The strength of a sturdy tree is found in the roots that establishes its foundation. These roots must push through the impacted soil around it to ensure that the longevity of the tree remains for generations to come.
On the top-side, however, the magnificence of this same tree is admired by its many branches that display new and constant growth. Each branch depicts a different story of this same tree which, in itself, holds new adventures and purpose.
As I reflect upon the parallelism of this natural wonder with that of the “family tree”, I find it amazing that many analogies can be developed from such a simple concept. This weekend, I saw the next branch of life extending from our family tree and enjoyed how my older son’s life was about to become that new branch of our own tree.
As many colleges across the country celebrated their graduates who have fought hard to earn their respective degrees, we had the privilege of witnessing our future daughter-in-law’s accomplishments as she walked across that stage in front of many family, friends, and strangers who clapped and cheered graciously. My son cheered the loudest as he was very proud of his future bride.
Afterward, we spent a wonderful afternoon with her family and extended members. I met many of their guests and pondered the fact that I was witnessing the growth of this new branch in life. Her family tree is overwhelming as many immigrated into this country, became citizens, and have made new stories of their own. The many stories shared that evening were filled with adventure, loss, love, and perseverance. The common thread throughout these individual stories was determination to survive for the sake of their family legacy.
I must admit that being born in the land of the free, it was hard to relate to their stories of persecution, threats upon their lives, and their world in communism. However, their faces reflected the joy they have for the privilege of being Americans, living without fear of persecution, and most importantly, living according to their religious beliefs without shame or the need to worship in secret.
The cross-pollination of our family trees will soon create a hybrid for the generations to come along that new family line – that new branch of life. Though our kids will not be enduring the same types of persecutions, their roots within their new family tree will be passed on to their generations. What amazing stories to be told of their great ancestors as their own children and grandchildren listen intently around the family tables.
To think that our family lines resemble that of a simple tree is magnificent in its concept and reality. Yes, a new branch of life is about to take root and thrive!