Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Mustard Seed

"I tell you the truth, 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." --Jesus

When I was 2 my Dad died in a car wreck, leaving my Mother lost as to how to cope with 3 kids. During the trials, (literal and figurative) which followed his death my Mother wore a necklace like the one pictured here. It contains a tiny mustard seed. She used to tell me it reminded her that she only needed to have a little bit of belief for things to work out. I still have that necklace and I have been wearing it recently, hoping it will provide the same reminder to me.

As an adult I discovered this Buddhist story about the mustard seed. Isn't it interesting that both teachers used a mustard seed in their parable?

A woman was grief stricken with the death of her beloved child. Distraught, she came to the Buddha begging him to restore life to her precious baby. The Buddha agreed to help her only if she could bring him a mustard seed from a home that had never suffered death and grief. The woman searched franticly, asking everyone, but was never able to find a home untouched by the sadness of loss. Slowly, she came to see that her loss was not special or unique. All souls suffer. All are touched by death and loss. Her grief was healed when she found compassion for others through her own grief.

That story kind of kills off the "poor Me", doesn't it? And why is it that the best and most powerful lessons in life are also the most painful? Probably to open our hearts to the pain of others. When I was a hospice nurse, I noticed the very best hospice nurses had cared for their own dying relatives.

livingdominica: I am a very lucky woman. May I never forget that.


Sarengetty said...

Thank you for these thoughts today.

Jen said...

Thanks for coming by, Sarengetty!

Kendra said...

Beautiful. And so very, very true.