Roots last long after a life

By Ferrell Foster

Sitting outside to worship with my Quaker friends this morning, I notice nine feet in front of me, amidst the fallen leaves, the remains of a once mighty tree.

It was cut down even with the ground to promote mowing, I guess. It’s not flat on top as stumps are; it’s more like pieces barely visible, as if the cutter tried to break it up below the surface.

I think of the great and long life that once was that tree; it may have been alive 100 years ago. But I also think that’s its roots are still in the ground below me, unseen but still there even if slowly rotting.

Long after each of us is gone, there are roots we leave behind for all who will notice and even for those who who do not. We are part of the ground on which new life grows. We leave behind “roots” for others long after we have lived, as are those who have gone before us.

May we build good and strong roots for our good and for all those whom we encounter.

My Quaker friends suggested I share these thoughts. There is something about the silence of the Quaker experience that nurtures worship in community.