Last week after school my five-year-old ran up to me yelling with excitement, "I want every day to be 'Friend Day'!" (I later found out they had been discussing Friendship Day as one of their lessons for the week). When I asked him why he thought this he exclaimed, "Because then everyone would be happy all of the time. They would always know that they had friends! I want to bring every single person in my school a special treat and tell them 'Happy Friend Day!' That would be a great idea right?!"
I started to hear the words "Sorry bud, I think......" come out of my mouth, but thankfully he kept talking and my words trailed off. I thought to myself, "That would be so complicated and so much work....Complicated? For who? For ME? How selfish of me to think so." When I realized I had been lost in my own thoughts I looked back down at his beaming smile and again heard him say, "Does that sound like a good idea?" I smiled back and said, "Yes buddy. That sounds like a great idea."
His walk immediately became a skip. A sign of his genuine joy.
I secretly hoped he would forget and have a new life plan within a few minutes like most 5-year-olds do, but as I buckled myself in the driver's seat and headed toward home, his conversation told me otherwise. He explained that his goal was to bring a treat to every single person at his school. Not just his best friends, not just the 12 in his class, not just the 87 children in the building. Every. Single. Person. He didn't want anyone to feel left out (teachers included). "Because everyone needs a friend!" He only talks about a few of the kids in his class on a regular basis. Their class is small, so I know they all play in close proximity every single day, but I don't know how many of them are reciprocally his 'best friend' or friend to him at all, but of course he doesn't know that, or at least doesn't seem to care. All he knows is that his heart told him that it was his job to put a smile on all of their faces, and he was going to do whatever it took to make that happen.
A few days went by without him bringing it up again. At first I was glad to be off the hook, but then a bit of guilt showed up and I took the initiative to ask him what I should look for at the store while he was at school (thank goodness for 50% off Easter treats). He decided some sort of candy or stickers would be best. He went on his way to school and his brother and I headed to Walmart. Flash forward 24 hours later and he used every bit of muscle to carry a very large bag of candy along with his lunch box through the school doors. His teacher was kind enough to capture this moment for me, and I think it's safe to say that his heart was ready to burst through his chest at this point in the day.
Can you imagine all of the happy that would fill our lives and those around us if we lived every day with a heart like a child? I challenge you to make today friend day. No matter what time of day it is as you're reading this, I promise there is still time TODAY. Send someone a text, card, phone call or, even better, schedule an IN-PERSON coffee chat! Someone may need you today more than ever, and maybe that someone is you.
It doesn't take much to make someone feel like today is friendship day. Jesus fed the 5,000 with a few fish and loaves of bread. We fed 100 with a $10 bag of treats.
A little love goes a long way. Happy friendship day to you.