“Nevertheless, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending side by side for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 61:3
There is only a small patch of ground separating our houses. There it is spread out between our neighboring driveways. This little patch is the spot we cross over to borrow an onion or a cup of milk. Many homemade breads and treats have made the passage. Fresh fruits and vegetables from her garden just happen to show up. We cross this path to drop off or retrieve the dog and of course to grab a quick cup of coffee. Many impromptu conversations have taken place there under the trees and yes, we have watered a few roots with both our tears and laughter.
On the last few trips over, I have become aware of the protruding roots. The dirt has washed away and the roots have grown larger through the years. I carefully step over realizing they have become a prominent part of our passageway.
Last week during a spontaneous gathering of friends, once again I ran my feet atop the roots and took note. I could easily define whose tree was whose, but the roots were entangled making it impossible to identify which roots belonged to which tree. Glancing up I saw that the same was true of the branches intertwined making a beautiful shade canopy for our little gathering.
I am reminded of how God plants our lives next to each other. My growth and lack of growth does affect those around me. As I am strengthened in the Lord, deeply rooted and grounded in His love, my roots will spread and grow and hopefully become intertwined with others creating a passageway into hearts. We don’t need more boundaries, but more intertwining of hearts and lives.
“Lord may we grow stronger, standing together in one spirit as a planting of the Lord displaying your great splendor. Stretch our lives across that which is intended to separate and transform it into a beautiful passageway. May our differences strengthen each other providing grace and shade for others.