Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

July 31, 2005


More reasons for keeping a nice fig tree in your backyard


          Imagine it is a cold Saturday morning in January. You wake up craving some sausage, scrambled eggs, grits, and biscuits. Thirty minutes later you call the family to the table. The coffee is hot. The orange juice is poured.  Everybody is grinning.

          You break open a hot biscuit and hit it with a slab of butter. Just then you remember that you have a jar of fig preserves tucked away in the pantry. When you open the jar and slide a wad of figs into a biscuit, everyone at the table says, “Fix me one just like that!”

          After everyone gets a biscuit loaded with figs, you offer a quick prayer and the chomping begins. What a great way to enjoy a Saturday in the dead of winter! A morning like that is so good it might even save your marriage! (By the way, you never pray a long prayer when the biscuits are hot. That I did not learn in seminary; my kids taught me that lesson.)

          The best way to get that jar of figs in your pantry is to keep a nice fig tree growing in your backyard. Two are better than one. Two is actually a great concept. God likes twos. You remember that story about loading the animals on the ark two by two. Most of us like twos. You know, a man needs a woman and all that stuff. So maintain two fig trees in your yard if for no other reason than the symbolism.

          Tending fig trees is not difficult. They do not require a lot of care. Just make sure you plant them in reasonably good soil, the kind we have lots of in Elmo County. Then about all they need is plenty of sunshine and water. God will do the rest. (Yeah, go ahead and give him the credit. Forget that Mother Nature stuff; that is just one more name dreamed up by someone who did not want to acknowledge God.)

          Fig trees help us keep in touch with the past. Cell phones are new; they are plastic and you cannot eat them. Like many new things cell phones will help us for awhile; then we will discard them and find us another toy. But fig trees will remain. People will still enjoy figs when our great grandchildren cannot remember what a cell phone was.

          Fig trees have been with us since the beginning of time. Remember Adam and Eve? You recall they were naked at first and not ashamed of it. Then Eve, bless her heart, believed the snake, persuaded Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and we have been in trouble ever since.

          I hope my women friends will forgive me for saying so, but it does seem to me that it was Eve’s fault. Adam was busy reading the paper when Eve let that serpent convince her to take a bite of that fruit. She liked it and offered some to Adam. Hey, the dear man might not have eaten it had Eve not handed it to him. So, you could say it was Eve who tempted Adam to sin. But since I want to remain married, I am not going there.

          At any rate when the dear couple realized they were naked, where did they turn? You guessed it. They make themselves some clothes by sewing fig leaves together! What an outfit that must have been.

          God must not have liked the idea of making clothes out of fig leaves so he made Adam and Eve a new suit of clothes out of skin. That ended the idea of using fig leaves for clothes. But the figs continued across the centuries to be a delightful food that has blessed people to the present hour.

          Some of my ideas may be questionable. If, however, I am right that a jar of figs might save a troubled marriage some morning – and even in the good old summertime – then some of you guys need to pick some figs and help Mama preserve them.  + + + +