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
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
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
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.