Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)
TITLE: Gnarled Roots
By Teresa Hollums
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Strength is in gnarled roots of older trees. Their limbs reach out and over and then again dip into the ground seeking their nourishing water. The limbs are filled with partially dead branches that whisper stories of use-to-be, but their leaves flutter excitedly with every new breeze. Their amazing ability to reproduce their maple seeds similar to themselves each year still is a reminder of the gift of life that they still treasure. They are literally holding on for dear life—however limited their form or unusually twisted their fate.
Older, seasoned Christians who have seen life go by with all its varied stages are such strength. Each day begins with a prayer and a search with magnifying glasses over their well-worn Bible. Their nourishment is first God’s living water and their strength is in realizing that their whole being is only at the will of God. Many check prayer lists sent from the church to see who needs special prayers today. Sometimes a name appears in the form of a sympathy note for someone that they once knew and treasured and they are again reminded of life’s fleeting moments and of “use-to-be” laughs and memories of those they once loved
Sadness and heartache intertwine also with joys for the fabric of the lives of those with gnarled roots. Their hearts beat anew at reading of new births in the church and or grandbabies which are and are yet to be. Treasured gifts of continued life—many even bearing the mark of them. Each day offers pain in the form of twisted limbs and fingers and aching joints. Any illness must be battled with firm resolve because it lasts longer. But still they get up, try to get dressed, and try to make life still dear and precious. Their prayers always end with thanks to a God who gives life and continues life. Sorrow and joy reach to heaven in a special way for those of “gnarled roots.”
Prayers be given for love to you all and to those who hurt when you hurt. Strength from God be given to you who battle the last great war—old age. Your preciousness lies in your great example of living that God has been honed to perfection in the reflection of His greatness in your infirmity. Battle on—you and those who love you are still needed and treasured!!
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