When my daughter was in grade school one day she brought home 4 tiny twigs.
They were trees given to the students by the school to plant.
None of them looked very hardy
but with a hope for the future
I got a spade and planted them in our backyard.
Over the years an accident with the lawnmower and poor soil brought an end to three of them.
It grew crooked and very slowly.
It never got very tall and tilted
to one side.
In the end it looked more like a fat bush than a tree.
I noticed a few years ago too that it was starting to die.
The lower branches were becoming bare.
The needles on the branches a little further up had turned brown.
Only the top third of the tree was still green.
Last summer I did my best to save it by feeding it a lot of fertilizer but to no avail.
This morning I went out and looked at it again.
I was deciding on whether it would be better to just cut it down.
It sure would make mowing the lawn easier
and I would no longer have to watch it slowly decay
As I walked over to take a closer look at it, however,
I noticed something moving within the needles.
It was a robin patiently building a nest in the topmost branches.
I smiled when I looked at it
and decided that maybe this old tree had some life and usefulness left in it yet.
It may not be healthy or pretty
but it was still giving a bird a home
This tree reminded me of something too.
All of our lives have purpose.
All of our lives have meaning.
It doesn’t matter if we are young and strong or old and sickly.
Until our last breath there are things for us to do, love for us to give, and joy for us to share.
Until our last moment here we can help to make this world a better and more beautiful place.