The Mustard Seed

I don’t know where she got it, whether she bought it herself, or maybe it was a gift.

Leora’s mustard seed pendant.

She read her King James Bible and had been baptized, as an adult, at the Methodist Church in Dexter. I vaguely remember her wearing the mustard seed charm on a chain as a necklace.

It’s not very attractive. The metal crown has tarnished and the bauble itself is murky. But the little seed is unmistakable.

Why was this small novelty important to her?

Perhaps because of Mark 4: 30-32: “And He said, ‘How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? ‘It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the bird of the air can nest under its shade.'”

In other verses, Christ likens a mustard seed to the size of a person’s faith.


I wish I’d asked Grandma about her mustard seed. It just might represent the faith she had that she would see her sons again, the ones lost during WWII, and her husband one day in heaven. It may have helped her find enough faith in God to face other day.

Grandma was a delightful, cheerful woman all the decades I got to share with her. The little mustard seed reminds me of that and that I’ll get to see her against someday.

It has become a treasured memento on our Christmas tree.

The only thing better than an heirloom is an heirloom with a story. – Joy Neal Kidney




  1. Deeply touching; especially with her losses in life. Another great warm post. Spot on for the holiday season.

  2. There is a mustard seed embedded in a stained glass window of the chapel attached to the school I used to teach at. I have always found the story of the mustard seed both interesting and inspiring.

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