Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
June 4, 2006
Fig tree grower touching the clay of young lives
in a wonderful way
In the category of “the
unexpected,” this week I received by email a picture of a fig tree. That is a
“first” in my life. The sender was my friend Ed Williams. The healthy tree thrives
“like crazy” in his backyard on
one of the reasons
1985 Ed has been the beloved and effective faculty adviser for The Auburn Plainsman, the student
newspaper recognized nationally for its excellence. Among other major college
newspapers, only The Daily Texan (
legendary James Foy, Ed makes Auburn people thankful for the
Ed’s personal home page on the Internet alerts one quickly to the professor’s easy going nature. The picture of a dog driving a car removes any likelihood that Ed is overly impressed with himself. In fact he says, "The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous."
Recently I heard a man say that his
goal in life is to make a positive difference in the people whose lives he
touches. He gave me a phrase I want to remember: “I try to touch the clay of
other peoples’ lives in a wonderful way.” That, I think, is what Ed is doing at
Perhaps you are wondering why Ed sent me a picture of the fig tree in his backyard. The reason says a lot about Ed. He remembered an article I wrote some months back about the fig tree in my backyard. He knew I would be blessed to know that he had recalled something I had written!
You can count on it – a smile broke across my face a mile wide and it stayed long enough to brighten my whole day! Every writer knows how difficult it is to compose something people will remember for three hours. I would probably faint if someone told me they remembered a comment I made in a sermon preached a year ago.
Yet Ed remembered my article about a fig tree. I re-read my article looking for a clue as to why Ed recalled it. Then I had a good chuckle. The point of my article was that a jar of figs might save a man’s marriage. Hot buttery biscuits, with fig preserves dripping inside, might persuade even a college professor’s wife to stick around for a while longer.
I could be wrong about Ed’s reason
but, until I find out differently, that is my story and I am sticking to it. I
know those figs helped to save my marriage and I am an
Today is the 54th
anniversary of our marriage. We started our married life in student housing at
Thanks Ed for remembering and for reminding me why my wife still loves me. One of these days I want to meet your sweet wife. We could even have breakfast together some cold, winter morn and enjoy, well you know, some hot biscuits married to some good figs.
Until then, Ed, keep on doing what you do best – touching the clay of other lives in a wonderful way. + + + +