Strong Roots


Be dogged!
You must be persistent.
The odds seem long; So what?
Logic suggests collapse;
“It’s foolish to continue,” declares the detractor.
“The weight of injustice will break you!

What does faith say?
Be determined!
Hang on tightly. Don’t let go.
Foolish? Well good!
“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise,
and God has chosen the weak things of the world
to shame the things which are strong.”

It’s a hard!
It’s exhausting.
“Don’t waste your time,” cries the critic.
“Get what’s yours. That’s hard enough work.”
Too much work? Well good!
“He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth.”

Scripture also says;
“Let your roots grow down into God,
and let your lives be built on God.
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught,
and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Good advice? Sure.
Perhaps in addition we might consider showing our roots.
Let the the world view how intertwined and strong our roots really are.
Strong roots! We have them.
Some days when the bough bends to near breaking,
Look down and you will see our roots…

Dorothy Day;
“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer;
“Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued.”

Hildegard of Bingen 
“Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world—everything is hidden in you.”

Janani Luwum
“While the opportunity is there, I preach the Gospel with all my might, and my conscience is clear before God that I have not sided with the present government which is utterly self-seeking. I have been threatened many times. Whenever I have the opportunity I have told the president the things the churches disapprove of. God is my witness.”

Oscar Romero 
“When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises.”

Julian of Norwich 
“He said not ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased’; but he said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome” 

Corrie Ten Boom
“The tree on the mountain takes whatever the weather brings. If it has any choice at all, it is in putting down roots as deeply as possible.”—Each New Day”

Henri Nouwen
“When we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.”

Winnie Whyatt 
“Tears are the enemy of the devil. It’s ok to cry.” 

That’s just a few roots I can see holding me up when I get weary from the negativity and cynicism. There is so much for us to do given the isolationism and tribalism that we are all witnessing. Let’s not let the weariness and negativity of others push us further down. Now is the time to rely on the strength of our faith and the roots that are strongly wound together holding us up to do that which seems foolish to the culture in which we have been called to minister. Our Roots will allow us to love, to speak, to act, to explore our weakness and to stand in solidarity with the weakness of others. And if once and a while that brings tears…. it’s ok. My grandmother had it right. Tears are the enemy of the devil.


2 thoughts on “Strong Roots

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  1. Kevin, I made a banner once for a special time in our church life. The wordson it are “To grow in Christ, be rooted in prayer.” I visualised it as a blossoming planted with strong roots in God’s good earth. I think we need much more reliance on prayer in our daily life.
    Another saying a young basketball teacher had was “Pray before you play.”To immprove in life, to overcome hurdles the roots of faith in God and listening for His wisdom is vital.
    I miss s this summer and hope to visit sometime.

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