That we must live with imperfections is a fact of life that cannot be denied. We must come to terms with the silent and perennial truth that the field of human life will always consist of the good, the bad and the ugly coexisting together.
There is no perfect place, person, or thing. We know this do we not? I have visited many beautiful places in my life and discovered, sometimes to my own amazement, that there was also the not so pretty hidden behind the lovely scenery. In every metropolis there is, cleverly disguised perhaps, the garden of weeds.
There is no perfect thing. Regardless of how lovely it may appear and like the diamond seem flawless; but under microscopic scrutiny flaws are detected nevertheless.
And certainly, there is no perfect person. We all have some good to offer, but intermixed with the good is the bad and the ugly. In every situation we contribute wheat, but we know that we also contribute thistles. We know this and yet we seem bent on expecting perfection in ourselves and others. Finding the ugly and unpleasant mixed in with the wheat is an everyday experience and each of us has to deal with the inherent difficulties involved.
In every area of life there is and always will be, the good, the bad and the ugly. In every church, synagogue, mosque, company, corporation, agency, organization, home, school and any other place where people gather, we will find the good, the bad and the ugly.
One of the things that I always encouraged of new converts and new members that joined our church was to face the reality of what it meant to be a church member. Ideals of coming to a place where everything was nice and tidy and holy and everybody was sweet and kind and pious painfully gave way to the reality of the good, the bad and the ugly. There are people in church who behave ugly and do not reflect the virtues one would expect to encounter in God's house of prayer. Even within the sacred walls of divinity we encounter the same good, bad and ugly we meet in our everyday lives.
Not only do we live with and intermingle with both the wheat and the thistles but they exist within each of us. Collectively and individually, we are capable of heart-touching kindness towards one another as well as heart wrenching evil. We are capable of building up and capable of tearing down, capable of great love and capable of seething hatred, capable of horrendous evil as well as remarkable good. Jesus reminds us that wheat and weeds will grow together until the harvest.
Understand though, that God is not mocked; weeds do not go unnoticed. God knows where they all are. At harvest time, the wheat will be separated from the weeds. Until then, we trust in God, accept life on its own terms and wait for the harvest.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.