Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

January 8, 2017


Sitting by the fire, waiting for the storm


I am sitting by the fire, waiting for the storm that weather experts say is descending upon Alabama.

       My wife built the fire. She loves a good fire and she knows how to build one.

       The fire is in the original fireplace of our home, built in 1960 as a little cabin that is now our retirement home. We have gas logs in one of the rooms we added on. We now have a central AC/Heating system for the whole house. But Dean adamantly refuses to give up the old fireplace.

       I pushed her for several years to switch to gas logs. I told her I am too old to bring in firewood. Unflinching, she said dryly, “I will bring it in.”

       I gave up. I learned years ago that the secret to a happy marriage is knowing when to say, “Yes Dear.” Plus, I don’t want to be known as the old fool who sits around and makes his wife bring in the firewood.

       A huge benefit of my surrender is that we now enjoy watching a good fire together. We reminisce about the 56 years of memories conjured up by the old fireplace.

       We delight in recalling times, when the boys were young, that we spent a few holidays in the cabin, sleeping on one mattress in front of a roaring fire. All of us easily remember how a fire would awaken the sleeping wasps in the attic and give us cause to wish we were in a nice motel somewhere.

       We sit by the fire and visualize our son Mark, now 57, being comforted by his Aunt Dot for the bruise on his forehead. Almost one on his first Christmas, Mark had learned how painful it can be to run into the edge of the dinner table.

       Dean and I recall how the cabin became home for three of our four sons and their families over the years. Oldest son Matt is the only one who has not used the cabin as his home for a few years.

       We remember with joy the countless numbers of friends who has sat beside us enjoying a fire like the one burning now. Many have slipped on ahead of us to the Father’s House. Others remain as dear friends whose kindness has blessed us beyond measure.

       Fires, of course, are not only for the stirring of precious memories but also afford us time to pray for family members and friends who are suffering. As we recall the kindness of God to us, we give thanks and ask the good Lord to bless those who are hurting with the love and kindness that only he can provide.

       Yes, we are sitting by the fire, but perhaps waiting for more than the predicted storm. Enjoying the quiet beauty of the roaring fire, we are also asking the Father to show us how and when to get up and become a blessing to someone in need.

       So, thank God, there is more to wait for than a storm. + + +