Wow! It is not very often I’m floored by a book I just read. The kind of book that makes me sit and wonder how the rest of the world can just keep moving along. Then, suggesting it to as many people as possible so I can discuss the ideas within the book with them. That is exactly how I feel after finishing the very last page of Enduring Freedom by Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy. And I mean the very last page. I even scoured the author’s notes at the end of the page to learn more about themselves and their experiences.
Usually, I would give you a rundown of what the book is about. I will give a glimpse of the inside of the book. But, more than that I want to share the questions I am asking myself after reading it. A great book, a classic we will add to our bookshelf. It is one that leaves you with more questions than when you started it.
What is my idea of war? Who are the people affected by the war? Are we pawns in the middle of “the powers that be?” In Enduring Freedom, two men face the same war but from different perspectives. Joe Killian was thrown into a tour of duty even though he only signed up for the National Guard to earn his way through college. He never actually thought he would see action on the other side of the world. Through Baheer who is an Afghanistan citizen, we learn what it means to be a generational family living through generation after generation of war.
Can Joe and Baheer become friends? What can they possibly teach each other? Trader? Enemy? Friend? How can they both want the same thing? What does the same thing mean? Does it change?
What are the misconceptions the media purposely gives us? How does fear play into what I believe about others and their purpose? What is my role in the future of the world? How can I live out what my eyes are open to?
Through Brother Andrew, Corrie Ten Boom, and my dear friend Holly Ravenhorst with her ministry Petite Palm I have come to acknowledge and admit United States citizens are arrogant, even snotty towards the rest of the world. We carry deadly chips on our shoulders. It leaves a bad taste in the mouths and hearts of those in other countries.
Are you ready to have what you believe turned upside down? Want to know how we embrace and love people different than you? Enduring Freedom is a good place to start. It’s a book I can’t wait for the discussions that will happen after my kids have read it.