I love Vacation. Holidays. Holy Days. Study Leave. The linguists in my family could etymologically explain how all these terms relate to each other, but I simply appreciate that Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, and Valentine’s Day are all celebrated on the same week this year.
We could recognize the uniqueness of this week by watching Chocolat tonight – a film that factors in all three of this week’s peculiar customs. Not a bad alternative to the SOTU Address, although Obama – and Rubio – are sure to speak of sacrifice, love, and heartbreak this evening.
Today is the last day of my vacation – an East Coast Tour – visiting our kids, their friends, and some random people along the way. (Thank you, Deirdre – the NYC real estate lady – but no thanks.) And I’m spending this last day pondering how I will practice Lent this season. What is needed? What is sorely lacking in my life and in the lives of those around me?
I’m struck by recent encounters with broken people:
- The young woman who seems to be ticked off by pretty much everyone, to the point that she cannot even acknowledge acts of kindness without snarling
- The gorgeous scholar who has no idea how valuable she is – and not just for her pretty face
- The meatball waitress (yes meatballs) who screams funky with her dreadlocks but doesn’t seem to believe that she really is so funky and awesome, even if she brings me the wrong dessert. Really, it’s ok.
- All the young married women in NYC with huge diamonds on their fingers – what’s up with that? – working so, so hard to prove they are smart, successful, and holding it all together.
Here’s to a week of perfect moments – not just loving the ones who love us, not just loving the lovable, not just loving with a martyr’s attitude, not just loving people in hopes of getting something in return. Imagine a Lent during which is it a simple joy to love everyone really well – as best we can.
Happy Mardi Gras-Ash Wednesday- Valentine’s Day Week!
PS I also wrote today’s ecclesio post on my take re: the PCUSA Board of Pension’s Dues Plus proposal. Check out the ten year old photo.