Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

April 30, 2017


What you can still do with a dollar


        I enjoy going with my wife to the Adullam House Thrift Store. She patronizes this business because the sales benefit the children of inmates. While she roams the store looking for bargains, I search for a good book among the dozens discarded and given to the store.

        Some of the books, originally selling for fifteen to thirty dollars, can now be purchased for one dollar. It appeals to me to buy a twenty-dollar book for a buck. If I have not read it, then the book is still new to me.

        Recently I found four such good books for which I paid a dollar apiece, truly a bargain for a book lover. One was a book published in 1989 by Billy Graham’s wife Ruth. The title is Legacy of a Pack Rat.

        The daughter of missionaries in China, Ruth lived a long and fruitful life as the wife of the famous evangelist. Her book is a collection of memories, thoughts, experiences, meditations, observations and poetry (some of which she composed). Ruth’s poetry is compelling and inspiring. Here is an example:


The unrelieved complaining

of the wind across the ridge,

rising of a sudden,

to a wild and lonesome roar,

like the sad, sustained resounding

of the surf upon some shore;

leaves my own heart strangely pounding:

as if I’d heard God sighing

for a world astray and dying,

and somewhere, a lost soul crying,

wanting more.


        Ruth draws humorous and profound lessons from some of her ordinary experiences. I love the one she captioned “Horn Blowers” because most of us can identify with her embarrassment.

After shopping one day she returned to her car to find that she had locked the keys in the ignition. Always resourceful, Ruth found a wire clothes hanger and, putting her purse on the roof of the car, she carefully eased the curved hook through the crack in the window and succeeded in opening the door.

About this time, she “felt eyes on me.” Turning, she saw parked behind her a car full of people watching her. “They think I am breaking in,” she said to herself so she quickly opened the door “and took off with as much quiet dignity as I could muster.” They honked at her as she drove off but she ignored them and turned onto the street. Then another car, passing Ruth, honked at her. I will let Ruth finish her story:

“People are really acting strange, I thought, for what was usually an exceptionally friendly town.

“I drew up at the red light.

“A car pulled up alongside, its occupants waving. I smiled.

“But they were pointing.

“’Your pocketbook’” they shouted, “’It’s on top of the car.’”

Ruth offered no further comment. I think she knew we would be laughing too hard to get her point if she had offered one.

All this to say, while people today ignore pennies lying on the sidewalk, there are still a lot of good things you can do with a dollar. + + +