This article was begun on the eve of 2 major events:
—Feb. 14=Hallmark’s money-maker of Valentine’s Day (1 billion cards, 35 million boxes of chocolate, 220 million roses = $20 billion in revenue)
—Feb. 14=Christian celebration of Ash Wednesday (a time centered on ashes, repentance, gratitude for God’s amazing grace)
Both celebrations focus on LOVE. Hallmark emphasizes romantic love – which is good. Ash Wednesday emphasizes the awesome love of God for each one of us in spite of who we are.
Now, this article is being revised the day we go to print. Oh, the need we have in this country to see that each one of us sees the other person as a child of God, in spite of who we are. Surely this need is seen deeply in light of yesterday’s shooting in Parkland, FL, where 17 people were gunned down in cold blood. Once again the cry goes out “This must stop!” Yet next week this will be “old” news, written off as an “unfortunate” event. Tell that to the families of those who never will be able to express their love to their dear one. “Unfortunate?” “Senseless?” How about “Sinful?” Sinful that each one of us allows revenge, hatred, priority of self, violence to be our way of life, instead of love, whether proclaimed by Valentine’s Day or Ash Wednesday.
We do not live on our own merit. We live only in God’s grace. The hope for our world is to remember that each of us – true for all of us – is a child of the One True God.