With really no roots at all, Tom sold most of what he had and headed out.
Tom had a fragile childhood. His father was known as a rowdy type, a sailor with a woman in every port. Naturally, things between his mother and father fell apart since his father wouldn’t stop his running around. Then the day came when his mom met a man from Florida. Before he knew it, they were married and moving to Florida—without him.
Tom was left to live with his grandmother who lived with her daughter and son-in-law and their two children. His aunt and uncle became his parents, and his two cousins became his brother and sister.
Tom’s life wasn’t much different than his father’s. None of his marriages lasted very long. Since he couldn’t father children of his own, when the marriage dissolved so did all the roots that went with it. When his last wife died from breast cancer, Tom sold almost everything he had, loaded his horses and belongings in a trailer, and hit the road. He had no roots.
Sometimes I feel a little like Tom. As a preacher’s kid and then a preacher myself, moving from place to place came with the territory. Family reunions were often missed due to church, so I depended a great deal on my grandmother to keep me updated. Mom and Dad’s sister are the only family matriarchs my family has left.
Though my earthly roots are somewhat fragmented—and now very shallow—my spiritual roots run deep. Distance, divorce, and death can shatter and fragment genealogical roots, but the root that extends down into God’s love is a deep one. In fact, it is a tap root with no end.
Others may leave us in life for numerous reasons. We ourselves will one day have to leave this earth behind. But if we are rooted in God’s love, we have a large family that is planted across the world. Though our physical families dwindle and fragment, our spiritual families can be found anywhere we go because anywhere we go we can find people who are rooted in God’s love.
When it appears your family roots are slowly dissipating, remember how large your spiritual family is. Pray for them, and enjoy spending time with them.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for giving us spiritual family all across this globe.
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