Sunday, March 16, 2014

In The Land of Blue Burqas.

In the Land of Blue Burqas

If you ask me what the book *In The land Of Blue Burqas* is about, I'll tell you that it's mostly about Love. 

It's about Jesus' Love for us, our love for our neighbor, and one woman's love for the women and men who make Afghanistan their home. 

Kate McCord went to Afghanistan as part of an NGO. She stayed because she became friend and family to so many people. 
And in this book, with names and details changed for protection, she tells us some of her stories. 

This book is a real reminder of several things. One is that we all share common feelings and basic experiences.
From Afghanistan to American, from poor to rich, from Muslim to Christian: we all share our own humanity. 
That seems far too self-evident, but it isn't. To some extent, we are all taught to resent and fear somebody.
When we encounter a stranger, we tend to look for a threat instead of a friend, especially when it's two whole cultures meeting. 
Kate reminds us that an Afghan woman fixing dinner in her mud courtyard while her children play around her and her husband does business in the marketplace is probably feeling the same things you feel at the end of a long day. 
Even when Kate's life was literally a world apart from her Afghan friends' lives, the women often rushed to empathize with her. They wanted to hear her story as much as she wanted to hear theirs. Sometimes, after hearing a story of a life scarred by war violence or forced marriage, Kate felt like her American story wasn't worth telling. The women wanted her to tell it anyway, and when she did they laughed, cried and connected. God moved in these intersections of life.

And the second thing is that the answers aren't found predominately in America, and the best way isn't the American way. The answers are in Jesus and the best way is God's way. When the Afghan women would ask shining-eyed questions about American life and marriage, she would always try to draw them back to the Source of Real Life. 

Reminder number three is the power of Story. Possession of a Bible isn't exactly encouraged in Afghanistan, and Kate didn't quote verses and chapters to her listeners. Instead, when a spiritual concept was up for discussion- and that happened all the time- she would tell a story about Jesus. There was a great familiarity with OT stories in her audience, and a respect for Jesus as a Prophet. She would take that foundation and build from there, going higher and deeper through stories. As an American, I tend to forget that Jesus spoke to a culture that was far more Middle Eastern/Arabic than it was European/American. They understand the parables, the mindset, and the meanings of Jesus' words far better than I do sometimes. And when she gave them portions of the Gospel as stories, it laid bare Truth with great simplicity. 

Thank you Moody for my review copy. 

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