness for someone who’s wronged you eludes you, come to Stories From The Shack. If you’re tired of feeling alone and wonder if you’re the only one who asks this difficult question come to Stories From The Shack. May 8th at WAMU Theater in Seattle from 7-9 PM. Bring mom, its Mothers day.

100,000 stories… one is true the rest are real

Get Tickets here

12 thoughts on “Where is God When There’s No Happy Ending?

  1. Jim – I am deeply moved by what you have shared. I can hear your voice and your heart in this.

    The snippet from the fourteen year old boy, suffering with depression broke my heart and redeemed it knowing that God spoke to him through the book. Beautiful. It takes me to a place “Beyond The Shack.”

  2. Jim

    The book I initially made so much fun of has proved me so wrong. Paul was used by God in a powerful and supernatural way to help give all a picture of the power of God’s love and how that love ultimately wins. Like Paul’s unexpected 20-million plus readers, I hope your collaboration on Stories From The Shack reaches 100-million plus people who desperately need to know God loves them, who they are, where they are and how they are.


  3. Jim,

    I agree, this is your best post because you are here.

    May God wash over the entire audience, because after all, it is a story that can’t be stopped. Theathre is an amazing vehicle.

    Blessings on our hurting lives,
    Linda K.

  4. Mr. Henderson,

    I loved The Shack! But then I found out that it wasn’t a true story and for some reason that REALLY disappointed me. I thought that Wm. Paul Young was completely full of it. He wrote this story to make money and be famous. I was mad. Mostly because I wanted God to be exactly like the one in The Shack and now it couldn’t be true because, as far as I was concerned, Mr. Young was a charlatan. About 6 months later, a friend told me that Paul Young was going to be speaking in town and she had bought a ticket for her and a ticket for me 2nd row – non-refundable. Now what was I going to do? So I decided, at the last minute, that I would go so my friend wouldn’t be mad. After all, once I was sure it was a scam, I could leave, right? I didn’t leave. Mr. Young spoke about his abusive history. A history that was eerily similar to mine. And that’s when my life changed. There was almost an audible click. The next day I Facebooked Paul and we began a conversation that has been going on for over a year.
    I had always distanced myself from God because of my past and if God hadn’t given Mr. Young that book to write I can’t say for sure that I would still be here. That book opened up a dialog that has saved me.

  5. I live in Latvia and we drive by literal shacks on every trip in this rural country. There are so many shacks left from Soviet times I wish I could give the book to all those who live in the literal and emotional ‘shacks.’ Many have religion and some have faith but few, I think, know Papa. Blessings as this ministry impacts the world.

  6. Jim – your up-goming co-production with Paul Young continues to generate excitement in my soul. So many people are unsure of the God-Jesus-salvation scenario and what it means for them. I think the answer will come through conversation and I see “Stories From The Shack” as a conversation we can eavesdrop on as well as a conversation starter. For those who aren’t ready to open the door to God-talk, I think The Shack makes for an easier entry point. The primary subject to explore, I think, is hope. The world has a become a pretty hopeless place for so many. If we have a story to tell it’s why we have hope in the presence of hopelessness. Our invitation to those without hope can be to dare to have hope and our gift can be to have hope for them until they can find hope for themselves. -e.

  7. Pingback: The Shack author to speak at Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows « Suze Blog

  8. When you come to Latvia be certain to bring books in both Latvian and Russian. Because of various events we may be moving into what looks like one of the Latvian shacks. Please pray for us at our ages of 72 and 79.

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