30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
This is Mark 4: 30-32. This was one of the scripture readings from church last Sunday (the other being something from Samuel, about David, in which David was described as “ruddy”, which as a ginger made my day).
Sometimes, scriptures really sink into my heart with meaning, and this was one. This is one of those wonderful life lessons that the Bible (among other great works) is full of. “The kingdom of God” is open for interpretation – but being a kind person is like planting a mustard seed. You say something nice to someone, smile at them, help them in some small way, help a stranger or a friend, be a Good Samaritan… random acts of kindness, a trite phrase now but still packed with meaning. You plant this, walk along your merry way, but behind you a garden grows. And in some beautiful imagery, birds perch in the shade. Kindness can grow and become infectious.
I don’t think you have to a Christian to plant mustard seeds. All religions can do this. Atheists can do this. It’s called being nice to one another in small ways. And forgiving people when they aren’t so nice to you.
I must plant mustard seeds every day. We all must do that. We must do that for the people who don’t have any seeds to plant; we can give them seeds too. A beautiful garden can grow, where everyone can perch in the branches and sing their songs.