• Jenny Lynn Keller

Southern Roots


How about a stroll through time on this Southern-fried Friday afternoon? Huge live oak trees, Spanish moss draped across their branches, 300-year-old house sitting at the end of the lane. Last year we visited a private planation created in the early 1700s and still existing today as a working farm. Located near the Isle of Palms in South Carolina, the house and live oaks survived two wars (Revolutionary and Civil) and multiple hurricanes, including the Category 5 monster Hugo in 1989 battering nearby Charleston with significant damage. How do such giant trees with massive canopies endure 150+ mph winds blowing and twisting them during a mighty storm?


Roots. Broad-reaching roots spreading out and intertwining over the years with the roots of other live oaks. Forming an underground web of strength, anchoring and holding the tall trunks and wide branches upright when fierce hurricane winds strike the mainland. We can be equally blessed, and the Apostle Paul eloquently explains how in Ephesians 3:16-20. “I ask [God] to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the followers of Jesus, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ . . . God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Just like the thick arching branches of live oak trees interlace over the years to brace and support each other.


Where is one of your favorite places to visit? Where have you been caught in a bad storm or endured a hurricane? My family met up with two tropical storms over the years on different coasts. Solution—read a basket of books and play Monopoly!

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