Walking off the Edge With Jesus
There’s something about walking off the edge with Jesus. We go to the places where the familiar, the safe, the structures and foundations of our lives vanish. The places are not defined solely by geography. Sometimes, we walk off the edge in our hometown, among our friends and family. Sometimes, we climb onto planes and travel far away.
We find ourselves small, vulnerable and disoriented. We reach out for the One, the only One who is always with us wherever we go, in whatever situation we face. When we find Him there, our lives are forever changed.
I walked off the edge with Jesus in 2004 when I left my well-paying corporate job, sold my house and stepped into the Afghan dust. I spent the better part of nine years walking, dancing, sitting and sometimes crying in that difficult land. Along the way, I found Christ in ways I had never known Him before. I am forever grateful for the journey.
In 2010 I had to evacuate my Afghan home. The extreme loss left me confused and disoriented. Once again, I reached out my hand for Christ and found Him. Farewell Four Waters, my first novel and second book told the story of that journey.
I wrapped the truth of my experience in fiction in part because the details of my own journey must remain secret. And in part because the medium of fiction allowed me to explore the deeper truths of what it means to be home, to love, to lose and to recognize God’s presence every step of the way.
There’s something about walking off the edge with Jesus that takes us more deeply into His heart then we can go in the safety, security and predictability of our normal, carefully ordered lives. There’s grace in the journey.
In Afghanistan, I walked in weakness and vulnerability. I could neither protect nor provide for myself. I was dependant on the Afghans around me; my staff, my neighbors and the strangers who moved cloaked through the streets of my community. Some, I knew, meant to do me harm.
I learned to inhale God’s peace in the place of war. It’s not a peace manifested in physical safety but rather in knowing that Christ was with me and would stay with me no matter what evil came. There were times when the evil nearly swept me away, and again, Christ was present.
I also had the privilege of getting to know tender, wounded Afghans; both men and women. They welcomed me into their lives and shared with me the full range of their experiences, thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, the horror of what my Afghan neighbors endured nearly crushed me. Other times, their hatred and bigotry provoked fear and outrage within me.
Daily I looked for Jesus; in the sitting rooms of illiterate Afghan women, in the offices of Afghan men, on the dusty streets with the children gathered around me, their hands stretched out for candy, pencils or simply a smile.
Here’s the truth; I found Jesus even in the darkest places in Afghanistan. I found him speaking love, hope, peace, forgiveness and grace to a wounded, confused and struggling people. In the Land of Blue Burqas, my first book, I share many of those experiences; sacred conversations of faith, hope and love—conversations that changed people’s hearts.
Writing both of these books was a gift to me.
In many ways, neither are really about Afghanistan nor are they about me. Instead, both books are about Jesus; our beautiful, faithful companion who both invites us to walk off the edge with Him and draws us deeper into Himself when we do.
Kate McCord lived and worked in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2013 as a Christian humanitarian aid worker, delivering projects to benefit the people of Afghanistan. Find out more about Farwell, Four Waters HERE.