SGLY: Walk on the roots

By Tiffany Chartier
Special to the Anna-Melissa Tribune

“Step on the roots,” she said, balancing herself upon the unearthed wooden fingers that pointed the way beyond the slick mud.

The morning’s downpour was as sudden as it was short, leaving pools of standing brown water glistening in the afternoon sun like wet paint. It was a day meant for filling your lungs with the air of spring – beautiful and crisp with a wave of warmth that tickled your ankles just beneath the breeze.

I looked ahead at my friend as she made her way to the picnic table. Unpacking her lunch, she lifted her head long enough to see my delay. “The roots!” she shouted. “Walk on the roots.”

The silhouette of the tree’s branches marched across the picnic table, drawing me to both the sun and the pace of the shadows. I opened my mouth to speak, but my feet moved before my words. I soon found myself nervously smiling as I balanced upon exposed roots elevated inches above sludge on either side. Encouraged, I took my final step off the roots in a leap. I recognized the sound of my laughter over that of my friend’s, and I suddenly felt as brave as when I crossed the monkey bars as a kid for the first (and the hundredth) time.

It takes courage, bravery, vulnerability, and faith to stand on our roots in the middle of the muck. We must trust what helped us thrive will also help us through. But trust does not come without risk. There is the risk of exposure and stumbling. There is the risk of being criticized (for both valid and nonvalid reasons). And there is the ever-present risk of not knowing for certain the outcome.

But God knows. He knows what awaits you on the other side of all that you are going through. God leads the way that brings you closer to Him. Perils in our brief life will remain, but so does God. And when this temporary life ends, we will continue to remain with God as He is with us. Rooting us in faith and covering His children in mercy and grace, God tucks us in the shadow of His wings.

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 36:7).

We must be grounded to grow authentically. Roots shrink in shallow soil, as do the hearts and minds of man. The purity of our thoughts is exposed in the health of our blooms, and the depth and dependency upon our roots are evident in our conduct, both seen and unseen.

As I look back at the exposed roots that helped me safely across, I notice the cleanliness of my shoes. I cannot help but be reminded of the tree stripped of leaves and branches used as a pole for execution to bear Christ Jesus. He sacrificed Himself for my sins. His death paid for my life. I have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus. And in this truth, I have been healed… eternally healed despite my stumbles.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

Easter is approaching, and the trees have begun to flower, a beautiful reminder of being reborn, clothed in God’s love, and of new beginnings. As we celebrate Christ Jesus' resurrection, may we also celebrate the reminder that we, too, have been resurrected. We are no longer slaves to sin but singers of praise to the Lord.

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5).

“The roots!” she shouted. “Walk on the roots.”

SGLY, dear reader.

Tiffany Kaye Chartier

(Smile, God Loves You.

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.