Happy Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday.
Remember when you used to play with matches and your mother told you not to? Remember when you aimed a toy gun at a friend and your father told you not to?
Maybe the adults in your home never told you “No”. In that case, you may understand what it might have been like growing up as a child who would lead the United States or North Korea, playing with the bigger matches that can light the fuses of nuclear holocaust on Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday.
Saint Valentine’s Day celebrates love; Ash Wednesday observes our mortal nature. Love and death are side by side on February 14, 2018 when wine and chocolates coalesce with dust and ashes.
Is it too much to hope today that two adult boys with matches will be parented by nations that impose the discipline they lacked as little boys? Is it too much to pray they put away the “sticks and stones” they throw across the Pacific Ocean, burn their match sticks into ashes before they burn the house down, and send each other a Happy Valentine’s Day card and some chocolates?
- Gordon C. Stewart, Ash Wednesday and Saint Valentine’s Day, Chaska, MN, Feb. 14, 2018.