How quickly things change.
Just a few days ago we were eating king cake, finishing up bottles of wine, delighting in the company of friends and extending the celebration of Fat Tuesday over the course of a week.
Today we fast and abstain and remember we are dust.
Life is both delight and ashes, as this week dramatizes so well. They are in the first smiles and laughter after catastrophe. They are in the hugs of consolation in times of sadness. They are in falling in love just as your health falls apart.
Delight and ashes are in the beautiful words and images we use to process pain. They are in every step forward in an unpredictable and heartbreaking world. They are in days so perfect that I can’t help but mourn that they don’t last forever.
Delight and ashes live together in each heart. Both are equally true, and if we keep our eyes open both are unavoidable. Delight is a gift. And even when the fire that burned us down is tragedy or evil or abomination, the ashes are blessing as well.