Some folks get presents on their birthdays. Other folks only hope they get to be in somebody’s presence so they won’t be alone.Many birthdays are hidden, forgotten or ignored. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel special.
The mere remembrance of a birthday can be life changing. I met a homeless man in Buffalo, NY. He used to come into the Holy Cross Youth Center on 7th Street. He had one eye and the other was a glass eye. His long beard and dirty hair matched the filthy rags he wore as clothing. He was always mean and demanding. Nobody wanted to be near him because he smelled so bad.
His name was Jerry. It’s important to know names. I asked him when his birthday was. With a gruff, but surprised voice he said, “October 15.” I added it to the calendar in my phone.
When that day came around, Jerry was nowhere to be found. It was strange that he hadn’t been around for a few weeks. No big deal, we put the birthday cake in the freezer. We got it for free from a Tops Market. They gave us huge donations of bread and cakes every week.
Several weeks later, the gruff, demanding Jerry finally showed up. Almost growling, he asked when the dinner would be ready. I told him it was good to see him and then said, “We missed you on your birthday Jerry, but we saved your cake!”
In the blink of an eye, Jerry’s meanness disappeared. He said birthday! You remembered my birthday? Can I have some cake?” I can’t say for certain, but I thought I saw tears in his eyes. Yes, even his glass eye!
After shoveling some cake into his mouth, a new Jerry appeared. Instead of demanding, he asked to serve. “Hey, do you need any help? Can I take the garbage out?”
The remembrance of a birthday caused a glass eye to cry and answered a heart cry. The man who was mean became kind and considerate. The demander became a server.
It doesn’t take much to remember a birthday. Just ask and add to the calendar in your phone. Make sure you put it on “repeat” so you can remember year after year. If you happen to forget a birthday, go the extra mile to make someone feel special.
“Say to them,
The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you;
The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).”
Numbers 6:23-26 AMPC
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody, like remember their birthday! Jesus loves you and so do we.
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 8:30 am