Standing in a Starbucks in the middle of India where just outside power lines hang loosely from trees instead of electrical poles, I am trying to reconcile all that is happening. There’s the friendly barista, preparing my iced coffee the way I order it at home. But just outside, dirty streets are being swept by an elderly woman in a sari and a collared uniform top. I seem to be caught in the middle of worlds that are polar opposite but are working side by side, even intertwined.
On the wall of Starbucks, there was a statement about the company’s icon, the Siren. What catches my attention is the phrase that says, “She is a creature of intersections…”
The thought of intersections is one that I have been hearing for months, but upon seeing it on a wall of a Starbucks in India, it all began to make sense.
The reason I am even in India is because I have stepped into the world of caring for orphans. This world is one where I feel that am constantly in the middle of things that–from an outside perspective–seem to be polar opposites, but when we look into it we see that they are in fact deeply intertwined, working together. This world of “intersections.”
To intersect is to “pierce or divide by passing through or across”.*
An intersection is the place in which the piercing or dividing occurs.*
On the outside, orphan care looks like tragedy, loss, and pain. The orphan crisis is something that many shy aware from because it’s “too big” of a problem and there is “no solution.” Often times even the smaller solutions seem to be asking too much.
But as I stand in India again, I’m thinking of all the things about orphan care that seem to be contrary to popular beliefs. The way that these children laugh loudly and often is so distinctly opposite of the pain we imagine them having. The way the children that The Boaz Project works with seem more like a family than lonely orphans is not what one would expect. Some of the house parents we work with have their own biological children, and there are many times when if I did not have that information prior to meeting these kids, I would not have been able to tell the difference between the love of the parent’s biological children and ones they’ve so graciously taken in as their own.
I even think about my own experiences–about how India specifically has been both a source of joy and excitement, but also a place that holds some of my deepest pain and broken dreams.
I quickly realized that these things which seem as though they cannot possibly work together are the things that seem to highlight the depths and authenticity of one another.
These intersections–the places in which a piercing occurs–are the places where we are able to see the magnitudes of the emotions, ideas, expectations, and reality which take place there.
Orphan care is a world in which all things complex and difficult dwell. But it is also a place where so much beauty and restoration occur.
The places The Boaz Project works, whether it’s a family-style home in India or a Russian orphanage, can instinctively be associated with much pain and trauma. What can be even harder to process or understand is that when we walk into those places which hold trauma and pain, we discover that coinciding there as well are joy and hope. This can be confusing and difficult to process. Yet, this is the place that I believe God is calling us. This is the place that God wants us to come and dwell. Not so that we can figure out the answers or so we can “fix” the issue, but because when we sit in these places of intersections we are able to step into the fullness of all that God has to show us.
God invites us into the intersections. These intersections make our lives much richer with complexity and beauty.
Will you join us in the intersections of orphan care? Come with us on a trip to experience these intersections for yourself. Sign up today at www.boazproject.org/trips.
“Doing small things with great love,”
The Boaz Project, Inc.