Chapel Chimes: Lilies and Resurrection

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date April 07, 2023

Reflection from Kirkwood Chaplain, The Rev. Richard Hanna

Here, in this beautiful place called Kirkwood, are so many signs of the miracle of springtime as flowers are beginning to bloom and trees are beginning to bud. Out of that which appeared to be dead comes new life, and with it, beauty and hope for the future.

Someone once said, “Springtime is an affirmation to us from God that He desires His creation to go on.” The miracle of springtime.

For Christians, there is an even greater miracle that we celebrate every spring – the miracle of the Resurrection! How fitting it is that the Lenten and Easter seasons always take place as winter recedes and as spring bursts upon us in its glorious beauty. In this season of miracles, we witness the miracle of new life in God’s creation, and the miracle of the new life we can experience because of the Resurrection. Both are bold affirmations that God desires His creation to go on.

One of the most beautiful symbols of Easter and springtime is the Easter lily. Sometimes called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion – and many churches today fill their sanctuaries with lilies on Easter Sunday morning.

This poem describes well the powerful symbolism of the Easter lily:

Easter morn with lilies fair, fills the earth with perfumes rare,
As their clouds of incense rise, sweetest offerings to the skies.
Stately lilies pure and white, flooding darkness with their light,
Bloom and sorrows drift away, on this holy hallowed day.
Easter Lilies standing bright, beyond the darkness of the night,
Bear a message from the sod, of the awesome power of God.

Springtime and Easter. Lilies and Resurrection. God’s awesome power displayed. The miracle of new life. During this special season of the year, may we embrace the promise of that miracle for ourselves. Happy Easter!


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents