To move mountains

When she was old and fading –

her gray hair paling,

her skin thinning and softening –

my grandmother painted watercolours.

A mustard seed of memory

shuttled yellow clouds across canvas,

stilled storms, swept the earth into peaks:

with her paintbrush, she moved mountains.

From this Sunday’s gospel (Luke 17:5-10):

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

On the way home I heard a piece on NPR about the late artist and personality, Bob Ross. A participant in a Bob Ross Certified Instructor’s painting class, Susan Rossi, told how Bob Ross’s painting opened up a world of possibilities for her after a stroke changed her life:

You think, wow, no limits. You can move clouds, you can change mountains …

I received the sudden (and not altogether mountain-shattering) revelation that mustard-seed faith is really in league with breadcrumb imagination to re-create the kingdom of heaven …

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