My friend Luis turned 40 this past Wednesday. We had a surprise party for him that night, at which he became visibly shaken because he was so taken aback. The reason we made a big to do about it was because he made the mistake of telling me a few months ago that he had never even had a recognition for his birthday his entire life. No cards, no cakes or presents, and certainly no parties, even when he was a child. So, needless to say, we wanted to do something for him and Brady, his lifegroup leader, did an awesome job planning it and getting everything together.

During the party, he had to go outside to calm down because he was so shaken. He told me once again that this was the first birthday party he’d ever had, and that we didn’t have to do it. I just told him that we loved him and wanted to celebrate with him. Then, his eyes got sparkly and he started telling me the story of his morning:

“You know, I woke up this morning, and I walked into the living room and saw a cake and a card laying on the table. I wiped the sleep from my eyes, and I said ‘Luis, you are seeing things, you need to wake up.’ So I went and took a shower to wake up, and then sitting in my room, I just had to go look again. I walked back into the living room, and that card and cake was still sitting there, and it was for me! I still didn’t believe it, because you know, after 40 years of nothing, its just hard to believe. But wow, now I have a family.”

That grin is worth all the birthday cake in the world.

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