“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots go down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
– Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
“Mom, come quick!” my son yelled from our back door.
We had just arrived home from some errands on a Saturday afternoon in November 2018. As I scrambled to get from the garage to the inside of the house, I was scared about what I’d find.
I walked toward him and noticed there was definitely something wrong: the tree in the corner of our yard had completely fallen over! It was a very large tree, a shoestring acacia. It had been there for about fifteen years.
This tree had not grown in straight, its trunk tilted and its branches sprawled in many different directions. We had been concerned about how it leaned when we moved in eight years prior, but various landscapers we asked didn’t think it would fall over.
But it did! It fell into the block wall separating our house from our neighbors, breaking several bricks. The tree had been completely uprooted, as you can see from the picture. In the end, we concluded that the roots never went deep enough down into the soil to hold the tree firmly in place.
I was sad that this permanent fixture of our yard was now broken and would need to be removed. It had provided such lovely shade in the hot Arizona afternoons.
Eventually our landscapers cut down the branches and dug out the trunk. We had a contractor repair the broken wall. The yard felt emptier, a little naked even.
But in those first few weeks of the tree being gone, I appreciated how much brighter our yard was. Without the tree, the light of the sun had the opportunity to shine through and make its way into the house, which had always seemed a little dark. The entire house seemed fuller and brighter with the extra light.
Why am I telling you this?
It feels like our world has been uprooted lately, hasn’t it? This COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything in the here and now. It feels like coming home to see that our tree had toppled over. Our lives look very different from the way they had been.
But I trust that something bright is going to come out of this time. Perhaps the Son can shine brighter now that our lives have been uprooted: our schedule is thinner, and we have more time because we’re staying close to home. We’re able to slow down and realign our lives.
Prior to this season, I know I’ve been guilty of not living intentionally in certain areas of my life. This pandemic has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I want to do differently. It’s provided the opportunity for His light to shine and fill my heart with hope and peace. It’s provided the opportunity for my roots to grow down deeper than they were before. For that, I am thankful.
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