2/26/2020 Ash Wednesday
"Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing."
- Joel 2: 12
Have you ever tried to burn plastic to make ash? It isn't really possible -- plastic first melts, and then burns, producing more of a nasty gas than anything "ashy" we might use on a day like today, when worship services call for marking one's forehead in ashes as a sign of repentance and acknowledgement of mortality. You might make napalm, but I wouldn't mark your forehead with it. Not unless, you know, you're trying to make a statement. But as the scripture says, rend your heart and not your clothes; change your life, don't blister
A period of 40 days, really about 6 weeks, is the time we have set apart for our "heart exam," and if you are here, perhaps you too have decided to fast from plastics for a time.
This community is for the faithful and faithless, the doubters and believers, and the only thing that connects us all is the belief that our job as caretakers of the planet requires us to take action to protect it; an act that begins--or continues--by examining our use of plastics in our everyday lives, and then refusing to use plastic in it's most harmful forms in as much as we are able.
Some of us may try to swear plastics off completely--these few should begin with a hearty does of humility, for you'll find out quickly how hard that is...but you should still try. Others will aim to reduce, refuse, reuse, and recycle -- these more cautious sorts should be encouraged to think bigger. Some of us will take on giants--corporations, systems and societal assumptions--these brave souls should be encouraged and uplifted for their inevitable and repeated defeats, difficulties that must occur before any real progress can be made. Wherever you fall on this spectrum... May you be blessed in the effort.
Rend your hearts and not your polyester clothes! Aim to change your mind, habits, and spirit ...change your heart towards plastics. Learn to value it's unique place in creation as we also learn how to address the overuse and overconsumption of a gift with great and terrible power to harm. Welcome to Lenten Plastics.