Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you all ….
Happy birthday to you!
As we sang these familiar words, tears formed in the woman’s eyes.
But it’s not my birthday, she said.
I gently responded to her, That’s okay. Today we’re celebrating all of your birthdays!
She couldn’t remember the last time anyone wished her a happy birthday. She had forgotten what birthday cake tasted like. When we asked what her favorite birthday memory was, she couldn’t remember a good birthday. Ever. In her 46 years of life.
We ate cupcakes and played games. Shared stories and laughs. And as I walked away from the incredible celebration, I couldn’t help but realize how important our birthdays are.
Birthdays have always been big celebrations in my family. I don’t really know the reasons why my mom made such a big deal of birthdays, but I haven’t stopped the tradition as I’ve gotten older. When I hear someone has a birthday coming up, I’m the first one to ask what their plans are. What kind of cake are they going to have? Are they going to have a party? A special dinner? A celebration of any kind?
Affectionately known as The Birthday Girl, I know how to plan a birthday celebration. And no birthday is really a birthday without a cake. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods for your birthday and have no plans, just give me a call and we’ll celebrate your big day in style!
So what’s so important about a birthday anyway?
When we celebrate a person’s birthday, we celebrate the day they came into the world. For just a single day each year, the world really is all about me. It’s all about the incredible gift of life God has given us. On that day, we remember just how special we are. We remember how much people love us. How much God loves us.
Can you imagine not knowing what birthday cake tastes like?
Can you imagine not having one day where you feel like you are the most important person in the world?
Our simple act of recognizing the importance of birthdays changed a single woman’s life. She felt special. She felt loved. Maybe, for the first time in her life, she saw herself as a beloved child of God. As someone that mattered.
So remember your birthday. Remember the birthdays of those around you. And every once in a while, celebrate a random person’s birthday. Just because. You never know what kind of an impact it will make.