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.
Was not sure what to expect of this biography, but honestly it was a very easy read, with a challenge. A challenge to look at people from every nation in the light of Christ - what He has done not just for us, but for the world. Secular media can so taint our thinking that we do not even bother to pray for 'our enemies', but in fact these people are creations of God and need Him just as much as we do. Read this with an open mind and may it bring you to the point of loving even those who would desire you dead.
I couldn't put this book down. The cultural, Biblical, and personal perspective of the author as she interacts with a people and place so wholly different that herself is fascinating. Ultimately, this book challenged me time and time again to renew my own personal faith and continue to truly invest in the people and place I serve overseas as well. The Father loves all equally and this book will challenge you to do that despite culture, language, religious, or socioeconomic differences.