Do you have friends that bring you joy, ease your spirit, inspire you to be better, show you by example what Jesus meant when He said, "Love one another"? I am so fortunate that I have several, and one of them is celebrating a birthday today.
I don't write this to single her out, or make her uncomfortable because I'm not even going to mention her name. I've just been thinking about her today, and how she embodies those famous words of St. Francis exhorting us to preach the Gospel at all time, and if necessary to use words.
Some people, like this friend of mine, have a gift to love. They live ordinary lives, and appear to be average people. You don't often find them doing extraordinary, obviously heroic jobs....but they do the hardest thing of all extremely well: they reflect the love of God.
It brought to mind a scene from C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. A procession passes by one of the main characters, suggesting the woman being celebrated is a great saint, someone famous that everyone knows about. It turns out she was a simple housewife who lived her life quite anonymously, but she had spent her life loving.
How many people do we know, or maybe pass on the street, that we are tempted to call ordinary or average, but really are very special?
Happy birthday, friend.