“Never pass up an opportunity to enjoy nature’s beauty ~ it’s the handwriting of God.” *
Last week we talked about nature speaking of God and focused on redwood trees. Those magnificent giants live hundreds of years, grow hundreds of feet into the heavens, and have roots as shallow as 5 to 10 feet. But those relatively shallow roots stretch 60, 80, even 100 feet out and intertwine, sometimes even fuse, with the roots of neighbor redwoods. They literally hold each other up. What a perfect metaphor for us.
Psalm 68:6 says: “God sets the solitary in families” [KJV]. We’re born into families and seem to be wired to need others. In fact infants recognize faces within hours, and are drawn to animated faces. When their adults suddenly presents a neutral facial expression, signs of distress are seen in children as young as 4 days old. **
And like redwoods, most of us thrive in a supportive community. This should be no surprise, I guess. Jesus has commanded “Love one another as I have loved you” [John 15:12, KJV]. We’re even told why He chose to link humans together: Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. [Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, KJV]
So how do we do this? Here are just a couple examples:
In the Bible we read that Aaron & Hur held up the arms of Moses when Amalek fought the Israelites [Exodus 17:12].
Also when David and his men were hungry, Abigail generously provided food. [1 Samuel 25:18-20]
And from life ~ Years ago my young son regularly dragged the trash can belonging to our elderly neighbor back after the garbage men left it in the road.
A wonderful mom and an awesome friend, Ellen, who’s been fighting a life/death health struggle for years, reaches out and mentors other young mothers with great generosity and love.
Katie Davis graduated high-school and went to Uganda to help in an orphanage during a vacation ~ and stayed, adopting over a dozen girls and starting a ministry that reaches thousands.
My friend Jill just held a dying baby who’d been left alone in a utility closet after an “unsuccessful” abortion. You can read more about her and other everyday heroes in my post from Feb. 4, 2016: Basic Training for Heroes.
Many years ago, I suffered a miscarriage; and some months later my mother died. My friend Carol called and came by often, refusing to let me collapse into the black-hole of depression that beckoned me.
When my dad was still alive, he lived thousands of miles from us. Every time I went to see him, my sister-in-law opened her home for as long as I wanted to stay. Even from afar, she helped hold me up.
Like the redwood’s roots, we reach out from where we are planted. There are countless ways in which we can be part of such a network of support ~ giver and receiver. And like the myriad, intermingled roots, each of them is important and amplifies the others.
Please share your thoughts. It’s another way we can intermingle our roots! In what way has someone been part of your “root system” and held you up?
How can you be a steadying root for someone else?
* poster seen on Tumblr