Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
April 13, 2014
Ah, the glory
and grandeur of springtime!
Springtime! I love this gentle season that is so welcome
after a harsh winter. It is a glorious time of the year!
I love walking in our yard and observing dead
leaves being pushed aside by colorful green, yellow and white blossoms. Dismal
colors are being replaced by the extravagant colors of spring.
All about me are azaleas, dogwoods, blueberry and plum bushes begging to be admired. Their bright colors seem to be shouting, “Spring is here! Wake up old man and share our delight!”
The daffodils sprang to life first, a
few weeks ago. Most of their blooms are gone now. But I never greet the new daffodil
without remembering my wife’s mother Sarah Brown. She planted the daffodils in
our yard and whenever those harbingers of spring bloom, I thank God for Sarah.
“knockout” roses are waking up, their luxurious green leaves hiding tiny rosebuds.
The huge oaks are coming alive, their barren limbs soon to be adorned with
green foliage. The red Maple tree, a gift from Mark’s sons – John, Anthony and
Robert – is flourishing in our front yard.
Oh how I wish the azalea blooms would stay
with us longer! Alas, their lush blossoms have such a short life. Therein is an
important lesson. We should not take them for granted and not miss a moment to
enjoy the beautiful blooms that are so soon departed. Fortunately our azaleas
take turns blooming so we can enjoy them for a few days
Day lilies are every where; though not
blooming they are pregnant with new life. My mother Caroline loved day lilies.
She raised dozens of them and prided herself in nurturing many different
many years, whenever my wife and I came home
for a visit, Mama insisted that we take some day lilies home. So her day
lilies were transplanted in the yards of more than a dozen homes where we
lived. Mama’s flowers enabled us to leave every yard more beautiful than we
The hummingbirds are back again. We delight
in watching them flit about taking nourishment from our three feeders. Hummingbirds
are fun to watch. Though five feeding stations are available, two of these tiny
birds will fight over one station. You have to chuckle because they are acting
just like people! Such hostile behavior is not what Jesus meant when he said,
“Look at the birds of the air.”
three bird feeders with seeds and enjoy bird-watching outside our windows.
Occasionally smarms of blackbirds storm the feeders and quickly rob the little
sparrows of meals prepared for them. For awhile I was irritated by the
blackbirds cleaning out my feeders but the Lord reminded me that they have to
eat too. I reckon His Eye is on the blackbirds as well as the sparrow.
while living in Nashville, we fed two special birds whose names were Pete and
Pauline. They had been given those names by the previous owners of the home. My
wife and I quickly agreed when the old couple insisted that we feed Pete and
Pauline, two doves that had nested outside a kitchen window. We enjoyed caring for Pete and Pauline while
we lived there.
Spring in our area would not be spring
without the splendor of the dogwood trees. Once again the dogwoods have been
glorious though the recent rain dislodged most of the lovely white blooms. I
never enjoy dogwoods or azaleas anywhere without remembering the beauty they
added to Opelika springtimes. They are as beautiful
there as anywhere in the world.
Flourishing just outside our front
door is a flourishing Chinese fringe tree, a gift from our friends Betty and
Judy Gingles. The tree’s scientific name is “Chionanthus retusus.”
I have tried, in vain, to confirm this tree’s name as “Grancy
Grey Beard.” My Mama called it that and my wife does also.
I have never heard anyone refer to
this beautiful tree by the name “Chinese fringe tree,” though that apparently
is its real name. Whatever its name, it is a gorgeous tree, especially in late
spring when it produces snow white, fragrant flowers that cascade over the tree
like a blanket.
Dean and I named it the “Gingles tree” to remind us of Betty and Judy. When its
lovely blooms burst forth we give thanks for the fragrance of friendship as we
enjoy the snowy flowers.
What a great blessing to be alive and able to
see, smell and enjoy the extravagances of another magnificent
springtime! Glory! + + +