William P Young - The Shack
In the first part of the "Unabridged" series of 7/22 @ http://www.722.org/, William P Young, author of "Shack", appears as a guest to discuss his best-selling book. The interview starts out very casual with kidding and fun exchanges, but it quickly settles as Young gives his background. He was a missionary's kid. He is Canadian, but he was 10 months old when his family moved to New Guinea. They went in among tribal folk, most of whom had never seen a white man. This was the Adoni of about 40,000 people. They were animasts with witch doctors and they were a warring people, but they virtually raised Young. His father was young and carried a lot of baggage, even in his ministry, to the country and Young, who was the oldest kid, filled the gap. He was sent to boarding school and "was raised around the Adoni and...was there when (the Adoni) were discussing whether or not to kill (his) parents." But sexual abuse starting at the age of about 4 was a shock in that culture. At boarding school, a group of boys attacked the younger kids sexually and Young was one of them. This was a big part of the "Shack" of Young's. It was a painful place that was at the heart of the walls Young built around it for 38 years. His fascade around it became performance-oriented. He would perform for acceptance, but it wasn't enough. All that protected his shame and who he truly was was a "thin veneer. A lady later wrote him a letter saying that her sense was that Missy represented something that was murdered in him as a youth and McKenzie represented the healing part of his life. He spent "38 years building around the Shack and 11 years in the Shack". Young, even now, says he was in the 7/22 audience asking "Poppa", "Why me?" All he did was write a story about what happened to him. When he was little and in the horrible situations, he would escape to safety and learn how to read people, especially those with no boundaries. He grew up, still in ministry, but with the disfunctions of his past. One incredible person, Kim, his wife, came as an answer to prayer. She helped him to father and to learn how to live a normal life. After his 6th child had been born, Young turned to his wife's best friend and had an affair with her for 3 months. This was a woman that his wife had turned to for cousel when she was sensing a separation with her husband, so it was a betrayal of the worst kind. January 4, 1994, Kim called and said she knew about it. Everything fell apart and the veneer was stripped away. He could run away, kill himself or face Kim. "I was saved by the wrath of my wife." She hated everything about him, but wouldn't let go. "I had nothing left." Kim stayed with him because she didn't want the kids to not have a father and also because he fell so hard. He shared everything with her for 4 days straight. He went to counseling for 2 years before he felt like he could look anybody in the face because of his shame. His counselor knew that this was literally a life or death deal for him. He got to a point where he was hopeless and felt no worth. He reached bottom. Suicide was at the forefront. His counselor even went to his wife at this point and said that if she hit him one more time, it might well kill him. Young remembers a time when a friend of his asked where he was mentally and Young says that he was just a "piece of shit" that is was going to blow away. But the friend said to him, "there's a seed, Paul". It was there alright and God began to work. God gave him a step of grace day-by-slow-passing-day. Kim's dad, friends and family were all in the middle of the conflict. In September 2004, a Scott Mitchell, was struggling with his son who was a Meth addict. Scott had been talking to his Christian friends and said he was at the point where he would die for his son. Meth addiction is a horrible thing and a woman kept dragging his son back into it. The son, at some point had purchased a 22 pistol for no good reason. The father, son and the woman with the Meth had a fight. Scott sent his son outside saying it was time to leave. The son went back, found the door locked and broke a window when his father wouldn't let him in. But he broke the window with the pistol and the gun went off, killing Scott with a bullet to the heart. After Young finished his book, the wife of Scott called saying the book had changed her life. He contacted her to let her know that Scott was, in fact, his counselor and the man who probably saved his life!! Young says, the irony is that the story that he wrote for his kids went full circle! This was a short story that was written by the prompting of others who had partially read it and suggested it be more. McKenzie Allen Phillips was the author's name at first because it was written for his kids. But there was no author, then, to meet when people started coming to meet the writer! His original manuscript was completed and it ended up in the hands of a group of men who wanted to make it into a movie. So, he actually rewrote the story with a movie in mind. This changed some things, but importantly, it was a story about a spiritual healing process. But after the process of completing the book, then nobody wanted it!! So, his friends decided that they would create their own one-titled book, "Windblown Media" to publish it. They created 11,000 copies and began sending some of them out. They only pre-sold 1,000 copies. The rest is history. The funny part is that there was actually another book called "The Shack" that had more exposure than he did and its sales went way up! Getting back, the 11,000 copies sold out, so they ordered 22,000 more, but they sold out!! So, they ordered 33,000 more. Barnes and Noble even came into the act. The book created conversations about God that had not previously happened or this was a book that catered to the Great Sadnesses of others. The interview, at this point, actually begins addressing the plot of the story. It is about a great loss of a man; a Great Sadness. The book personifies the trilogy of God, but Young had initially thought this book would only be read by his children. However, a theologian called Young and told him that his book connected a distant Bible God to the common man and that was why the book was doing so well. "All the fruit of the spirit...existed before we were there...They all submit to each other...This God submits himself to us...He is a God that pursues us." This shatters the old belief that we are here to perform for this God. There is a brief discussion about the characters of the story, one of which is described as Wisdom in Proverbs 8. Then, in the interview, Young is asked how he responds to criticism. He said that we all have something to offer. This was something brought to his heart by God. His favorite quote was said by a friend of his daughter's, "This book is so far beyond your Dad." There is a little more to the interview, but it is an emotionally moving, terrifically touching session!
Created over 5 years ago