There is a belief within the Christian tradition that one can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed.
20 “. . .Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
I didn’t fully absorb this Truth until I became a mother.
My son’s name is Isaac – it means “he will laugh” in Hebrew. Hoping (like all parents do) for a life filled with belly laughs and joy, we thought the name was perfectly suited for our growing tadpole. Little did we know that we would soon have the soul-scars that mirrored the story of his namesake.
‘Isaac’ is a central figure in the Bible; he reigns as one of the three patriarchs of Judaism and Christianity. Isaac is also the son of Abraham – father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The story goes that in an act of utter devotion to God, Abraham journeyed up a mountain to sacrifice his beloved Isaac (according to many Muslims, Abraham’s sacrifice was his other son, ‘Ishmael’). However, God mercifully stops Abraham mere seconds before the knife hits Isaac’s flesh and rewards his faith by promising to make his descendants as “numerous as the stars in the sky.”
A promise kept, indeed.
My son was born 3 weeks early and had to be put in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the first 10 days of his life. It was the hardest 10 days of mine. After enduring an excruciatingly difficult pregnancy, my convictions had dwindled by Isaac’s delivery date to say the least. However, nothing rocked my faith quite like watching my little boy fight for his life.
Isaac was born with a tiny hole in one of his lungs causing them to continually collapse. The first time I saw him after my C-section, he was in an oxygen tent with tubes running out of his nose, mouth, arms, legs and diaper. With his chest violently retracting, he looked like he was drowning on dry ground.
It was at this moment that I lost my mustard seed.
I had never been so in love and terrified in the same split second. I never thought in a million years that, like his biblical namesake, my first born son would be so very near death and lying on a man-made alter.
My fear was paralyzing.
With a gash in my gut and tubes of my own, I did what every mother in my situation would have done – I looked at my boy and found my mustard seed. As I held my sweet Isaac through the holes of a plastic box, I prayed. I prayed deeper and more genuinely than I had ever prayed before. Conjuring the strength of mothers past and those yet to come – I prayed for God’s healing mercy and He answered.
In a world where motherhood is becoming less and less fashionable and where studies are trying to prove that mothers are less happy than non-mothers – we must pause and look to our mustard seeds. Where our bodies have fallen from laboring and our wrinkled eyes are worse for the wear – we must pause and look to our mustard seeds. Where our kids grate on our nerves and our jobs rarely understand – we must pause and look to our mustard seeds.
For the most radiant word ever uttered is “Mama”; a delightfully unexpected gift from the unyielding well of our Creator. This is our blessed day to rejoice in our gifts!
No painter’s brush, nor poet’s pen
In justice to her fame
Has ever reached half high enough
To write a mother’s name.
Happy Mothers Day, dear ones!!
*Our experience with Isaac’s health was/is so minor compared to others. On this Mother’s Day I would like to draw attention to the following:
My dear friend Tina has a brilliant little boy, Reid, who recently survived a bout with stage 3 cancer. While watching her son endure chemotherapy, Tina and her husband Ruben started the Little Fighter Foundation whose sole goal is to help families who have been destroyed by childhood cancer. When I asked her from where she drew her strength, without hesitation she replied, “Faith was easy, everyday I look at Reid. I know he was a gift from God. I felt Him through our journey and still do.”
I’m telling you — Mustard Seeds!!! Please “like” their Facebook Page and donate if you feel so inclined.
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