Today I went on a scenic ride / shopping trip with some senior citizens in their van. As we were driving the road along the Benbrook Dam one of the ladies mentioned how dead everything looked. The grass was a brownish yellow, the trees were leafless and bare. One of the other ladies commented that the roots were not dead though. If they were, there wouldn't be any green grass this spring. From the surface it wasn't a pretty picture for sure. But what laid underneath was vastly more important. There was still life just waiting for its Creator to call it forth.
I pondered how many times in the past I have judged the spiritual lives of other professing Christians. How I saw the dead yellow and brown grass or bare tree and deemed them to be apostate or an unbeliever. What unmitigated pride. How wrong to put myself in a position that God alone holds. Only He can see the heart. Only He knows whether He has called forth life or not. All I could see is the external fruit of a life. It's all we as humans can ever see in another life. While I think it is important to be careful if the fruit is putrid, dead or absent, we can't deem that to be true of the root.
Gratefully this summer other people didn't do to me what I had done to others. They held out the hope that in spite of a leafless and bare tree; deep down inside was life. The root wasn't dead. Little fruit returned, because life was there all along. We are to be wise about the manifest spiritual fruit of other people--especially those in leadership or teaching positions. But we must not judge the heart or the root. That right is God's alone.I appreciated my senior friend's wisdom as reflected in her comment about life being in the root of the grass. I look forward in the next two or three months to taking the same route and seeing the green grass and bluebonnet filled fields that now appear to be so very dead.