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Forgotten Birthday

       One wintry afternoon, I stopped to visit my friend, Alice, who was recovering from back surgery.
She had been in much pain and I brought her a lovely, little plant, with orange blossoms, as a get-well gift.
       As I walked in the door, her husband and daughter, Gail, shyly greeted me and mentioned that
I was just in time for her birthday party. Suddenly, it hit me, like a ton of bricks! Her birthday, which was on New Year’s Day,
had been just three days earlier and I had totally forgotten! For the last four months, during her illness and painful condition,
I was daily praying for her, often calling and visiting and very worried about her. We had been friends for 40 years and we always
remembered each other’s birthdays. Every year, she very faithfully had remembered me on my birthday and I never forgot hers.
Often, I congratulated her husband on his birthday and a month earlier, had congratulated her daughter, Gail, on her birthday.
       Since Alice’ birthday was New Year’s Day, it was also very hard to overlook. So, I was mortified,
that I had not remembered to call her on her birthday and give her a more elaborate gift. I could have pretended that I had not called,
because I was planning to surprise her today, but to compound my error, in my honesty and embarrassment, I admitted that I had completely
forgotten her birthday. I wondered how she could forgive my negligence, especially during such a difficult time in her life.
       Alice and her family were very conciliatory and assured me that I was welcome to join in the birthday party.
They were not expecting guests—it was only Alice, her husband and two daughters, and now the unexpected guest, me!
       We had such a wonderful time at the birthday dinner and such delicious food, that the daughters had prepared.
       How life can give us strange twists and turns! Though we might stumble and completely annihilate a situation,
Our Heavenly Father can turn it all for good. Though I had forgotten Alice’s birthday, He orchestrated my showing up for the party, even with a little gift.
I am happy to report that Alice is continuing to recover and we continue as good friends.