The roots of my raisin’ run strong and deep

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This past Sunday was Homecoming at Sutton Chapel.
Most of you will understand that designation of a particular Sunday, but for those who might not, Homecoming is a celebration of return to some place of great significance for a person.
Church Homecoming celebrations are quite popular in the South and it is always a big day.
The church is spruced up to look its best, the service, itself, is geared to remembering, and everybody’s favorite anticipation of Homecoming is the luncheon after the service. Before most churches added fellowship or social halls, the meal might have been described as “dinner on the grounds.”
The pastor probably aims his remarks at subjects like coming home, remembering those who came before, or, as was my choice this year, celebrating the “roots of my raisin’.”
The song, “The Roots of My Raising Run Deep” was sung by Merle Haggard.
The song is about a young or old man leaving that rat-race we call life and going back to a place where he can receive a sort of strength that he needs to continue that rat-race I suppose.
I may or may not have done a good job, but in my mind, I couldn’t help but think of the roots of my raising.
Pensively, I thought and could not help but appreciate the grace of God as I pondered my blessings.
To be created in the image of God was the greatest of all thoughts of thanksgiving. Imagine, the great and mighty God of all creation offering every one of us a connection. How rich and I considered that connection a sort of taproot.
Taproots are the all-important root of a plant or tree. I recalled learning about taproots in a most unusual place: the peanut patch. I learned which weeds had the longest and deepest taproots and remembered how hard that “tea weed” was to pull.
Was my taproot that strong?
Yes, I imagined, but not because I was that strong. After all, I’m not the root; I’m simply the stem or the leaf.
Taproots have other smaller roots that are connected to it.
I thought of my parents as two of those connecting roots. There were also grandparents, brother and sister, uncles and aunts, cousins, and all sort and manners of family and friends. The roots of my raising run deep.
Then, there was that farm upon which we depended.
That soil that, when turned, was so fragrant and warm and moist. The old mule barn that was next to the house.
The house, itself, wood and big and old. The dirt road, dusty at times and slick when it rained.
The creeks, ponds, and the woods that held such fascination for a young boy who never tired of exploration. Those were my roots.
Many things happened last week to help me with homecoming.
I returned to my home church in Cotton for an event.
I attended a family reunion at my late Big Mama’s and Granddaddy’s house. I saw a picture of how I looked when I graduated from high school.
On Sunday, I spoke of how God had blessed us with roots that run deep.
I wondered if the roots of our current generations were as strong and deep.
I sang the Haggard song somehow feeling that I knew something was missing these days.

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