A concealed, fibrous system.
A buried, intertwining conglomeration of willowy shoots and stems.
Each root, on its own, is small, breakable, weak. But together, working in agreement, these roots become a purpose-filled group. A strong and resilient community of advantageous branches. An interlocking, goal-oriented assembly that can accomplish enormous feats and offer countless gifts to the outside world.
You see, as grass roots absorb water, as they drink in the vital nutrients from the moist dark soil, they carry them up through leaf veins out into rays of light. Photosynthesis then causes growth. It gives way to transformation by the vibrant formation of emerald stalks and sprays.
From the work of these roots, beauty arises. Soft mats of green provide rest for weary passersby. They make space to run and places to play in open sunshine. The natural carpet anchors soil, preventing erosion and attrition. Nourishing sprigs even give food for livestock to graze, homes for rodents to frolic, and habitats for insects to remain.
If only we could do half as much.
If only we could join together, to come together like these grass roots and experience what the poet David describes. Listen to his words in Psalm 133:1,
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (NIV).
How good, how pleasant when we sit down and settle down and do life together. When we subsist in and persist in unity as one body functioning for a greater purpose. One people choosing to live for a higher aim.
Self-promotion, self-gratification, self-centered ambitions have no place in this root system. Neither does grumbling about petty differences, promoting tit-for-tat agendas, or wielding emotional manipulation like a sickle.
Longstanding grudges must go too. Unresolved conflict must find resolve. Because Jesus alone is the Living Water. He alone is the supernatural nourishment that this thirsty, eroding, tired world needs. And He longs to use us, you and me, as the channel through which that nourishment reaches others.
So, what if you rise up?
What if you decided to see beyond the shadowy darkness, to catch the gospel vision for yourself, to grasp with clarity the power of the Son’s photosynthetic, transformation-bringing rays?
Maybe then we would band together.
You and I.
In a grassroots movement.
Where two becomes four. Four becomes ten. And ten becomes ten thousand, a hundred thousand strong until a decisive, collective whole evokes great long-standing spiritual change.
Because where two or more are gathered in agreement, God is surely with them (Matthew 18:20). And where two or more choose to let go of selfishness, to give up self-glorified thinking in order to embrace the intrinsic spiritual responsibility of loving and living out our faith in unity, they “cannot be uprooted” (Proverbs 12:3).
But it always starts with one.
Will you be that one today? Will you choose unity, embrace community?
If you will, I can guarantee you won’t be just one for long.
In what ways can you better live in unity with those around you? How might God be asking you to see differently, think differently, or act differently toward others today?