“He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’” (Mt 13:31-32)
Sometimes I tend to think of prayer-life as something enormous; as a huge, almost unsurpassable mountain before me. This is a delusional and damaging thought, because what it does is make me put off any attempt at communion with God. I avoid stepping up to the plate, imagining obstacles like my “unworthiness,” unresolved issues, sinful routines, or whatever.
But the Lord gently reminds me in this parable that my faith is a little inconspicuous thing, like a small mustard seed in my heart. If I just nurture it, bit by bit, with some sunlight and water on a daily basis, it gradually grows. I might not even notice it, because other things in life are somehow louder and more prominent. And yet, however unnoticeably, God’s grace in my life grows and can make a difference for others around me, if I patiently continue to nurture this little seed in my heart.
The grace of the Gospel is also like this in the broader scheme of things: it does transform the world, and offer even "outsiders" shelter in its branches, whether they notice that hospitality or not.