There is a tree in our back yard that makes a mess. It covers our deck and fills our pool with gooey dead blooms. It drops little bitty leaves like confetti, and occasionally lets go of entire dead branches. It grows super fast, sticking its branches in unwanted places, like into the side of my house, above the chimney, or right over the pool. It causes so much shade in places that it nearly kills the grass.
It is a troublesome tree. I have to trim it back every year, yet I still tolerate it. I tolerate it because I love it. I planted it when it was just a baby. I have watched it grow into a giant shade tree that makes a wonderful cool shade in the hot summer. Its blooms provide a colorful splash of pink against the sky, drawing hummingbirds to the big dinner table above the rooftops. Below it is my wife’s garden bench, a place to sit and rest a while. A swing hangs from one of it’s large branches. I love the tree, despite it’s faults.
Except for one who walked this earth over 2000 years ago, nothing in life is perfect. Not a tree, not a person, not a church. Too often I concentrate on the faults and problems and ignore the beauty in life. I could cut the tree down and save myself some mess and trouble. I could move to a place where there are no trees. I could spend my life trying to rid myself of anything that causes me pain. But I would miss a place to hang my swing. And the beauty of the tree.