It began with a tear. I had no idea what I was about to hear when I asked this simple question: "What inspired you to write the book?" This might seem like an ordinary question for any ordinary book, but this was no ordinary book.
The Shack by WM Paul Young can be described as a phenomenon, and a movie in 2017.
I was at the book signing for this author of the book that changed my life in many ways. The questions prior to mine were about the book itself, analyzing events, or the author and his writing career. As a writer, I know that we are personally tied to everything we write. I wanted to know what tied this author to his debut book.
So I'm sitting in the hot seat for having asked a question that provoked a tear from the author. This book is personal for many people- no two people will get the same from it, but what personal inspiration tied the author to this book?
His story began...He was suicidal, depressed, which led him to finally seek a counselor, randomly from the Yellow Pages...and to appease his wife. He had a lot of past issues to dig through of abuse and pain as it was affecting his current life.
Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. If left unresolved you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.
His counselor was a man of strong wisdom and truly influential in this author's life. Long after therapy ended, they became best friends. They'd have a beer after work and talk. They had already analyzed the author's life in detail, but now the counselor opened up to him. His son was a drug addict. The counselor, one evening said he would give his own life to give a life back to his son, a life off drugs and worth living.
One night after the two met, the counselor went home. Later in the evening his son came to his house asking for money (likely for drugs). The counselor said NO. He said he wanted him to get off drugs. The son was persistent and in a rage. But the counselor locked the door, only after he pleaded with his son to get help...just one more time.
His son went back into his car and came out with a stolen gun to shoot the locked door out of anger. Just before he did this, the counselor had a change of heart. He wanted to let his son into the home, maybe talk him out of his drug-induced rage. As he opened the door, the gun went off. Killing the counselor.
The next morning the author received a call that his best friend, the man who saved his life in therapy, had just been killed by his own son. The counselor's wife had informed the author that the son was arrested and would be doing time in prison.
It was almost too much to handle and the author walked away from it all. The book was born!!! He wrote it, never expecting the outcome to affect so many. Never expecting he would be an author. Writing became his new therapy.
As many letters and emails as he'd receive about the book over the next few years, he read them ALL! He read one from a lady who said the book saved her son's life. He had been suffering. He read it while in prison for shooting his father. The author noticed too many coincidences in this particular email that he had to write back and find out more.
The lady who had written him was his counselor (and deceased best friend's), wife. It was her son who had been helped by the book written by his dad's best friend...and inspired upon his dad's death. The connection was made.
Plans arise from pain
At the time of the book signing last year, the son was to be released from prison, completely free of his addictions, and the author would be there to help him live the life the counselor intended for his son.
Wm Paul Young ended his story at the book signing of The Shack. He stated in almost ten years he had never told that story at his speaking or signing engagements. He thanked me for asking that question and wiped away his tears. He said he needed to remember why he had wrote the book.
Inspiration, folks, comes in all forms. It affects us and affects others when we transform it into a piece of work, an idea shared, a movement, and even a book.
WM Paul Young believes inspiration is a mystery unraveled. Be a detective in your life. When you connect the dots, you find your purpose beyond momentary motivations. All the connections point to the bigger picture. Often we view life through a keyhole and our experiences or pain narrow our life rather than expand it.
Myself and Wm Paul Young.
Book signing in Hood River, OR.
A story of loss, life, and spiritual inspiration.
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!