• kpwoodard3

Life, a Gift to Celebrate



.....Happy TO YOUUUUUUUU!  She began to sing in her sweet little two year old voice... “Happy to you! Happy to youuuuuuuuu!” She owned it!!! She was proud of her lyrics and her joyous song…singing out at the top of her lungs and she finished with a strong “YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY” while clapping her hands to celebrate her musical talent. 


I started to teach her that she needed to include the word “birthday” in her song…. happy birthday to you….that’s the way we sing it right????  Then it hit me…No!!!!!!...Do we only want to stress the celebration on the actual day of birth?  Birthdays are wonderful and they are definitely worth celebrating but, isn’t each day we are given worth celebration?


Why is every day not a day of “happy to you”???  


Each moment is supposed to be cherished as it can be taken away in an instant. It’s said we are a vapor, here one moment… gone the next…


As we near another 9/11 may we never forget the fragility of life on this Earth. 


I can't help but think of the loss so many felt in the tragedy of the towers falling and the rescue efforts.   The pain in our hearts remains year after year.  I can't help but think of the lives that left this Earth so quickly and unexpectedly during those moments.  To their families:  No, you are not forgotten.  Your loved one is not forgotten.  To the first responders: No, you are not forgotten either.  


As I had the gift of hearing my child sing, I thought of the mothers who were missing theirs. As I found peace in knowing my dad and mom were safe in their homes, I thought of the children whose parents went to their heavenly home instead.  As I looked at the clear sky and the stars, on the peaceful night around me, I thought of the sirens, flashing lights, smoke, and how foreign it all seemed.  All I know to do in moments such as these is to pray and to never take the time we have on this Earth for granted, to show up and to be there for the ones who are hurting and to take their hand and remind them they are not alone in the midst of the pain.


May we walk this life together through the tragedy and the celebrations.  May the terror that was intended for us be beaten by love and the way we unite to overcome.  


So yes, we went from birthday cake to tears for the fallen and their families.  Once again, my child has taught me.  The childlike joy in her helped me see my adult mind of rights and wrongs needed to be challenged. I am reminded that we should sing more “happy to yous” to those we love whether it’s their date of birth or just a “normal” Tuesday.  



Dear God, 


I thank you for hearing our prayers. God, we don't understand it.  We hurt and we question. In those moments help us to pray with and for each other. For the families of the fallen, I pray for them. I pray that they will find the arms of their Savior in the midst of their pain. That the people surrounding them will hold them close as they wipe away tears. 


Father, I can't help but think that you did not cause the terror but, that you do feel our pain amidst it.  We know you sent your very own son to experience torture and to die a brutal death.  As I think of Jesus on the cross after being betrayed and beaten, He pleaded on our behalf..."Father, forgive them..." So, I ask that you work in our hearts and give us the strength to forgive and to pray for those who persecute us, those that attempt to inflict terror, those who demonstrate hate.  Please change their hearts Lord. 


For those of us that remain on this Earth remind us to be forever grateful for the birthdays and singing sessions with our loved ones.  Let us embrace the joy found in our daily walk until we are called to our eternal home. Thank you for giving us hope through your promise of Heaven and the life we will have there without pain, fear, or separation but of celebration. We love you. 


-Amen



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