Friday evening my son showed up to spend the weekend with me. He is now married, has a daughter, and has had to be in my neck-of-the-woods because of business. When he arrived at my home he came with his duffel bag filled with laundry, and a smile. We spent Friday evening visiting, and it was wonderful catching up with him.
When Saturday arrived I woke up at 6 a.m., went into his room, woke him up, and told him to sleep in, but that I was waiting for him to awake. He laughed and fell back to sleep.
When he finally woke up we ran some errands, I did his laundry (which I loved) and then in the evening my son, husband, and I headed into Beverly Hills to attend a surprise birthday party that my daughter was having for her boyfriend. My daughter had worked very hard to arrange this party, because she knew that he had never had a surprise party before.
The party would start at 7:30 p.m., but all the guests were to arrive promptly at 7. As we all meandered in, there were two large tables that were assigned for us, and each person took their seats, and said hello. I happened to be sitting across from my daughter’s boyfriend’s friend when he looked at me and said, “Where are all his friends?”
I looked around the filled tables and said, “They’re all here!”
He smiled and said, “No, his friends, not hers!”
A few moments later my daughter walked in with her boyfriend and we all yelled, “SURPRISE!” The look on both of their faces was priceless. He was truly surprised, and she was truly happy that she had given him the gift of a surprise.
During the evening I watched and realized that when two people become a couple, there are no longer her friends and his friends, but their friends. A time when a circle of friends grows, and what used to be an old friend to one person becomes a new friend to another.
When it was time for the main event… the cake! Everyone gathered around the table and sang the usual,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday Dear Nick,
Happy Birthday to you.
When everyone was finished singing it occurred to me the importance of the song, and I realized that for all the times I’ve sung those words, I’ve never finished them. I’ve never added the rest which sings…
From good friends and true,
From old friends and new,
May good luck go with you,
And happiness too.
Last night I realized that Happy Birthday can only be sung to someone if they have good friends and true, from their old friends, who bring their new. If one doesn’t have those who love them, then when the cake arrives and the candles are lit, there is nothing left but silence if friends don’t arrive to sing.
As we were leaving I noticed the cake was left on the table. I asked my daughter if she was going to take it with them, and she shared they were headed to other places and it might not survive, and at that moment her boyfriend said, “Give it to that table. They too celebrated a birthday, but I don’t see a cake!”
I walked over to the table (with the cake) and said, “There is half a birthday cake here, and if you don’t have one, we would love to share it with you.” The table cheered, and then the birthday boy asked, “Can we have the bouquet of balloons too?” I looked back at our table, and noticed the balloons were sitting alone, so I grabbed them and placed them in front of the birthday boy and said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” The man extended his hand, and said, “Thank you so much for the cake and the balloons.”
As I was walking away I overheard the birthday boy say, “Now, my birthday is complete. We have cake and balloons!” Immediately his table started singing Happy Birthday, and I had to smile because I thought to myself… No, the cake didn’t make your birthday complete, but the good friends and true, from your old friends to new… May good luck go with you and happiness too!
When I walked out the front door I looked to my left, and erected for the entire world to see was a Christmas tree. It was lit with bright lights that shimmered from all the oncoming traffic. I had to smile when I saw it. Again… another birthday is approaching.
Jesus was born in a tiny stable, and each year on December 25th, those who believe in him gather together with gifts under the tree, that are for those they love. I’ve spent my lifetime trying to see if God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were real, and each day Jesus proves to me that he is, who he says he is… because Jesus is the only one I know who has a birthday and asks that we give gifts to each other.
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2: 3
As we approach the birthDAY of Christ, I would like to wish everyone, from my good friends and true, from my old friends and new… May Christ go with you and happiness too!
ONWARD BY FAITH!