Today is both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. We’re in the middle of Black History Month. Rohingya refugees are still streaming across the border from Myanmar to an already-crowded Bangladesh, now totaling 900,000. Love and bravery, death and injustice, all wrapped up in the cold and dark of winter.
For me though, it is Ash Wednesday that ties it all together.
Ashes rubbed in the shape of a cross saying:
“You are dust and to dust you will return”.
Sometimes it takes the crumbling remains of death to remind me of the greatest of all loves. A love whose whisper penetrates through time and space,
“The only thing I ask of you is to love me with all you have, and to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.”
If we did that, love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves, it wouldn’t be a lonely day for anyone. We wouldn’t have only a month of Black History because our history books would speak truth each day of the year. We would not have 1.19 million refugees in need of a home. According to UNHCR, less than 6% of these found home last year. I did the math and it is heart wrenching.
So my gift to you, on this day of love and ashes, during this month of remembering, is to share with you a beautiful glimpse of humanity in the moving picture Human Flow. Created by Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and activist, who spent his childhood in refugee camp, The Human Flow beautifully documents the refugee crisis and it’s impact on the world. Ai Weiwei says:
“The refugee crisis is not about refugees, rather, it is about us. Our prioritisation of financial gain over people’s struggle for the necessities of life is the primary cause of much of this crisis.”