May 14, 2020

I’ve been battling roots lately, not the ones that could be easily taken care of by a box of L’OREAL. It started with the decision to replace two holly bushes in the front of our house. Nothing against holly in general. But these two had been planted too close to other bushes, and trimmed short and squat rather than given free rein to grow tall and proud.

I cut back branches until I got to the base, and then went at the roots with a pickaxe. It was not an easy task, but highly therapeutic. Swinging away at those old roots. I was swinging with all my might as if I were Jack going after the Giant’s Beanstalk, or me, going after a virus. It felt strangely therapeutic. After cutting through the roots and pulling out as many smaller ones as I could, I got down to digging around the base, tossing soil aside to uncover additional roots. Multiple hacked roots later, I was able to get the shovel all the way under the plant, and lever it out. 

Roots are amazing things, growing and spreading underground, supporting the plant, providing nutrition, breaking up the soil with the tiniest of little fingers.  And once established, they are a piece of work to remove.

It’s gotten me to thinking about roots, good and bad. Paul writes that, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” (1 Tim. 6:10). That’s the kind of misplaced affection and love that needs to be rooted out. He also prays that we “will be rooted and grounded in love,” (Ephesians 3:17).

This COVID19 time has laid so much bare, socially, politically, relationally, physically, and perhaps above all, spiritually. It certainly has put the ax to my crazy need for control. The toughest and most tenacious tentacles of impatience, of anxiety, of impatience are holding onto the deeper soil, and yanking them out is hard, painful work. 

But it has also revealed the deep roots of faith and love, which somehow get intertwined with others, supporting a system of relationships that I hadn’t known were so important and so life-giving.

Paul goes on the pray in Ephesians 3, “that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Rooting for you today! ~ Anne

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