A good friend of mine, Rusty Cluck, a neighbor on the Bolivar Peninsula, said in an e-mail this week that, Ted, my husband, is an explorer. I totally agree with Rusty’s pronouncement. There are times when Ted will leave to drive to the local grocery or pharmacy and be gone for much longer than the time it takes to get there and back to our home
One day this week, Ted went to the grocery store about one mile from our home. He was gone for at least two hours, but I thought he was probably having fun. When he came home, he delighted me with a beautiful collection of photographs featuring some of the most beautiful azaleas I have ever seen, and we have lots of them in Atlanta, home for me originally. These were the deepest fuchsia colors or a very dark pink. They were not red, but this gorgeous color of several shades of pink. In his travels, Ted found out that there are more than 25 varieties of azaleas that bloom in our area. The only negative he discovered is that these beautiful blooms do not last long. They are similar to the Bradford pear blossoms that are so pretty for a short while.
I posted a few of the photographs Ted had taken on one of our sites and a dear Bible teaching friend in Florida wrote to say what she thought when she saw the flowers in all their splendor. “Why, Brenda, the azaleas and other early blooming creations are simply busy this week dressing up the earth for Easter,” she wrote. I gave some thought to what Jan Grubbs Beasley had suggested and the more I thought about the subject, the more I liked her version of what was happening.
I know many people who do not believe in God. They sometimes refer to “a higher power,” and some are complete agnostics. They view strong, orthodox Christians as somewhat undereducated, not very aware of what is really going on, and I even had one tell me recently that we folks who practiced our faith simply needed a crutch to lean on during our lives. This supposedly very well educated young man informed me that he could explain how the earth came into being and clearly how it was populated, and he closed his tirade by telling me that when he died, he simply would not exist any longer. “You mean, kind of like a deep sleep?” I asked. He answered by saying that we “weak” people could not face our own deaths or the deaths of our loved ones without believing in a hereafter. I call it heaven, and I have assurance from the Word of God that I am going there when I die.
Whatever you might believe in your heart today is up to you. I can’t change it. I can’t impress you to try to change it for yourself. But, I can suggest and even tell you that I believe my entire faith rests solidly on what happened that bright, happy Easter morning when Mary of Magdalene was given the greatest message ever given any human being.
Read the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 28, where you will see for yourself, beginning in Verse 5, Mary was told by the angel, “I know the you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Verse 7 continues, “And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goes before you into Galilee, and there ye shall see Him.”
I believe my friend is right. The earth is simply getting ready to celebrate once again that first and most important resurrection morning.
Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.