By Shirley Gould
Working as a hairdresser for five years, I covered up a lot of roots. In those days when the bleached blonde hair grew out revealing their natural color, I’d apply bleach and toner to bring her back to the desired platinum shade. Today, it’s the popular style to let it grow out…they call it ombre. Later in life grey hair becomes an issue to be covered, and covered again. Roots keep growing.
But those are not the only roots we show. My sister loves to study genealogy. She has discovered some shady characters in our family tree like cattle rustlers and gun slingers. One such character is Bonnie Parker of the Bonnie and Clyde fame. We pray their traits don’t repeat themselves in our children. But if you think about it, we all have root problems. Our culture, experiences and up-bringing have molded and shaped us into unique individuals with constant challenges to overcome our past…our roots. Some roots we display—some we cover-up. These intricacies affect our lives with all its crooks and turns. And our decisions determine our destinies.
In Kenya there is a tree called a Baobob tree that looks like it has been planted up-side down with its leafy branches in the ground and its roots reaching for the sky. It makes me think about a scripture in Colossians 2:7-9.
Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with philosophies…from human thinking…
As Christians, we strive to follow these verses to become rooted and grounded in the faith. When we weave our faith into our prose as writers of Christian fiction, we share this truth with the masses, therefore bringing this nugget into their lives.
Creating characters with various backgrounds, different cultures and a different set of goals gives us the opportunity to encourage our readers to face their own challenges. Roots hinder us all. They shape the different aspects of family dynamics, work issues and personal insecurities you write about. Watching your characters lean on the Lord for strength and guidance can give them the push they need in their own lives. The best way to overcome our roots is to be rooted and grounded in Him. Our words can show this to our readers. What a privilege at our fingertips.
Shirley E. Gould is an inspirational speaker, an African missionary and a freelance journalist. She’s founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children in Kenya, East Africa. Shirley has written articles and newsletters for twenty years and is presently writing Christian Fiction novels. She lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area.