"Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return" - the traditional words of the Ash Wednesday liturgy that seem to be intended to remind us of our mortality and, possibly, insignificance... 'you are nothing'. Words also that I have come to understand in a positive way, reminding us of our interconnection with the whole of creation, and that even when we are 'gone' the atoms and molecules that made up our earthly bodies will continue to 'live' as part of creation...
This year Ash Wwednesday coincides with Valentines Day and has prompted the cartoon shared above.
"Remember you are dust - but awfully loveable dust"
Many a true word is spoken in jest, and this is one such. Yes, you are mortal, and globally insignificant, and yes one day every amtom of your body will be something else... BUT... you are loved with an everlasting love, the love that spoke you into being and, at the end of all things, will still embrace you.
I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, but I am a fan of love in all its diverse expressions and meanings.
I'm often all too aware of my own mortality and insignificance, and it's good to be reminded of eternal love.
To be 'awfully loveable dust' is a profound theological statement... and one I offer to my lovely readers today.
All my life, I have been one of the most risk-averse people imaginable, which is probably why I was a very successful 'risk assessor' back in the day when I had a 'real job'.
I joke that I have a fear of being electrocuted, so God made me an engineer in the electricity industry.
I joke that I have a fear of drowning, so God made me a Baptist.
I also have a fear of 'edges' - I am that person who dutifully stands well behind the yellow line on train platforms, and props up the wall in Tube stations (island Subway platforms in Glasgow are a nightmare - I joke that God in kindness made the Subway stations I use (with one exception) those that don't have island platforms).
In contrast, I have no fear of heights, will happily walk across glass walkways, and enjoy the view at the top of bridges, mountains and high buildings.
So this year I've decided to sign up for the 'Zip Slide the Clyde' challenge on Saturday 16 June. Step off an edge, go over deep, cold water, and admire the stunning view! All raising a few quid for a really good charity. A great blend of terror and exhilaration in prospect - good job I have a few months to prepare myself!!