Today is July 22, 2016. Your birthday.
Now, I know Muslims don’t celebrate birthdays but I must confess I find that hard to understand and more than a little sad…
You see, when I celebrate the birthday of someone I care about, I am telling that person “I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you’re in the world. I’m glad you’re in my life. You matter to me and you will always matter. I will never forget you. I value you, now and always.”
I believe you need to be able to hear those words today as much as I need to be able to say them, Jahar. If it weren’t for our stupid government, I would say them to you.
If I could have sent you a birthday card, this is what I would have written in my own hand:
The plant called Heart’s Ease often grows where we should not expect to find it. And it says: “After these sad days have passed you will look back and wonder how you were carried through. It will not always be so hard as it has been of late; for after the darkness cometh light and after tempest cometh calm. And this is no fantasy. It shall be so.” From the book: “Gold by Moonlight” by Amy Carmichael
I know there isn’t much to celebrate right now. You may not even know today is your birthday, but many people around the world do know and like me, they love you and are keeping hope alive for you.
I can’t quite manage the words “Happy Birthday” knowing where you are tonight. They sound brittle and meaningless. But I can tell you this: you will have many, many more – and they will not be spent behind bars but in the company of friends and loved ones.
I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do –
My gift is my song, and this one’s for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind,
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world
As always, my friend, I wish you peace as you wait for God’s great plan of deliverance to unfold. I will write again very soon.