Today is the day he was born. It marks him. It is his day in history…but he’s not here to enjoy it. What do you do with the birthday of the one you loved and lost? Let it slip quietly by? Make a big deal out of it? Let grief overwhelm you?
Or, just be thankful?
Out of his sixty-odd birthdays, I was with him for twenty-five. In reality, he celebrated more without me than with me, but I will treasure the ones we had together. I never could get him a gift that met the man. He was hard to buy for, but he never complained at my humble attempts to bless him. Now, he’s got the gift he always wanted — to be in the presence of his Lord. He’s not thinking about his birthday…it’s only us in this temporal world who remember.
What gift can any of us give to the man we called friend, mentor, brother, father? We can do that which he taught and lived — honor God with our lives, our witness, our faithfulness to the Body of Christ. Stay deep in the Word of God, pray fervently for the lost and each other, and serve as He did–wholeheartedly. Put aside petty differences and be united in love for the Glory of God. That is what he would like for his birthday. That is how we can honor him.
I post a picture that only few will recognize, but it is of the young man who grew to be a giant for God. As you celebrate your special day in history, you may not yet look like who God would have you be…don’t give up. Give yourself to the daily surrender, and you will become more every day like Jesus. I’m thankful that the man in the picture surrendered his life so many years ago.
If someone was remembering you on your birthday, what would they be thankful for? Would they be thankful? Would they remember? I know that Raouf would not want you to remember him, but the God he served. May we all leave such a legacy on our birthday.
Grace and Peace