|Camino de Santiago, 2003|
When my high school friend Jill and I were struggling teenagers, grappling and questioning what it means to have faith, Jill spoke words one night that sounded like aged wisdom—and I still remember them:
“I think when we pray and ask God to give us faith we have to assume we already have it. Whatever grace we’re asking for, we already have it. What we have to do is claim it.”
I thought of Jill’s words about faith today as I read this provoking blog post in Patheos by Nadia Bolz Weber on this passage of the mustard seed:
“I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
~Gospel of Matthew, chapter 17, verse 20
Rather than Jesus rubbing in their face the disciples' lack of faith, Weber argues that the question—and the real issue—is instead: “when they ask [Jesus] to increase their faith he’s affirming that the disciples already have the faith to do what is expected of them.”
She concludes with this beautiful statement:
"The faith of the Righteous then is not as much about never doubting as it is about having a heart which longs for that which it cannot create for itself…to be righteous is to be a person – to be a people – who take the promises of God seriously enough to be unafraid of lament. Who know that doubt is as much about being in relationship with God as faith is. And Jesus was right. Even if it’s a tiny mustard seed amount, it’s enough.
So if things are hard. If you are struggling. If when it comes to God you feel more like complaining than commending, know that this too is faith. And that still it is enough.”
Also, I learned that mustard seed necklaces are a real thing.
To read Weber entire post, with an option to hear her preaching it, go here.
In a similar but different topic, a little green worm—or rather, a small battalion of four green worms, attacked overnight one of my basil plants, leaving it completely naked.
In an effort to save my other two potted basil plants from the foraging green worms, I made some pretty delicious pesto last night. More on that later.