Mandarin Seed Faith

“And you will say to this mountain, ‘Move over there’ and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you if you have faith as small as a mustard seed.” -Jesus Christ of Nazareth

There is an old Cherokee parable of two wolves. In it the grandfather tells his grandson about the war of the two wolves at war inside of him. One is bad and the other is good. The bad wolf represents greed, evil, jealousy, and all bad things. The other is good and symbolizes love, brotherly kindness, gratitude, joy and all good things. As the grandfathers silence stretches throughout the day. The boy becomes impatient and asks, grandfather, who wins?”  The wise old man answers, the one you feed.”

Jesus told the disciple that “it was because of your unbelief” that they could not cast out the demon. Doubt and belief.  Fear and faith live in the hearts of every human being. In the souls of all of us are the seeds of belief and the seeds of doubt. It is up to each ones spirit to water the right seeds.

When I planted the three little mandarin seeds from the delicious fruit snack in November, I had no clue whether they were viable or not.   We were pleasantly surprised with a little plant that even bloomed for us at Christmas time. 

We were also pleasantly rewarded with our nephew’s attempts to sing do-re-mi after we gave his sister a little xylophone for Christmas. This year we decided to plant “music” into the lives of our little relatives for the  giving season. Our little grand-niece blessed our hearts with her deep concern for her little piano upon leaving the area. Her cry of “where’s my piano?” has been repeated in tale after tale as we repeat the story.  

Planting seeds of musical possibility led us to even give a train whistle to one of the children. On the flip side, to plant doubt into a child’s heart is equivilant to killing that child’s spirit. Our goal was to plant a “you can do it” spirit. Believing is possibility!

Not long ago this thought also came to mind: Plants of anger come from roots of bitterness which come from seeds of unforgiveness. Love learns to forgive simply for the health of ones own soul. My heart was overwhelmed with prayers for healing and forgiveness for our country after this past political process. It seemed as though the media was meditating on anger and hatred. 

Thoughts of roots leads me to carrots. But without dirt there are no carrots. It’s like asking the hog farmer what that awful smell is, and him answering “Why that’s the smell of money!”

Pots  of gold versus piles of dirt–okay so in reality it’s a bucket of sand sitting on a mound of mud.  As the  greenhouse is getting its soil this month I will be thinking of dirt a lot. (Especially when I start having to sweep the floors everyday for the little specks that find their way into the house!) With warmer weather on the horizon that means the seedlings can be planted soon. That mound of mud you see there might soon produce a pot of golden carrots on its way to the kitchen. 

A number of years back I wrote a song about the multiplication theory that Jesus gave to us in the germination of the wheat grain. Unless the seed dies is the name of this song. 

Unless the seed dies / unless the seed dies / it will never multiply unless the seed dies.  Death’s victory is now denied / God’s wrath is now satisfied / His only son crucified -on the cross- where once His seed died.  We in our sins justified / our soul is now sanctified / our faith is now fortified -in the cross- where once His seed died.  God’s Son is now glorified / God’s mercy is magnified /  in love we are identified -the cross- where Jesus once died. 

This year 2017 my Memory verse motto is Matthew 17:20 which is paraphrased above. I enjoy choosing a verse that has numerical hints as to what year we are in. Some people tell me I have a good memory to memorize scripture and such. Well the truth is that I cheat. Yes, it’s true –I cheat at scripture memory!  Maybe my memory isn’t really that great, so I find ways to remember things. Every time I write the year down I will think of this verse. And every time I think of mustard seed faith I will think of this year. While we move the mountains of dirt into the greenhouse, I will think of the kind of faith it takes to move mountains. And just maybe Jesus will give me faith enough to grow a mandarin tree!

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