Parable of the Mustard Seed – My Version

Courtesy CC BY-SA 3.0 Hopeoflight - Own work
Courtesy CC BY-SA 3.0
Hopeoflight – Own work

“If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20 (New Living Translation)

Dear Granddaughter,

I was raised with this concept that one could accomplish miracles, veritably move mountains, if one could only grasp onto faith the size of a mustard seed.

It was a hard one for me. Practically, I felt small and ill-equipped to use such power. But, spiritually, I believed that the possibility was there.

As with all of my biblical and fundamentalist upbringing, I have twined my belief system into my life system. I share my thoughts in the hope that it will give you the same deep assurances that are still growing within me.

I believe the Parable of the Mustard Seed represents beginning of change and acceptance within ourselves which, when introduced, takes hold and eventually flourishes even when seemingly ignored. The mustard plant is a weed where we live.  When you see its beautiful yellow flower sweeping across the hillsides untended, then you’ll know…

…That it takes only the smallest amount of inner strength to break the bonds of expectations and loose your creative self.

…With the most elemental of skills you can learn and practice and become a master of anything you choose.

…The most microscopic inkling of your worth can grow and flower into your acknowledgement of meaning and purpose in life.

…And the tiniest spark of confidence in your choices can lead you – sometimes stumbling, sometimes stalling – but inexorably toward your goal. And that same confidence gives you wisdom to know when, or if,  it is time to change your course and choose a different path.

None of this need be a struggle, although it can be. None of this begs for perfection, although there will be perfect moments. It is merely a seed of knowledge planted deep within yourself that give you the certainty that you can do anything, be anything if you truly believe. It enables you to say…

I am. I can.


First publish June 16, 2014




  1. The mustard seed is not a weed for us. It is a major food crop for us for seasoning and edible oil purposes as well as the leaves in season are used as an alternative to spinach. It therefore is a highly respected item in our lexicon. So, for an Indian the proverb takes on far more significance than perhaps for the English speaking people. Indian churches make very liberal use of this in their sermons as do we Motivator types to get young people to move!


    • Mustard is certainly not a weed in parts of the U.S. Our neighboring state, California, once grew large crops which probably explains the dissemination of the plant on the dry hillsides here. It blooms at the same time as vetch (which can also be grown as a feed crop but grow wild on our hillsides). Thus I misspoke and should have said “grows like” a weed in our area. No matter…mustard seed is a lovely flavor addition to cooking and wonderful when made into a condiment. Probably, most of all, though, is the beauty of the flowers in the fields and the beauty of the parable in my upbringing.

      Interesting to note that most cultures and religions incorporate the same lessons, isn’t it?


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