Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gurgles and Bloops and Uplifted Roots

We knew there was a problem six months ago. 

Technically, we knew it even before then. Even before the first of the year, we knew there was a problem with the flow around this joint. It didn't come with an unfortunate septic incident or anything. It came with a very quiet gurgling.


I heard it one morning when the Man of the Place was in the shower. Then, I heard it again the next day, and then again a few days later. Because I'm sort of an ostrich when it comes to house gurgles, it took me that long to mention it to him.  Because he's a man and apparently speaks fluent toilet gurgle, he called the plumber that day.  

By the end of that day, we had had a visit from the septic tank guys. Crisis averted.

That's what I thought, anyway. Then, a few months later...


This time the septic doctors pointed the bony finger at an innocent looking crepe myrtle standing too close to the junction box. They kind of pointed the finger at us, too, as if we had planted it there like a couple of morons.

We hadn't.  In fairness, we didn't plant that tree; someone else did.  We're just guilty of leaving it there. Mainly, we left it there out of ignorance. Besides, I liked that tree. It was pretty, and the flowering branches shaded the front porch. I wasn't even willing to let the man of the place trim it back all that regularly. I just let it grow.

All the time that beautiful tree was growing on the top, the roots were growing on the bottom and spreading in the direction of the junction box. Once they got there, they began a slow, invisible strangle.

Wouldn't you think we would have pulled up that tree six months ago? But no, we didn't. We tried some sort of hyperbolic root blasting method instead.  For a while, all was quiet around here, but then...


It was time to surrender.

I watched as Mr. Backhoe Man reached into the ground and ever so easily pulled up what was left of the crepe  myrtle. It took him all of two minutes.

How can something so beautiful on the surface
 have such ugly roots?

I dunno. It just can. 

A little tangle of roots can cause an awful  lot of collateral damage, too. 

I stood outside that day and looked from the roots to the ditch, and the ditch to the roots, and suddenly,  I *got* it.   I got it so clearly that I looked up at the sky and gave God the look.

You know the one, the one that says,

You see, I've been dealing with some serious flow problems around here of another sort, too, a spiritual sort.  You can call it coincidental or ironic if you want to, but I choose to call it Providential that almost the exact same week six months ago, I had a a crisis of the spirit.

What's more?  I had been hearing the gurgling for longer than that. I had tried nearly everything to stop it, too. It would quiet down for a while, but then...


Six months ago, it all came to an ugly head. Six months ago, I discovered some really ugly roots growing too close to my spiritual junction box. I hadn't planted them, either. I was just guilty of letting them grow. You know, for the sake of the tree.

Can anyone relate?

Wouldn't you think I would have pulled up roots when I discovered them six months ago? But no. I didn't want to be left treeless.  I tried to blast through those bitter roots with the power of prayer instead.

It didn't work.

It didn't work because, sometimes, all the prayer in the world won't blast through a problem that God says it's time to uproot. 

As I stood there surveying the damage that day, I kind of wanted to give myself a good, swift kick in pants.  I thought about how much my lawn... and my spirit... might have grown in the six months that I wasted trying to keep the roots for the sake of the trees,  and I could almost hear the voice of Little Debbie the Closet Stuffer from THIS POST that I wrote years ago:

Musta been da debil... 

Musta been da debil that made me leave those bitter roots in the way. 
But the Lord's in me now, 'cause I'm pulling them up. 

I won't say it has been easy, and I won't say it has been fun, but this one thing I know: The view from the porch has changed since the beginning of the week. The time for uprooting is over, and now it's time grow.  As for the tree? Well, leave it to God to show us that what we think we want is never is good as what He wants for us. You see, I was fighting to keep the shade. but He was trying to give me the sun.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven. 
A time to be born, and a time to die. 
A time to plant and a time to uproot what has been planted. 

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