His actual Birthday was the other day and we celebrated it then with close family members. But today, it will be his friends.
I am not so naïve, not to realize that part of his excitement is due to the gifts that he will get, as well as the party venue in which it will be held. That’s how a young minds work. He also is caught up in the flavor and design of his cake. (Half chocolate…his favorite. half white…his sister’s favorite) In addition, he proudly announced to me that” We did the Loot Bags, Granny”. He said it in all seriousness as he seemed to be saying “Mission accomplished!”
It got me to thinking about our own birthdays.
Does the title make you smile; thinking; “yea…God had to have been happy when I was born” or maybe your reaction is more cynical or realistic, as far as you can see. You think it is kind of a stupid idea, really.
Maybe you don’t think that it is a good thing, because others around you, now, or growing up, caused you to feel the celebration of YOU as a person, is really no big deal. Have you internalized that message? Do you say something like “yea, right, like I am a cause of God to celebrate my birth!” Or have you lived a life that you yourself have regretted your own birth, as something other than an occasion to be happy about?
Perhaps, you didn’t always feel that your Birthday was the greatest event. Maybe you felt like your birth was a mistake…you were a mistake.
Years ago, I was on an Inner City Missions trip into Boston. One day, we visited a Salvation Army Shelter. The Commander mentioned how she has seen grown men cry, as they present the man with a Birthday cake. Some of these men have never had a Birthday Cake. It’s kind of hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Could it be that you were not considered to be the right gender? I know a woman who was named a male sounding name because her father wanted a boy. That has to mess with your mind.
There are countries right now, who abort female babies, as males are seen as the “better” sex. Before we judge them, we are coming into and probably have already practiced, here in this country, sex selection pregnancies... You want a boy? Well let’s abort a female fetus then. If it happens again…well let’s abort another female. Do you think that is not happening? Think again…there are people who will never say “ I don’t care what sex the baby is as long as he/she is healthy” Some people know what they want and will do anything to get it.
I also remember a story about a 17 year old, unwed pregnant girl. During the time of her pregnancy, her Birthday came. Her day came and went. She already felt shame and guilt about disappointing her parents. She thought she didn’t have a right to ask this question, but one day, she got courage and said “Mom, why didn’t you bake me a Birthday Cake?” (Her mom had always done that without fail). Her Mom’s answer was “I didn’t think you really wanted one this year. I didn’t think it mattered”. The trouble with that thinking was that girl needed a cake that year, more than ever before. She needed to know, despite her failure, she was valued.
I even read a story about a beautiful young woman who was the “product” of rape. Her mother made the decision not to abort her. She was born, was loved, married and lives a productive life. Her mom has the honor of being called “grandma” because of a courageous decision, which she made in spite of the unspeakable circumstances of her conception.
So, I am not sure what feelings your own Birthday brings. Maybe, like my grandson, it is a celebratory occasion, filled with excitement and anticipation. Or maybe it brings up sad memories of neglect or rejection.
What I do know is that is not impossible to come to believe, as I have, that it is true… God danced the day that you were born! Your life is not without meaning…you are not a mistake... you were wanted by at least One and that is the God who created you.