In 1973, Tuesday, January 16th was my 6th birthday. It was also the day that National Nothing Day was added to Chase’s Calendar of Events. According to Wikipedia, its purpose was to provide Americans with one national holiday when they can just sit without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything.
Humorist Harold Coffin sponsored this non-holiday, and even is credited with beginning the National Nothing Foundation. Now, this is interesting because Mr. Coffin shares a name with Harold G. Coffin, who was a noted creationist- a scientist who believed that God created something out of nothing when He created the Earth and all that is in it, including mankind- and that He did it not that long ago.
Today is my 54th birthday and I will celebrate. I celebrate because God chose to give me life. He chose to give me eternal life. He chose to place me in a home where I would learn to love Him and to know Him. For all of the years I have been alive, He has taken care of me. He has loved me. I have hard days and easy days, and He has been faithful through every single one of them. He has shown me immeasurable grace and mercy. I will celebrate all of that.
About a week ago, I posted a request for birthday cards on my Facebook page. It was a risk. People think you’re being proud when you do that. We shouldn’t ask for recognition or gifts. But I did this for a very important reason.
We use the term “social media” for these online platforms like Facebook and it makes us feel as if we are connected to other people. But really, we’re connected to our phones, our computers, our tablets- anything with a screen and a connection to the Internet- a cold, hard, fragile piece of plastic with tubes and wires. And it has started to be the ruin of us as individuals, as a nation, and as a world.
As human beings, we need to be connected to flesh and blood, to remember that there is a heart on the other side of that connection that pumps life through our veins and that is just as fragile and so much more priceless than these devices that we cherish so much. I am working on another post about this, and I hope you will stay tuned to my blog and be a part of that discussion.
There’s something about a card, birthday or otherwise, that says someone took the time to choose (or make) a card just for you, to think of something to write, to address the envelope, buy a stamp, and raise the flag on their mailbox.
I’m not sure how many cards I’ve gotten so far, but it’s a lot, and I get a little teary- and a lot smiley- every time the mail comes this week. See, my request isn’t just for cards for my 54th birthday. It’s a call for people in my little circle to remember to care for each other- not in a digital way, but in a tangible way. It’s a call for us to go a little further in showing others that we love them and value them, and to honor the life that God gave them.
And just maybe, if everyone would be this vulnerable, if we would all just keep reminding each other to love each other in real ways, just maybe, this little gesture would lead to other little gestures that the world starts to take notice of.
In fact, that’s what Jesus told us to do. After He had washed His disciples’ feet, He told them this: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
Our world desperately needs this kind of love. I need this kind of love. You do, too.
I’m glad that National Nothing Day never really caught on. We need to honor each other every day. We need to celebrate all that God has done for us every day. We need to seek out those people who have lost their way, or have forgotten that they matter, and let them know that they are a very special “something” to God and to us.
Let’s make it a point to find someone to love every single day. Who will that be in your life today?