Planting Mustard Seeds

Natalia Schumann // Scripture: A Mother's Lens


June 16  

The more I grow in love with Jesus, the more I realize my own poverty and weakness. My human ambition to “be great” fights surrendering to the tedious and tiresome tasks of hidden life as a mother. I find myself annoyed at the repetition of chores that nurture humanity (eating, sleeping, stopping life for sickness). My heart aches to “get on” to something else, something bigger, because it knows it was created for grandeur and majesty and glory. The promise in today’s first reading speaks to my aching heart. Ezekiel’s words remind me of the power of God who takes something tiny, a tender shoot, and transforms it into something large, a majestic cedar. 

Isn’t this the economy of God: taking what is small and seemingly insignificant, and making it grand? A young virgin in an obscure small town becomes the mother of humanity—her baby saves the world from sin and death. 

Yet, I struggle to remember that my countless small decisions to lay down my life as a mom can become those lowly trees that Ezekiel prophecies will be lifted high by the Lord. 

Jesus, speaking about the kingdom of God beginning as a small seed, encourages me as I scatter the seeds of education and relationship with Jesus into my children’s days. My small efforts to teach virtue or sound out a word over and over again take root of its own accord—I know not how. My daily faithfulness to tending the seeds of family prayer or ten minutes of working on phonics really do bear fruit by the end of the year. All the small work, over time, adds up to finished math lessons, deeper conversations, and places in our home where others can find rest and dwell, like the birds finding shade in the mustard tree.

God’s promise today is that his kingdom is like that seed: When it is sown in the ground, [it] is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants (Mk 4:31-32). In my very tedious, little seedling chores, I’m participating in something far bigger and greater than me. I’m building the kingdom in my own home, and so are you! So, Mama, when you don’t see your efforts amounting to anything, and your heart wants something bigger or better, just remember, We are always courageous . . . for we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:6-7).

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