Daily Reflection
October 25th, 2005

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Romans 8:18-25
Psalm 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6
Luke 13:18-21

This reflection on today’s Gospel is for my sister because it speaks to growth, in our case the growth and healing of our relationship. Like the mustard seed in Luke’s beautiful passage, we never know how powerful some small gesture of friendship, kindness or reconciliation might turn out to be – and how we will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

I was the second child, growing up in the shadow of my beautiful, smart and driven older sister. Who wouldn’t resent this at least a little bit? Stupidly I carried those feelings into adulthood and stoked up quite a repertoire of additional grievances, many exaggerated. We were civil but I withheld the genuine warmth I knew she wanted. Who was I really hurting?

In a grace-filled moment, I realized that I had to change and the best place to start was with our relationship. I couldn’t do much about world peace while carrying around such a personal grudge. I made a tiny gesture –like planting a mustard seed – and told my sister some nice things about herself that were true but not in keeping with my cherished resentments. It felt a little phony but my mind said, do it. I had unknowingly planted the mustard seed.

She responded with warmth. We started spending more time together and enjoying it. My tense civility gave way to genuine warmth. We became the closest of friends and now communicate constantly via email. I often tell her how much I admire her and appreciate her; I mean every word. My only regret is the years I wasted before planting that seed.

Maybe this is how we build the Kingdom of God – one mustard seed-sized gesture at a time.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook