Monday, August 17, 2015

The Mustard Seed

My granddaughter goes off to college in a few days and I've been melancholy for about a week now just thinking about it. She lived next door to us during her entire childhood and popped in and out of our house when she pleased. They moved about 5 years ago, but only about a mile away. Today was the last time I'll see her before she moves on campus, so I went to visit and take her a gift and a letter.
The gift is a small pendant necklace containing a mustard seed along with the gift of my heart.

Dear Chloe,
You’re off to college and a whole new world. I’m excited for you and teary eyed at the same time.

You’re my little one who, before you started school, would come bustin' through our front door every afternoon when I came home from work, exuberantly yelling “Hey, Mamaw"! And then you would hang out with me for the rest of the afternoon.  Then, “Hey Mamaw” in the mornings when you starting riding with me to school and the same when you came in my office in the afternoons after school.  I would love to know how many “Hey Mamaws” I have heard in your eighteen years with each one of them sounding sweeter than the one before.

You’re my little one who told an impromptu story of Moses in its entirety to a packed congregation during Mr. Al’s children’s sermon one Sunday morning when you weren't quite three years old, delighting the whole crowd, and causing Mr. Al to say, “Amen. You told it much better than I could have”. 

You started going to our church when you were a little over a year old and everyone fell in love with you, and then later, your sister Genevieve.  Remember that our church family still loves you and prays for you as you go off to school. Always remember the things you learned during confirmation classes with Randy and the commitment you made when you joined the church. We also made a commitment to you to when you were baptized and you can be assured we won’t forget.

The little necklace I’m giving you symbolizes having faith – even the tiniest bit of faith - as small as a mustard seed. One of my favorite mentions of the mustard seed in scripture is from Matthew 13: 31-32. I know you’ve heard this passage before, and it was just used Sunday in our children’s sermon.

31  "He put another story before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and put in his field: 32  Which is smaller than all seeds; but when it has come up it is greater than the plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and make their resting-places in its branches."

The church has played an integral part in planting seeds in your heart from your early years. If you let them, the seeds will grow and multiply and the kingdom of God inside you will be carried on. You may not understand it now, but a little encouragement on your part to make the seeds grow will give you strength and will be more useful than you’ll ever know.  When the gospel comes alive in you, it works and spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the heart and soul. I hope this necklace reminds you of that!

I love you, my sweet princess. Have a wonderful year in school! You may open your dorm door one day soon and find me there for a quick visit - just long enough for me to hear you say, “Hey Mamaw”, in that same exuberant sweet voice that I’ve always loved.

Love you!


There are many things that influence our children and grandchildren as they go off to school. As their Christian mentors we can offer them encouragement and pray they'll cling to the Word in times of uncertainty and in times when their faith may waver.

In most Protestant churches, we make a commitment when children are baptized. We, "as members of the church of Jesus Christ, promise to guide and nurture them by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of His church." That is a huge responsibility.

We can send them cards letting them know that their church family hasn't forgotten them even though they may be far away.

Glenda Manus, 8/18/2015

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