Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Road signs

I've been doing some thinking about the title of my blog. "Bridges" has always been meant to convey the idea of building connections that span barriers between groups of people, be they real or imagined -- connections across races, nationalities, genders, religions, social classes, and so on. I believe in this philosophy because I believe with all my heart in the unity of mankind, and that ultimately we are all part of the same human family, and that we therefore have the privilege of caring about each other and the responsibility to bridge over our superficial differences.

But the more I try to build these bridges, the more I come to the same discovery -- often, the common ground that I and many others seek to create actually already exists. Thus, it occurs to me that a more appropriate term is "intersections," perhaps uncharted, but very real and tangible nonetheless. "Bridges" implies a single, defined link between two distinct dichotomies, whereas intersections come in all forms: they may cross at a point and turn in different directions, they may run more or less parallel, they may merge completely, or they may form circles. I think this is a much better metaphor for the kind of unity I witness on a day-to-day basis, the unpredictable interconnectedness of the human experience. And isn't it beautiful that we were created by Someone who had all this in mind?

As I've been blessed to make friends here in Amman this summer, a thought has occurred to me. A lot of people say that there couldn't possibly be a God because there are so many problems and so much evil in the world. But hasn't it occurred to any of them that, on the other hand, there simply must be a God if so much good still exists? Even when things seem utterly, evilly hopeless, we still try to fix them. Even when people are needy, we step up to help. Even in the midst of corrupted and immovable systems, we still think freely and strive to make a difference. That, in and of itself, is evidence of a loving and merciful God. It behooves us to remember it once in awhile.

So here's to diversity, here's to color, here's to creative unity in human kinship. I raise my coffee mug to life, to love and friendship, to playing it by ear, to this crazy world of ours, and, most especially, to discovering those beautiful intersections.

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