Deep roots are to be treasured

by Marti Fischerdeep-roots

My roots will reach to the water…  Job: 29:19

I know a man who lives to plant trees.

The first time I met Jack he was in his old, weather-worn pickup truck. His elbow was resting on the driver’s window, and he was radiating a smile that made me believe I had known him all of my life. He thumbed me to the back of the truck where the bed was full of miniature trees. His ambition was obvious: to replace all the trees that were cut down when building a highway through the Ozark Mountains, and return Branson to its original forest of trees.

“Hello,” I shouted, stretching out a hand.

“Hello, yourself,” Jack relied as he stepped from the truck, extending his.

During this brief encounter, Jack sought to teach this city girl with high-heeled shoes sinking into the ground about his “no pain, no gain” school of horticulture. He pulled from his truck a few trees, pruned a branch from a young redwood, then bent down on his hands and knees and placed it in the soil.

Trying to enter into his project, I asked, “Who will water these trees, Jack?” noting the already rather warm spring weather.

“Rarely do these trees need watering,” was his simple answer and then adding, “Watering spoils them.”

Not wanting to distinguish myself as the hothouse tomato that I am, I inquired how one could indulge a tree.

“If you coddle trees, each generation grows weaker,” Jack explained as he stomped the ground around the newly planted tree. Hesitating, as if to consider whether I was capable of understanding, his eyes turned toward me to distinguish whether there was anything about me that was beyond the obviously out of place New York styled black dress for such a warm day.

“Too much watering makes for shallow roots, while trees that are not pampered grow deep roots in search of moisture.” He tossed his shovel back into the bed of the truck, reached to open the door and with a wink he concluded, “Deep roots are to be treasured.”

Several years later, when John and I moved into our first real home in California, we planted a couple of trees in our tiny backyard. We watered them, sprayed them, fertilized them, dug around them, and fussed over them resulting in over-indulged trees that expected to be waited on hand and foot. They were sissy trees — toddler, juvenile trees that keeled over at the first heavy wind that blew, and for southern California, that’s not saying much.

Later in the year and during one of Missouri’s chilling storms, I drove by the place where Jack and I had first met. In contrast to our wimpy trees, Jack’s trees were surviving the adversity of the much harsher Missouri weather. They were strong, tough, and sturdy. Just as Jack had said, deprivation had benefited them; the roots had grown deep, preventing the trees from being swept away.

Jack’s words of wisdom as illustrated through his trees got me thinking about adversity and how I pray for our family and especially our children to be spared the hard times. Yet, as inevitable as a Missouri storm, there will always be a cold, cruel wind blowing somewhere. So, instead of asking for our children to be spared, I pray that our children will be deeply “rooted and established in love,” drawing on God’s hidden springs and sources, filled with his affection and strengthened with His might. For, when the storm clouds gather and the strong winds rage, they will remain firmly entrenched.

“Deep roots,” as Jack once said, “are to be treasured.”


John and I are so grateful to you. With the community coming together we are fast approaching our goal for the requested amount to reestablish our home. Thank you! Yet what is most important is that we are combing our backgrounds to provide new forms of community and experience to our Internet congregation, a real time ministry, where of course the Lord will always conquer because our relationship with Him and with each other will always come first and will never be in conflict with asking for or receiving a gift. Therefore, be faithful only to what the Lord is leading you to do with whatever He puts on your heart.

John suggests that if you wish to send a check to just email us back your intension and the Bank has agreed to accept the amount toward the monies required by the end of today. To learn how to make a contribution on line or where to send a check – click here.

Expect updates throughout the day.

Thank you for your outpouring of love and support with special thanks today to:

Laurence from Vista, California; Mark from Powey, California; Peggy Lee in Nashville; our good friend Art from Roswell, Georgia; special thanks to thank-you-animatedJonathan in Fresno, California; Michael in Shawnee, Kansas; Donald from Canandaigua, New York; Marvin in Spokane; Richard in Jenison, Michigan; Jeffrey in San Jose, California; David from Canby, Oregon; Dean from Victoria, Australia; Fabrizia in Grinzens, Austria; Alan in Palm Bay, Florida; Marta from Riverside, California; Marc from Edmond, Oklahoma; Jeffrey from Rowlett, Texas; Anthony in Valley Stream, New York; David in Richardson, Texas; Jennifer in West Chapel, Florida; Phillip in Tigard. Oregon; Katherine from Waterbury, Connecticut; Matthew in Rochester, Minnesota; David in Corona, California; Daniel from Hershey, Pennsylvania; Tom in Spokane, Washington; Wendy from Boone, North Carolina; Tamara from Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Lois from Wausa, Nebraska; Ruth from Moreno Valley, California; Kristin from Chesterfield, Missouri; Marty in Naperville, Illinois; Alma from Alberta, Canada; Fernando from Lakewood, Colorado… more to come!

A Little About Jack…

111907-coverAmong his many business ventures and philanthropic endeavors, Jack Herschend works with Christian organizations to promote positive values in communities, including the Christian nonprofit Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch that gives teenage boys an opportunity to change destructive patterns and succeed in a structured, supportive environment. To raise funds for the Ranch, Jack recently paired his Gift of Green reforestation project that looks to plant 1 million trees with the Ranch to create “Branch Out — Trees for Life.” The boys are transplanting seedlings, mulching, fertilizing and like themselves, watching the trees grow. The boys sell the trees with profit designated solely to the work of the Ranch, which is to transform the lives of its current and future residents.

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1 Response to Deep roots are to be treasured

  1. Pingback: Deep Roots | communicating.across.boundaries

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