“A HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INDEED!” by Tony Casson

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need.
These are the sacrifices that please God.”
  Hebrews 13:16 NLT

“I expect to pass through this world but once; Any good thing therefore
that I can do, or kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me
do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Proverbial Saying

Last week, as the world was besieged with hours of television news broadcasting devoted to the ‘mesmerizing’ arrest of a spoiled, arrogant, pompous, narcissistic, overblown, self-centered, self-indulgent, pretentious, puffed-up little person named Justin Bieber, who was arrested in Miami for drag racing his Lamborghini and doing it while intoxicated, a young girl in Baton Rouge quietly went about the business of planning her 12th birthday party. My friend Richard’s daughter, Madison, was preparing to have her party at a place called “The Quarters”, which is sort of like a grown-up Chuck-E-Cheese. They have more games and activities for the entire family to enjoy together, including ‘laser tag’.

Let me tell you what makes this particular birthday party deserving of far more air-time than the out-of-control super-rich preschooler. Richard told me that the invitations Madison sent out to her 10 or so invitees contained the following message: “In lieu of gifts for me, please bring something to donate to the ‘Bishop Ott Women And Children’s Shelter’.”

Richard’s wife told Richard she thought she was being “overly optimistic” when she brought 3 large laundry baskets to put the donated items in, but as it turns out they were not close to being enough. There were piles of blankets and one piece outfits for toddlers and babies, baby bottles and diapers and other items.

Are you crying yet? I was, as was Richard as he related the story to me. But wait…there is more: The restaurant staff, upon learning what was happening, quickly banded together to create a special, personalized card for Madison, and when the manager brought it out, he asked who the mother was. After Richard’s wife identified herself, the manager asked, “What planet is your daughter from?” He then presented the card to Madison, and Madison found that her generous, unselfish heart had earned her a month’s worth of unlimited laser tag from the restaurant.

In addition (What, you thought I was done?), some of the invitees not only brought items to donate, they also brought a gift for Madison as well. When Madison related the story to Richard, she complained, saying, “Daddy, they didn’t LISTEN!”

No Madison… they listened. I only wish the rest of the world could hear about your selflessness as well. You are an inspiration to us all. God bless you, young lady, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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