This is a puppy doll I gave Miah as a gift for our anniversary last week, and I put it next to a turtle doll I gave Miah for her birthday a couple years ago to take a good picture. They look like good friends with each other, and I felt like they were talking about how they ended up living here with us. It seems amazing that we feel affection for these dolls even if they aren’t alive.

This year, Ash Wednesday is on February 14, which happens to be Valentine’s Day. Ash Wednesday is followed by the Lenten period, and it makes me think about the connection between God’s love for us and the meaning of Lent, Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice for us, and the resurrection. When God put life in Adam’s body in the last scene of the creation, He gave us free will too. God wants us to live as a living and respected creature, not dolls that will live only the way He wants us to live. He has respected our own will from the beginning of human history to the present time. We, however, have gone the other way, and it caused Jesus to come to us and suffer for our sins.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

Among many reasons we want to live well, an important one is because we are loved by many people; our parents, spouses, children, and friends. It might be close to impossible for someone who has never been loved to love others maturely. If we have been loved by our creator from the beginning of life and even before then, we should be able to love others abundantly. Now, it might be a good time of the year to think of why it hasn’t been easy for us to do. Hope we will have a meaningful and thoughtful Lent this year again with God’s guidance.