Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

October 29, 2006


Remembering beautiful moments is good medicine for the soul


          Bad things happen. Life is hard. Nobody is immune to trouble. Sooner or later every human being will face hurt and heartache. Smiles will give way to tears and laughter to misery.

          That is why we need a plan, some way to deal with trouble when it comes. It helps me to remember that life is short so we need to punctuate our days with laughter. We can be intentional about laughter and on gloomy days we should be. We can laugh anyway, even if it hurts.

          Fortunately pain, like happiness, does not last forever. Eventually today’s pain will become a dull ache in a few days. We learn to embrace it, accept it, and move on.

          When despair hovers near, I remind myself that not all days in the past have been difficult. I got through them and, with a little help I can get through the dark cloud of the moment. Flying has taught me that there is often brilliant sunshine just above the darkest cloud.

          As I recall other days it helps to remember beautiful moments that I have come to cherish. Especially helpful it is to remember that some of my most precious moments happened in the midst of painful experiences.

          Once years ago my wife was critically ill in a Pensacola hospital. I was deeply troubled because her doctor was worried and not sure what to do next. I was unable to be with her as much as I wanted to be since our four small boys needed me at home.

          Then one morning as I walked into her hospital room she greeted me with a beautiful smile and said quietly, “I am well. The doctor said I could go home today.” I was stunned. The day before she was so sick her life seemed to hang in the balance. How could this be?

          She took my hand and explained the change. “Yesterday afternoon I felt terrible. It was hot and stuffy in the room. My nurse opened the window and soon I felt a gentle breeze. Suddenly I felt a Presence in the room and in my mind I heard a voice say, ‘you are well, my child.’ Then I realized I felt well. I did not feel sick anymore. I knew I was well.” And she was!

          Explain that any way you wish. I have never tried to analyze it; I just said “Thank you.” That is enough for me.

          Remembering that experience energizes my faith when times are hard again. If it happened once, through no merit of my own, it could happen again. And frankly I will admit I have not been shy about asking the Lord to do it again.  He is able, you know. This is his world and he is in charge.

          There is another beautiful moment I love to remember. About three o’clock one afternoon I told my wife and our sons I would be back before midnight. I had a speaking engagement in a town about a hundred miles away. As I started out the door our youngest son, Steve, asked if he could go with me. I said sure, come on.

          In the car I turned the radio on by force of habit. Steve reached up and turned it off. Then he moved a little closer to me on the front seat and said, “Dad, why don’t we just talk?” I said, “Son that is a great idea; let’s do.”

          We talked for a long time. Then, after a bit of silence, he said, “Dad, we like being together, don’t we?”

          I don’t remember what I said in reply, if anything. I do remember that those words were indelibly etched in my mind that afternoon. It remains one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

          When life is tough I find remembering beautiful moments is good medicine for my soul. Somehow it makes tears give way to smiles and misery to laughter again.  Despair is simply no match for joy.  + + +