Bloom Where You Are Planted - Let Your Roots Take You Places

Bloom where you are planted

By Vicki Helmling

This article first appeared in Grace English Lutheran School’s weekly newsletter. It has been reprinted with permission, as it is very timely during this spring.

 At a previous school, I created a bulletin board with the above theme. I was questioned about its meaning many times.

We think of roots as something stable, something in one place, but it is our roots that really make the difference in who we are and what we become.

It is through its roots a plant receives its nourishment; its strength. If the roots are cut off, the plant dies. If the roots don't receive the correct nourishment the plant struggles.

This is true of us as well.

A plant's root system is really quite complex - so is our root system. It begins when we are first born, in our family and the values they teach us - the faith they feed us. This continues throughout our entire life and the choices we make. We are how we are nourished and fed.

Jesus tells the story of the Sower in Matthew 13 - the planting of the seeds in the various soils and how the seed either grows or doesn't grow.

I saw this very clearly in the church and school where I met my husband. The pastor that led the church for many years helped to feed the roots of his members in many ways. One of the ways was his getting to know the children and adults by name. He had what to me seemed a simple practice during Communion. As Pastor Burke administered this sacrament, he called each by name - this was the first time I had experienced being called by name during Communion. While I thought this was a nice addition, I never gave it much thought until I traveled half way around the world in the summer of 1988 to Australia, and the pastor at the church in Brisbane did the same thing.

As I took Communion for the first time (I had to introduce myself to him before the service), he called me by name. I felt special - just as special as when Pastor Burke called me by name each week, and I realized that my roots in my faith had taken me from Chicago to Brisbane and here I was able to bloom and share my faith in my LORD just as I did at home.

For years I had been planted in Chicago, to bloom and share my faith with children; now I was in Australia and could bloom and share my faith for three months with children and adults. My roots were strong in the LORD and they carried me all the way to a place where I would be alone at times.

It is like that in our lives as well. We face situations day-in and day-out that we have no control over, and it is our LORD and the roots that we have in Him that keeps us firm and grounded. When we face adversity, it is through Christ Jesus, that we are able to stand strong, to bend but not break.

It is our LORD who says to us, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

So, if you feel alone, stressed, worried, burdened - take it to the LORD in prayer - take it to a friend in the LORD. Let the LORD who has given you a root structure of faith feed your faith.

Vicki Helmling is the school administrator at Grace English Lutheran School in Chicago, IL.  Do you have a ministry experience you would like to share? If so, you, too, could be a guest blogger for the English District. For consideration, please send an email to Lynne Cobb, Communications Coordinator for the English District LCMS, at lcobb@englishdistrict.org.