When we added on to our house about three years ago, we had to move an aspen in our yard. With the help of a giant machine, we moved the tree and hoped for the best. The first few weeks, we were worried about the aspen’s ability to withstand the transplant. At 20 feet tall, we hoped that the tree would take root once again.
We waited. Winter turned to spring and buds appeared! Soon those gave way to little green leaves and finally to bigger green leaves. Now after three years, the tree is growing and thriving, even though the tree had been uprooted from the ground it had known for many years.
That aspen reminds me of my life that has taken drastic turns at times. The wellbeing of that aspen tree and my life both have to do with our root bases or where we get our sustenance. When I am temporarily uprooted, I return to my childhood spiritual roots for strength.
I remember one Sunday night service at a little country church where my daddy was preaching. That is when I first realized that I needed Jesus Christ.
I recall my parents on their knees praying for Susie she had been diagnosed with rheumatic fever. That is when I first understood the significance of prayer.
I think about Mr. Talbee, who owned the gas station on the corner during in my parents’ seminary days. Recognizing we were on a tight budget, he offered help with free gasoline every Saturday. Throughout Daddy’s seminary years, we drove to those country churches on gas compliments of Mr. Talbee. That is when I first became aware that Christians were to help one another.
I remember our milkman in Kansas City, Mr. Horace Bedler. He would carry his bottles of milk in a wire carrier. His little twin boys were blind. Many mornings Mother invited him in for coffee, talked to him about God and prayed with him. That is when I first became acquainted with the fact that we should give comfort to and pray for others.
I remember friends from Denmark and Africa, who were in seminary with my parents. I had no idea about Denmark and Africa but knew both were from far away somewhere. That is when I first comprehended that Jesus was for everyone.
I remember Daddy holding down two jobs, going to seminary and still a full time church pastor. Mother worked, went to seminary and cared for all of us. That is when I became conscious of the meaning of Christian commitment as a daily sacrifice.
I remember those long Sunday trips to those country churches. To entertain us, Mother taught us to recite the 23rd Psalm and the beginning verses of the 14th chapter of John. That is when I identified the Bible as a paramount help to my life.
I think back to my roots and view the beginnings of the faith that were rooted and grounded in me as a young child. Since that time, my faith has grown stronger and deeper. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:16-18: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ …”
Looking back can be beneficial. We can visit the places where we first learned about God and the steadfastness of a God who cares for us. That provides me strength for the days of my life.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: