Strike the Rock {Want to Read about the Perfect Life?}

What a better way to spend a wet and rainy Wednesday than with amazing words.  And since we’ve been talking about God’s grace-filled, love-like-a-river response to our thirsty blame, maligned accusations, and impassioned indictments,  I thought I’d share the most poignant example of Grace I’ve read in a long, long time.

kite-runner-book-jacket

In his 2013 novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini gripped my heart of a story between Hassan {the innocent victim of unfathomable violence} and Amir {the guilty witness stuck in wide-eyed horror deep behind the shadows.}

May God bless your heart with these crazy words of Grace this Wedensday.

One sluggish, hazy afternoon early that summer, I asked Hassan to go up the hill with me.  Told him I wanted to read him a new story I’d written.  He was hanging clothes to dry in the yard and I saw his eagerness in the harried way he finished the job…

We picked a dozen pomegranates from the tree. I unfolded the story I’d brought along, turned to the first page, then put it down.  I stood up and picked up an overripe pomegranate that had fallen to the ground.

“What would you do if i hit you with this?” I said, tossing the fruit up and down.

Hassan’s smile wilted. he looked older than I’d remembered, No. not older, old. Was that possible? Lines had etched into his tanned face and creases framed his eyes, his mouth.  I might as well have taken a knife and carved those lines myself.

“What would you do?” I repeated.

The color fell from his face. Next to him, the stapled pages of the story I’d promised to read him fluttered in the breeze. I hurled the pomegranate at him. It struck him in the chest, exploded in a spray of red pulp. Hassan’s cry was pregnant with surprise and pain.

“Hit me back!” I snapped. Hassan looked from the stain on his chest to me.

“Get up! Hit me!” I said. Hassan did get up, but he just stood there, looking dazed like a man dragged into the ocean by a riptide when, just a moment ago, he was enjoying a nice stroll on the beach

I hit him with another pomegranate, in the shoulder this time. The juice splattered his face. “Hit me back!” I spat. “Hit me back, $%& you!” I wished he would. I wished he’d give me the punishment I craved, so maybe I’d finally sleep at night.  Maybe then things could return to how they used to be between us. But Hassan did nothing as I pelted him again and again. “You’re a coward!” I said. “Nothing but a @#^! coward!”

I don’t know how many times I hit him. All I know is that, when I finally stopped, exhausted and panting, Hassan was smeared in red like he’d been shot by a firing squad. I fell to my knees, tired, spent, frustrated.

Then Hassan did pick up a pomegranate. he walked toward me. He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead. “There,” he croaked, red dripping down his face like blood. “Are you satisfied? Do you feel better?” He turned around and started down the hill.

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