Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner opens with this sentence: “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.”
He’s confessing something.
He continues: “I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but its wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years. One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line, it was my past of unatoned sins.
Sometimes we can never predict when our past of unatoned sins calls to us. Sometimes it comes in the middle of the night. Sometimes it peaks its ugly head during off chance conversation. Sometimes its something small someone says that triggers it. Nevertheless, like Khaled Hosseini, many of us are defined by one moment that has made us what we are today.
Khaled continues: “I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thoguht about something Rhim Khan had said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.”
The Christian doctrine of the atonement means that Jesus Christ took on the sins that we inherited from Adam and his suffering on the cross at Golgotha thus reconciling us from a state of alienation from God. Our sins were imputed, or charged to his account. When Jesus died, the perfect life that he lived, his untouchable & unshakeable righteousness was imputed, or credited to the account of all who would believe in him. Because of the cross of Christ, we don’t have to be defined by our past any more.
No more fear of our past calling to us by surprise because it no longer defines us.
His blood atones for our unatoned sins. There is a way to be good again.