Amen, 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. Matthew
Take a man of great faith who spent his life figuratively moving mountains to make the world better for the poor and people with disabilities. In his 80’s, let him develop Alzheimer’s disease and suffer the loss of his brilliant mind. Give him a rare moment of lucidity in which his son and caretaker can ask a haunting question. What is it like to lose your mind?
“I’m doing the best I can with what God has given me,” said Sargent Shriver, founder of the Peace Corps, instigator of Head Start and Legal Aid and co-leader of Special Olympics with his adored wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Shriver’s response to his son, Mark, is perhaps the most moving line in Mark’s touching new book, “A Good Man,” which reflects on the impact of his father’s deep faith on his extraordinary life.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed …nothing will be impossible for you.”
It’s tempting to focus on the role Shriver’s faith played on what he accomplished for peace, justice and human dignity. But to say have deep faith, go to Mass daily, marry the President’s sister and you too can move mountains by founding the Peace Corps etc. is not very helpful to most of us. Heck it took me five or six years to persuade the local public library to start a foundation.
So I focus more on the elderly man who was losing his mind but not his faith, the man who was doing the best he could with the horror God had given him. This is an example of faith and trust that all of us, however humble, can seek to emulate. We can only move the seemingly impossible mountains in our own lives by surrendering to faith in God’s purpose, even when our faith is the size of a mustard seed.
And please, if your faith could use a little strengthening, do yourself a favor. Read “A Good Man” then share it with a friend. The first step towards turning your mustard seed of faith into a faith capable of moving your personal mountains might be to resolve to do the best you can with what God has given you.