Review: The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The Kite Runner has many fascinating ironies and twists. I found the plot slow at times and painful. This New York Times Bestseller details the life of a wealthy boy growing up in Afganistan and his friendship with a lower class servant boy. The story also deals with friendship, the desire for love from a father, sin, guilt, forgiveness, Islam, the Taliban, child violence, and immigration. I hate violence against children. Those parts were extremely disturbing, and the author could cut out some of the swearing and graphic violence. I will not suggest this book for most people. However, how the author handles sin is fascinating. Sin is real. Evil is real.
- When he saw you, he saw himself. And his guilt. You are still angry and I realize it is far too early to expect you to accept this, but maybe someday you will see that when your father was hard on you, he was also being hard on himself. Your father, like you was a tortured soul...Sometimes, I think everything he did, feeding the poor on the streets, building the orphanage, giving money to friends in need, it was all his way of redeeming himself. And that I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir Jan, when guilt leads to good. p. 324-325 (Large Print Ed.)
- I see now that Baba was wrong, there is a God, there always has been. I see Him here, in the eyes of the people in this corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him, not the white masjid with its bright diamond lights and towering minarets. There is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have I neglected Him all these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to HIm now in my hour of need, I pray that He is as Merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is. p. 371
What is true redemption? Where is there forgiveness? Ephesians 1:7-8 say,
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through him (John 14:6). He made a way through his sacrificial death on our behalf. His way offers satisfaction for our souls. It accounts for the guilt that we truly experience. It reconciles God's justice and mercy, his holiness, and love. Khaled moved towards God, but he derailed in his fictional bargin with doing good. Doing good became the path of redemption. Ultimately, we can never undo what we have done. We can never outweigh our evil with good. However, God can. God can right the wrong; he can atone for our sin. He can declare us righteous. Moreover, he does that for all who put their faith in Christ. 1 John 1:9 says,
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The closest Khaled comes to Christ is in the character of Hassan, the servant. Hassan sacrificially serves and loves his friend. I hope and pray the author and Muslim world would meet the real Hassan, who came, lived, and died that we might have redemption and forgiveness of sins.
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