The Shack (2017) Movie Script

WILLIE: Who wouldn't be skeptical
when a man claims to have spent
an entire weekend with God?
In a shack, no less.
And not just any shack.
This was the shack.
What I'm about to tell you
is a little on the...
well, it's a lot on the fantastic side.
But that doesn't necessarily mean
it's not true.
Mack was born in the Midwest.
A farm boy in an Irish-American family,
committed to calloused hands
and rigorous rules.
- MAN: Look at me!
- Look at me!
- You're hurting me.
- Listen.
His father was an elder in the church.
What are you looking at, boy?
- Closet drinker.
- Leave him alone.
WILLIE: Especially when the rain
didn't come, or came too early...
- (SCOFFS) Yeah.
Most times in between.
I just took an apple pie out of the oven.
Come have a slice.
No, thanks.
That wasn't a question.
Here you go.
- Thanks.
- Mmm-hmm. (SIGHS)
Look at me, baby.
Daddies aren't supposed to do that
to their kids.
It ain't love. You understand?
What do I do?
Talk to God.
He's always listening.
Sing with me,
as those who feel led
make their way to the altar.
That Sunday, when the preacher called...
What can wash away my sin?
...he knew he couldn't stay silent
any longer.
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
- Nothing but the blood of Jesus
- I'm sorry.
That's all right.
Just tell Him what you're sorry for.
I can't make Him stop.
I try, but when he drinks...
he beats my mom.
I try to protect her.
But I can't! (SOBBING)
MACK'S DAD: Why do you make me
do this, boy?
Why do you embarrass me
in front of my people?
Say it.
- Say it!
"Obey your parents in everything,
for this pleases the Lord."
Colossians 3:20!
"Obey your parents in everything,
for this pleases the Lord!"
WILLIE: The beating lasted
well into the night.
What happened after that,
Mack doesn't like to talk about.
Let's just say pain has a way
of twisting us up inside...
And making us do the unthinkable.
Thirteen is way too young
to be all grown up.
The secrets we keep have a way of clawing
their way to the surface.
You're okay.
Mack and Nan had been married
for 18 mostly happy years.
She's the glue that holds
that family together.
Actually, if we get outta here in the next
three minutes, we might make it on time.
Missy, hold still for one second.
Pause! Pause!
- Okay. Never mind, forget it.
- Josh!
- Are you ready?
- Yeah. Why?
Well... Nan, there's something
wrong with Josh.
- He's combed his hair and he smells nice.
- He's trying to impress Ally Taylor.
- No, I'm not!
- Yes, you are!
- Who's Ally?
- Well, I don't care who it is.
If she gets us there on time,
she's got my blessing.
But if God is always with us,
why does He care if we're late for church?
- She's got a point.
- Yeah.
God cares because your mama cares.
- Okay, come on.
It was a nice try, you little rascal.
WILLIE: Good morning.
- Hi, guys.
- NAN: Hi.
Mack, did you catch the game last night?
Since when do I control the remote?
(LAUGHS) I hear one day you get it back.
You know, crazy thing is,
I'm starting to like her shows.
WILLIE: I met Mack
at church 10 years ago.
ALL: Holy, holy, holy
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee
Holy, holy, holy...
WILLIE: Back then, he didn't know God
the way Nan did.
If his relationship was wide...
Nan's was deep.
She called God "Papa"
and talked to him like an old friend...
which was never something
Mack could relate to.
But together they still managed to create
what most would call a good life.
But all that changed in an instant...
when the Great Sadness came uninvited.
MACK: No, you can't drive,
it's too dangerous.
No, I haven't seen anything like it.
Yeah, of course I'll be fine.
I'll heat up that rice thing.
Just a little tired, I guess.
I was gonna clear up
the driveway before dark.
Call me in the morning.
Yeah, you, too.
I ain't seen a storm like this
in 30 years.
It's a good thing Nan and the kids
are off the roads.
You want some help over there?
Grab my shovel. Knock it out in no time.
I'm okay.
Shouldn't take too long.
Thanks for the gas.
How about some dinner tonight?
Maggie made chicken pot pie.
Nah, Nan left me food in the fridge.
- Maybe next time.
- All right.
All right.
KATE: Hey, Dad. Dad?
- MACK: Hmm?
- KATE: Dad, catch.
MACK: There's no room. (CHUCKLES)
You might wanna put this somewhere
where you can find it.
First aid.
If we get stung by bees, we'll use
river mud, right, Josh?
- Yeah.
Mom, are you sure you can't
get out of your seminar?
Come on, come on,
you guys are gonna have a great time.
I have faith in your Dad's
mothering skills.
- KATE: You do?
- Hey.
Hey, hey, hey, young lady,
what have you got there?
- My insect collection.
- Your what?
Hey, are you packing bugs?
- No, Daddy.
- No?
This is Dixie and Donna,
the carpet beetles.
Wanda, the walking stick.
And that's Carl, the caterpillar.
"Carl, the caterpillar." I like it.
Can I take them? Please?
We can't leave
Carl, the caterpillar, behind.
Not a good idea.
I'm sorry. I tried.
Summer's last hurrah?
It's gonna be an awful lonely
weekend around here.
I'll bring you back a six-pound brown.
All right. None
of that store-bought stuff.
- I can tell the difference.
Hey, Willie, have you got a moment?
- Sure.
- Cool.
We gotta... we gotta go.
Hey, a little patience, please. Kids?
Okay, okay. Come on.
- Cheese?
- NAN: Okay.
- Good-looking bunch.
- Sure?
Okay! Get outta here! Goodbye!
Hey, kids, look there. Remember?
The falls. Daddy, we have to stop!
- Let's go see the waterfall.
- No stopping.
We gotta get to the campground
before dark.
Well, have you told Missy the story
of the Indian princess?
What princess?
Come on, Dad, you have to!
You have to tell her the story.
- We have to go back.
- Please!
We can't go back.
- We can't keep pulling off every exit.
- Come on.
The answer is no.
MACK: A long time ago,
there was an Indian princess.
MISSY: What did she look like?
MACK: Well, she was very pretty.
MISSY: What color was her hair?
Like this.
Do you want me to tell you
the story? Okay.
Well, this princess was
the only daughter of the eldest chief.
And he was the leader of a great tribe.
Till one summer, a terrible sickness
spread through the land.
It was so fierce
even the strongest warriors fell ill.
They were on the verge of death.
So, all the chiefs met
to see what they could do.
Princess' father, he told of a prophecy.
The illness could only be stopped
if the daughter of a chief
gave up her life for her people.
After a long debate, they knew
they couldn't ask for such a sacrifice.
And the princess, when she heard
about this prophecy,
she knew what she had to do,
'cause she loved her people so much.
One morning,
she climbed up to those rocks.
And without hesitation, she jumped.
The next morning, a great healing
came over the tribe.
The sick began to rise from their beds.
Everyone rejoiced.
But the chief knew
that his daughter was missing.
He knew what she had done.
His heart broke.
His tears rolled down his cheek.
He cried out, asking for his daughter's
sacrifice to be remembered.
The Great Spirit was so moved by his tears
that he answered his prayers.
Water began to fall. Right there.
That's how Multnomah Falls was created.
- Ready to go?
- Shotgun.
A little patience, please.
You got that off your Mommy, didn't ya?
MACK: Careful near the water.
KATE: (LAUGHING) Okay, Dad, sure.
Hey, let me give you a hand with that.
There we go.
- I'm Mack.
- Emil.
That's my wife, Vicki.
- Those two yours?
- They are.
Seem to be getting on.
Yeah, well, I suppose we should, too,
or this whole thing's gonna get awkward.
Hey, listen, we're just camped right up
here if you wanna come by later,
help us light some marshmallows on fire.
- That sounds good.
- Great! I'll see you later.
- EMIL: The other day
- ALL: The other day
- I saw a bear
- I saw a bear
- A way up there
- A way up there
The other day I saw a bear
A great big bear way up there
- He looked at me
- He looked at me
- I looked at him
- I looked at him
- He sized up me
- He sized up me
MACK: You have a nice family.
EMIL: Thank you. You as well.
Daddy, we need to say our prayers to Papa.
I'll be right there.
Yeah, it's my wife's nickname for God.
I like that.
It is a little too familiar
for my taste, but the kids love it.
- Daddy.
- I'll be back.
(WHISPERS) Do you know
what my mom used to tell me?
She said when a star twinkles,
a prayer is heard in heaven.
Papa sure is busy.
- Yeah.
- How come she had to die?
- Who?
- The Indian princess.
Well, I don't think she had to.
I think she chose to.
What she did saved her people.
Is it a true story?
It might be.
Sometimes legends come from true stories.
But Jesus dying isn't a legend.
It's in The Bible, so it must be true.
Is the Great Spirit another name for Papa?
He is a spirit.
And he is great. Right?
Then how come he's so mean?
Why'd you say that?
The Great Spirit made the princess
jump off the cliff
and made Jesus die on the cross.
Don't you think that's mean?
I'll tell you what.
When we get home, your Mom
will have a good answer for you.
Daddy, will I ever have
to jump off a cliff?
No, honey.
You will never have to jump off a cliff.
Would God ask me to?
He won't ask you that, either.
Good night, Daddy.
(SOFTLY) Good night.
She asks good questions, doesn't she?
Yeah, she sure does.
She's a special girl.
You both are.
Thanks. Love you, Dad.
I love you.
Get some sleep.
Missy, it's time you start packing up.
Do you think the princess
should have red boots or blue?
Time to come in!
MISSY: Daddy, red or blue?
(SIGHS) What else is she wearing?
She's wearing a red dress like mine.
Ah. Then red it is.
It's beautiful, honey.
KATE: Daddy! Look at me!
- Stop!
- Daddy!
Josh! Josh! Dad!
Josh! Dad!
He's stuck! I can't get him!
(SCREAMING) Josh! Josh!
Josh! Dad, he's stuck! Dad!
Josh! Dad, where's Josh?
- Hey, hey, hey, you okay?
- I can't get him!
- MAN 1: Need help? He okay?
- MAN 2: He's got him.
Come on, Dad!
Hang on.
MAN 3: Go, go, go. Get his right side.
- KATE: Come on, Josh.
- Come on, come on.
Come on, son. Come on, son.
Come on! Come on, son.
- Come on, Josh! There we go.
There we go. That's it.
Hey, you can come out, honey.
Everyone's fine now.
Emil, have you seen Missy?
- No.
- Can you check your camp?
Yeah. She's probably with my girls.
- You okay?
- Where is she, Dad?
She'll be here somewhere.
We'll find her. Okay?
Not here. My girls are gone, too.
Check those bathrooms and showers,
and I'll check those.
All right.
EMIL: Emily!
- Sorry, have you seen a little girl?
- I didn't see anybody.
Vicki! I found them.
Where's Missy?
I'm sorry, Mack, they haven't seen her.
Missy! (PANTING)
Oh, God. Missy!
Oh, God. Please, God.
OFFICER: We need to know
if there's anything different
from the way you remember it,
anything out of place.
- You said she was there.
- Yeah.
What's that?
That ladybug, that pin.
That's not Missy's?
No. Definitely not.
I think it's probably
one of two places, fellas.
I think it's either the lake
or the mountain.
- Yeah. Let me check this clearing...
- Yeah.
Can someone please tell me
what's going on?
Um, I'm really sorry, Mr. Phillips.
Apparently, there's a guy the Feds
have been pursuing for years.
They think he's responsible for abducting
at least five young girls.
Do you think he took my Missy?
We don't know anything for sure.
a possible suspect sighting.
Man in a truck near the Imnaha roadblock.
Bureau is setting up base camp
in Joseph. Over.
Tell him we'll be there within the hour.
Mr. Phillips, go get your kids.
Mr. Phillips, there isn't
one person in this room
who doesn't care about your Missy.
We're doing everything in our power
to bring her back safely to you.
KATE: Mom!
It's okay. It's okay, I'm here.
KATE: I'm so sorry.
- I'm here.
- KATE: I'm so sorry.
NAN: Hey.
(WHISPERS) Took my eyes off of her
just for a second.
- They tipped over the boat.
- Shh. I know.
- Hey.
Mack. Sweetie, it's not your fault.
Mr. Phillips?
Ground teams found the truck
in the mountains.
MACK: Okay.
Chopper's waiting, sir.
Mack, you okay?
- You're okay?
- Okay.
- Okay.
- OFFICER: We gotta go.
MACK: Okay. Okay.
Hey, Mack.
We're just sitting down for dinner.
- What the heck is this?
- What?
Some kind of sick joke?
You... you think I wrote this?
Mentions the shack. Signed "Papa."
Who else knows that?
Mack, I would never kid about that.
Now, where'd you get it?
It was in my mailbox.
Somebody put it there.
Who would stoop this low?
Should we call the police?
Call the police? Yeah, and say what?
"A letter showed up in my mailbox
with no tracks in the snow,
and it might've been signed by God"?
There were no tracks?
Just forget it.
- NAN: Mack!
- We're home!
- Hey, Dad.
- Hey, champ.
You okay?
Yeah, I just slipped
on the ice last night.
(SIGHS) Let me see.
It's fine. It's just a little bump.
What's that?
It's just a work thing.
- Where's Kate?
- She'll be in in a minute.
- Tried calling you this morning.
- You did?
Must've really been out.
Hey, Dad. Dad?
Can I go finish my homework at Ally's?
You've seen the weather out, right?
- It's only two streets away.
- Another time.
Hey, you. Hey.
I just wanted to say hi.
Can I go?
How was she at Arlene's?
Uh... same as always.
She comes out of her shell
for a minute, and then retreats.
So I'm gonna take her
to my brother's this weekend.
He knows a counselor
that we could try, and...
thought maybe you could join us.
I'm pretty sure that's the last thing
that she'd want.
I... think it's best
if it's just you guys.
I gotta get changed
and go run some errands in town.
- Mack.
- Yeah?
Don't forget we love each other.
And you don't know anything about it?
- Well, there's no stamp.
- No.
Well, if it's not stamped,
it's not delivered.
Well, you want your mail
while you're here?
What do you need a four-wheel drive for?
Mack... Come on.
We been friends for a long time.
Just shoot straight with me.
Is this about that note?
You're not thinking
about going back there, are you?
(SIGHS) Well...
Have you talked with Nan
about this at all?
No, I don't want to upset her.
She's barely holding it
together right now.
Have you prayed about it?
- I just want your truck.
But you know this isn't
a good idea, right?
I mean, what if it is that guy?
And then he's trying to get you out there
for who knows what reason.
We don't know that yet.
You already think about
the other possibility?
You think it's God?
You're the one who said
there were no tracks in the snow.
Well, maybe it'd been out there
for a few days and I didn't see it.
I don't know.
It's completely crazy.
But I gotta do something,
and this is all I got.
But I'm gonna go with you.
Sure, fine.
I hope it goes well with her.
Yeah. I hope it goes well with you, too.
- Sweetie, can you take this?
- JOSH: Yeah.
- Text me when you get there?
Look... I know that you are wrestling
with something.
And it's okay if you don't know
how to talk about it.
It's just that we've lost so much already.
I don't wanna lose you, too.
Tent. Bags. Food.
Coleman lantern. Snowshoes.
Just in case.
Where's your pole?
(LAUGHS) I didn't know
we were goin' fishin'.
We should probably have something to do
when we finally figure out
I've lost my mind.
All right. I'll grab my stuff.
WILLIE: You're not thinkin'
about goin' back there, are you?
NAN: I don't wanna lose you, too.
Where are you?
I'm here.
Come on out.
You couldn't even let us
have her body buried properly.
You coward.
God! God!
(CRYING) I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
You led me here.
Now you don't have the guts to show.
Some Papa you are.
Pretty chilly out here, huh?
Got a fire goin' inside,
if you wanna warm up.
Come on, Mack.
I know someone who'd love to see you.
(MAN, LAUGHING) I told you.
Mackenzie Allen Phillips.
Mmm... (LAUGHS)
My, my, my.
Look at you.
Do I know you?
Not very well. But we can work on that.
I've been so lookin' forward to this,
to finally see you face to face.
Can I take your coat?
And that gun.
We wouldn't want anyone to get hurt,
now would we?
I understand. It's confusing.
We all do.
You will do this on your terms and time.
How about some introductions?
I'm Elousia.
I have a lot of names,
but that's one of my favorites.
Or, if you want, you can call me
what Nan does.
You know Nan?
Oh, yes. Very well.
Are you saying that you're...
I am.
The "I am"?
I am that I am.
Look at that. Already quotin' Scripture.
And you've met my son.
Great to see you, Mack.
Your son? Of course.
And I'm Sarayu.
- Sarah who?
Sarayu. It means "a breath of wind."
which one of you is...
ALL: I am.
And you have no idea how much I love you.
It's okay, baby.
Let it go.
We all collect things we value, don't we?
I collect tears.
It's good to meet you guys.
I'll be right back.
Why'd I have to wake up?
JESUS: Think you dropped this.
You wrote this?
We're so happy
you accepted our invitation.
This is nuts.
What am I doing here?
What am I supposed to do? (CHUCKLES)
You're not supposed to do anything.
You're free to do whatever you like.
You can go fishing.
Or hiking.
Help Sarayu in the garden.
Or you can go talk to Papa in the kitchen.
Your choice.
I know this is overwhelming, but...
you're gonna be all right, Mack.
I'll be finishing up a project
in the workshop, if you wanna stop by.
You remember that smell?
Ma Griffe.
Your mother's perfume.
She loves you
more than you can possibly know.
- Am I dead?
- Do you feel dead?
You knew I would come, didn't you?
'Course I did.
Was I free not to come?
I'm not interested in prisoners.
You're free to walk out
that door right now.
Why did you bring me back here?
Because here's where you got stuck.
You're wearing a dress.
Excuse me?
I always pictured you with a white beard.
I think that's Santa.
After what you been through, I didn't
think you could handle a father right now.
Here. Make yourself useful.
Press out...
Fold back.
All there is to it.
I know what a great gulf
there is between us, Mack.
You may not believe it,
but I am especially fond of you.
I wanna heal that wound that's growin'
inside you and between us.
There is no easy answer
that'll take your pain away.
No instant fix that's enduring.
Life takes a bit of time
and a lot of relationship.
You're the almighty God, right?
You know everything.
You're everywhere, all at once.
And you have limitless power.
Yet, somehow...
you let my little girl die.
When she needed you most...
you abandoned her.
I never left her.
If you are who you say you are...
Where were you when I needed you?
When all you see is your pain,
you lose sight of Me.
Stop talking in riddles.
How can you say that you will help me
when you couldn't help her?
Because of you... she's gone.
Unless you can change that,
I will never be free.
The truth sets everyone free, Mackenzie.
And the truth has a name.
He's over in his woodshed right now,
covered in sawdust.
- "Truth"?
- Mmm.
I know that story.
You left Him, too.
Seems like you have a bad habit
of turning your back
on those you supposedly love.
I'm not who you think I am.
He said it Himself.
"My God, my God,
why hast Thou forsaken me?"
No, Mack.
You misunderstand the mystery.
Don't ever think
that what my son chose to do
didn't cost us both dearly.
Love always leaves a mark.
We were there together.
I never left him, I never left you.
I never left Missy.
He's a beauty, isn't he? Created to fly.
You, on the other hand,
were created to be loved.
Living unloved is like...
clipping a bird's wings.
Pain has a way of doing that to us.
If it's left unresolved, you can forget
what you were created for.
That's not something I want for you.
That's why you're here, Mackenzie.
This is your flying lesson.
Dinner's almost ready.
So Josh has a girlfriend now?
- You mean Ally?
- Mmm.
I like her.
Me, too. I'm especially fond
of that laugh of hers.
- JESUS: It's cute.
- Yeah.
He's still having a hard time
believing this is real.
- You think?
How's Kate doin'?
We, um...
We used to be close, but...
Oh, my God.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to...
No. It's okay.
I didn't make it.
It is good.
That was the best meal I've had. Ever.
Dreaming or otherwise.
ALL: Thank you.
Let me ask you somethin'.
I've been tellin' you all
about Josh and Kate and Nan.
But if you're real...
then you already know everything
I'm gonna say before I even say it, right?
Yes, but we choose to listen
to everything you have to say
as if it was for the first time.
We love getting to know
your kids through your eyes.
I'll wash, you dry?
PAPA: I'll take this round.
Why don't you show Mack
some of your handiwork?
Wanna take a look?
JESUS: Watch this one.
MACK: Incredible.
I get that you're all connected.
But I feel way more relaxed around you.
That's probably because I'm human.
But you're God, too, right?
I'm the best way any human can relate
to Papa and Sarayu.
To see me is to see them.
You're all so different.
Elousia is not what I expected at all.
And Sarayu, oh, geez.
Sarayu is creativity.
The breath of life.
She is my spirit.
Love is meant to exist
within a relationship, Mack.
That's all we wanna have with you.
Even if you can't see it.
You are in the center
of our love and purpose.
As beautiful as all this is,
it's nothing compared to how we see you.
MACK: The last time
I looked at stars like this,
she was lying next to me.
I know.
- PAPA: Yes!
PAPA: Night, Mack!
- MISSY: Daddy!
- Daddy!
Your heart
Try to be sure
Mornin', Mack.
You like Neil Young?
I am especially fond of him.
How'd you sleep, baby?
You know, dreams are important.
They can be a way of openin' a window,
lettin' the bad air out.
Is there anyone
you're not especially fond of?
Haven't been able to find any.
Guess that's just the way I am.
Don't you get mad at 'em?
Well, sure. But what parent doesn't?
And that's when your whole wrath thing
comes in, right?
My what?
Your wrath.
You lost me there.
Come on.
Everybody knows you punish
the people who disappoint you.
I don't need to punish people.
Sin is its own punishment.
As difficult as it is for you to accept,
I'm in the middle of everything
you perceive to be a mess,
workin' for your good.
That's what I do.
How can you say that?
After all the pain
and suffering in the world,
what possible good comes from a little
girl being murdered by a sick monster?
See, you may not cause those things,
but you certainly don't stop 'em.
Mackenzie, you're trying
to make sense of your world
based on a very incomplete picture.
It's like looking through
the knothole of your pain.
The real underlying flaw in your life
is that you don't think that I'm good.
I am!
And if you knew me
and how much I love you,
then even when you don't understand,
you could know that I am at work
in your life for good.
And then you would trust me.
Trust you? Why would I do that?
My daughter is dead.
And there's nothing you can say that will
ever justify what happened to her.
Looking for the way out?
If you are looking for your truck,
it's up that way, just beyond the trees.
You might need these, though.
Just to be clear,
we're not justifying anything.
We'd like to heal it, if you'd let us.
Before you go,
there's something in the garden
I was hoping you could help me with
before tomorrow's celebration.
What celebration?
If you wanna know, you'll stick around.
Well, this is wild.
(CHUCKLES) That isn't
the word in your head.
- Okay, this is a mess.
- It is, isn't it?
So beautiful.
There's something very special
I want to plant here tomorrow.
To prepare the ground,
we have to dig up all the roots,
or they'll return and harm the new growth.
- But this is gorgeous.
- Uh-huh.
You can start over there.
That one's deadly.
What's it doing here if it's poisonous?
You're presuming that poison is bad.
On its own,
the sap from this twig would kill you.
But combine it with
the nectar from this flower,
and suddenly it contains incredible
healing properties.
Let me ask you,
how confident are you in your ability
to discern good from evil?
Usually pretty obvious.
And your basis for something
being good is what?
Well, if it helps me...
or the people that I love.
And evil?
It's harmful.
If it hurts someone I care about.
So, pretty much, you are the judge?
Yeah, I guess.
You ever been wrong?
Or changed your opinion over time?
I mean, sure.
And there are billions like you...
each determining
what you think is good and evil.
And when your good clashes
with your neighbor's evil,
arguments ensue.
Wars break out.
Because all insist on playing God.
You weren't meant to do any of that.
All on your own.
This was always meant to be
a conversation between friends.
What do you think?
It's still a mess. (SOFT CHUCKLE)
Yes, it is, Mack.
Wild, wonderful, and perfectly in process.
This mess is you.
So... you decided to stay.
Thinking about it.
Sarayu can be very persuasive, huh?
If only I was smart enough
to understand a word she said.
So, uh, if you're up for a walk,
there's something on the far side
of the lake I'd like to show you.
I just have to finish up in the shed,
and I'll meet you down there.
You can take the boat out, if you want.
Left my pole in it,
if you're feeling lucky.
KATE: Daddy! Daddy!
- No, no, no, no, no.
- JESUS: Mack!
Mack, it's okay.
Why are you doing this to me?
JESUS: This isn't me.
You told me to come out here.
JESUS: Mack,
this is happening inside you.
You're letting it consume you,
and you don't have to.
No, no, no, no, no.
JESUS: Just take a deep breath
and listen to my voice.
Don't look at it, Mack. Look here.
Don't think about the past.
Don't think about the pain.
Look at me.
Everything is gonna be okay.
Look at me!
Trust me, none of this can hurt you.
Just keep your eyes on me.
Good, Mack.
I'm not going anywhere.
Now, let's get you out of this boat.
- What?
- You heard me.
This is... That's not funny.
I'm not joking.
You can do this.
- I can't.
- Not on your own, you can't.
- I'll sink.
- No, Mack.
You're imagining a future without me,
and that future does not exist.
I promised to go with you always, right?
And I'm right here.
Come on.
All right.
Here we go.
(CHUCKLES) This is insane.
Now what?
Just start walking.
Yeah, okay.
How are you doing?
- I'm still freakin' out.
Looks like we've got company.
Look at this.
Look! See him?
What a beauty!
Must be over two feet long.
Been trying to catch him for weeks.
Why don't you just command him
to bite your hook?
Where's the fun in that?
You know, you don't really fit
all the religious stuff that I was taught.
Religion's way too much work.
I don't want slaves.
I want friends, family to share life with.
What about following the rules
and working to be a good Christian?
Think about it, Mack.
I'm not exactly what you call
a Christian, now am I?
No, I guess you're not.
I don't care what you call them.
I just wanna see people changed
by knowing Papa.
To feel what it's like to be truly loved.
I don't think I've ever felt that.
Put your shoes back on.
I'll show you how you can.
Follow the path until it ends,
and then keep going.
You're not comin'?
This is a path only you can take.
- I thought you said you'd never leave me.
- And I meant it.
- Trust me.
Don't forget what you've learned.
I'll be waiting for you right here.
"Keep going."
Sorry, I...
You are?
I am Wisdom.
Do you understand why you're here?
Not really.
But I'm kinda getting used to that.
Today's a serious day,
with serious consequences.
You're here for judgment.
"Judgment"? They said I wasn't dead.
You're not.
Then what is this?
You don't believe that God is good?
Is Missy His child?
Of course.
Then, no.
I don't think God
loves his children very well.
If that's what you believe...
Come. Sit.
You can judge me fine from there.
- Judge you?
- Mmm-hmm.
Do you have something to confess?
Oh, you know what I did.
Yes. But you're not the one on trial.
Today, you are the judge.
- What?
- Why are you surprised?
You spent your whole life judging
nearly everyone and everything,
their actions and motivations.
As if you could even know them.
You make snap judgments
just by the color of someone's skin.
Their clothes. Their body language.
By all accounts,
you're a well-practiced expert, Mackenzie.
All right.
So, who am I supposed to judge?
There must be at least a few
who are to blame
for all the pain and suffering
in the world. Right?
(SIGHS) Uh-huh. Right.
What about the selfish?
The greedy? Those who harm others?
Drug dealers? Terrorists?
What about men who beat their wives?
MACK'S MOTHER: Leave me alone.
Come here. What did you say?
Or fathers who beat their sons
to alleviate their own suffering?
Let's not do this.
Should that man be judged?
And you're gonna keep your mouth shut!
SOPHIA: What about this boy?
- What about him?
- Would you judge him?
He's a kid.
But you already have.
That boy is your father.
BOY: Yes, sir.
what about the man who preys
on innocent little girls?
MISSY: Daddy!
Okay, that's enough.
Is that man guilty?
- I would damn him to hell.
- And what of his father,
the man who twisted him
into this deviant monster?
I would damn him, too.
How can you stop there?
Doesn't the legacy of brokenness
go all the way back to Adam?
And what about God? Isn't He at fault?
He set all this in motion.
Especially, if He knew the outcome.
Do you want me to say it?
God is to blame.
Well, if it's so easy
for you to judge God...
you must choose one of your children
to spend eternity in heaven.
The other will go to hell.
I can't do...
Can't do what?
I'm only asking you to do something
you believe God does.
So, who will go to hell?
You could choose Kate.
She said some pretty hurtful things.
She shuts you out.
You're not even sure
if she loves you anymore.
Or... you could choose Josh.
He's been disobedient.
Sneaking out. Lying to you.
You didn't know that?
Mackenzie, make your choice.
I don't wanna do this anymore.
- I can't do this.
- Can't do what?
I can't. I won't.
You must.
This isn't a game.
You have to.
You know what? This isn't fair.
You must.
It isn't fair.
I can't.
Take me.
I'll go instead of them.
I'll take their place.
You take me.
I'll go in their place.
You leave my kids alone, and you take me!
You've judged your children
worthy of love...
even if it costs you everything.
Now you know Papa's heart.
You know, what I don't understand
is how God can love Missy
and put her through so much horror.
She was innocent.
I know.
Did he use her to punish me?
'Cause that's not fair.
And she didn't deserve it.
My wife and my children didn't deserve it.
Now, I might. 'Cause you know I'm...
Is that who your God is, Mackenzie?
No wonder you're drowning in great sorrow.
God isn't like that.
This was not God's doing.
He didn't stop it.
He doesn't stop a lot of things
that cause him pain.
What happened to Missy
was the work of evil.
And no one in your world
is immune from it.
You want the promise of a pain-free life.
Yeah. Yeah.
There isn't one.
As long as there is
another will in this universe,
free not to follow God,
evil can find a way in.
There's gotta be a better way.
And there is.
But the better way involves trust.
I don't wanna be the judge anymore.
She can't hear you.
Can she see me?
But she knows you're here.
She okay?
More than you know.
JESUS: Missy!
Does she forgive me?
For what?
Couldn't save her.
Couldn't get to her in time.
Missy doesn't think that.
And neither does Nan or Papa.
It's time to let that go.
- How was it?
- Terrible.
And wonderful.
I'm very proud of you, my friend.
Thank you. For letting me see her.
Oh. It wasn't my idea.
This always works better
when we do it together, don't you think?
God has time to catch a few rays?
Honey, you have no idea
how much I'm doin' right now.
Yes, Mackenzie?
I've been pretty hard on you.
- I had no idea.
- It's okay.
It's in the past now, where it belongs.
Maybe we can start
growing together without it. Hmm?
I'd like that.
Thank you for letting me see Missy.
It was entirely my pleasure.
I can't begin to describe the joy
it gave me to see you two together.
And Missy's a special girl.
(WHISPERS) Oh, yeah.
You understand now.
I can work incredible good
out of unspeakable tragedies.
But that doesn't mean
I orchestrate the tragedies.
After everything I've felt
in my heart towards you...
Why would you keep working on me?
Because that's what love does.
I don't really understand
relationships, do I?
But you still love me anyway.
Men. Such idiots sometimes.
Did I hear God just call me an idiot?
If the shoe fits, yes, sir.
If the shoe fits.
Freshen up, Mack. Got a big night ahead.
Someone gonna tell me where we're goin'?
Look around, Mackenzie.
Don't forget to enjoy the journey.
JESUS: Here we are.
This is it?
SARAYU: To your eyes.
Just for tonight...
we'd love for you to get
a glimpse of what we see.
What are those?
SARAYU: Not "what".
Papa's children from every tongue,
tribe and nation.
What you call personality and emotion,
we see as color and light.
What's happening with that one?
Why is he focused on us?
He's focused on you.
Is that...
Mack, I'm so sorry.
For everything.
I was blind, and I couldn't see you.
I couldn't see anyone.
Yeah, I know.
I know.
I was scared.
(CRYING) I didn't know what to do.
Son, I forgive you.
You've become the father I could never be.
And I'm so proud of you.
Can you ever forgive me?
I'll see you again, son.
Let's go home.
MAN: Mack. Wake up.
It's time for us to go.
Good morning, son.
You're messin' with me, aren't ya?
Oh, always.
For what we have to do today,
you're gonna need a father.
- Where are we going?
- Almost there.
We're here to do something
that's going to be very painful for you.
Please, don't.
we're on a healing trail to bring closure
to this part of your journey.
You want me to forgive him?
He killed my daughter.
I wanna hurt him.
I want him to hurt...
like he hurt me.
I want you to hurt him.
I know you do.
But he, too, is my son.
And I want to redeem him.
"Redeem him"? He should burn in hell.
So, we're back to you as the judge?
So, you just let him get away with it?
Nobody gets away with anything.
Everything bears consequences.
- What he did...
- Was horrible.
I'm not asking you to excuse what he did.
I'm asking you to trust me to do
what's right and to know what's best.
And then what?
Forgiveness doesn't establish
a relationship.
It's just about letting go of his throat.
Mack, the pain inside is devouring you,
robbing you of joy
and crippling your capacity to love.
I can't.
You're not stuck because you can't.
You're stuck because you won't.
You don't have to do this alone.
I'm here with you.
I don't know how.
Just say it out loud.
I forgive...
I forgive you.
Mackenzie, you're such a joy.
I'm still angry.
Of course you are.
No one lets go all at once.
You might have to do it 1,000 times
before it gets any easier.
But it will.
Let's go.
Let's bring Missy home.
MACK: I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you.
Please, please!
It does a body good to let
the healing waters flow.
Those are your tears, Mackenzie.
We've been collecting them
for a long time.
- Here you go.
- Thanks.
Mackenzie, we have something
for you to consider.
You can remain here with us,
or go home to Nan and your children.
Either way, we promise
to be with you always.
What about Missy?
If you stay, we'll be
with her this afternoon.
If you go, you'll be leaving her behind,
but only for now.
Well, what does she want?
She'd love to see you today.
But she lives in a place
where there's no impatience,
so she doesn't mind waiting.
Everything about being here
has been so remarkable.
Back home, I go to work,
try to be a good person.
Love my family.
(FAINTLY) I don't know.
Does what I do really matter?
Mack, you are important.
And so is everything you do.
Every time you love, Mack, or forgive,
with every act of kindness,
the universe changes. For the better.
Mmm. If anything matters,
then everything matters.
Then I wanna go home.
can we ask you to do
something for us when you go?
Kate needs you.
She blames herself for Missy's death.
You had your own guilt to deal with.
But the time for blame is over.
When I go back...
I still want you in my life.
I always was.
I always am.
I always will be.
That's good.
'Cause I've become especially fond of you.
- JESUS: I love you, Mack.
(CHUCKLING) Hey. Hey, buddy.
You're awake.
MACK: Where am I?
You're at the hospital.
Where's Papa?
- I'll go get the doctor and the family.
- Okay.
She was there.
Who, Mack, was where?
I gotta talk to Kate.
- Hey, hey, settle down.
- And Nan. And Josh.
- I gotta tell 'em.
- They're here.
Nurse just went to get 'em.
They're in the cafeteria.
What happened?
(CHUCKLING) Well, buddy, you were
hit by a 40-ton semi.
Last night?
No, Friday. Right after
you stole my truck.
That's impossible.
I spent the weekend at the shack.
Mack, you never made it.
Yeah, I did. Yeah, I made it.
- I was there.
- Okay.
Hey, bud, this is a lot
to take in, all right?
I met God.
Papa said to tell you
he's especially fond of you.
- Mack?
- Rest.
Oh, you're okay.
I'm sorry. About everything.
It's okay.
It's okay, we can talk
about it later, sweetie.
You just need to rest now.
I got so much to tell you about...
the lake and Papa.
And Missy.
She was there. I saw her.
It's okay.
- Hey. Hey.
She's more than okay.
She's happy.
She's beautiful.
She's so beautiful.
Hey, champ.
Hey, sweetie.
You're strong.
Thank you.
Give me and Kate a minute here.
- Yeah.
- Thank you.
Hey, you.
I know things haven't been
that great between us lately.
See, I was so lost
in my own sadness that...
I wasn't able to help you through yours.
I'm really sorry.
none of this is your fault.
I never should've stood up on that boat.
Look at me.
Don't think about the past.
Everything's gonna be okay.
I know what it feels like to carry
what you've been carrying.
And I'm only beginning to learn...
how to let it go.
And I'm hopin' that this is something
that we can learn to do together.
Doesn't matter what you're goin' through.
You never have to do it alone.
I love you so much.
I love you, too, Dad.
I love you so much, Kate.
WILLIE: That afternoon,
Mack told Nan everything.
I believe you.
WILLIE: Over the next few weeks,
Mack improved rapidly.
ALL: Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
WILLIE: I'm sure
there are some who'll wonder
if everything really happened
the way Mack recalls.
Or if any of it happened at all.
You'll have to decide
for yourself, I suppose.
But the changes I see every day
in my friend are evidence enough for me.
- MACK: Hey.
- Willie said the bass are biting.
He'll give me 10 bucks
if I beat his five-pounder.
That's easy money.
- You bring a pole for me?
- Take your pick.
Got one for you, too,
if you're feelin' lucky.
Oh, you're on.
The Great Sadness is gone.
Mack experiences most days
with a profound sense of joy.
- He loves larger than most...
he's quick to forgive,
and even quicker to ask forgiveness.
JOSH: Dad.
He has become a child again.
All right! Whoo!
Or maybe the child
he was never allowed to be,
abiding in simple trust and wonder.
And it wouldn't surprise me if,
every now and then,
Mack takes off his shoes...
just to see if...
well, you know.