In the summer of 1859, a daredevil by the name of Charles Blondin captured the world's attention. He amazed thousands of spectators as he tightrope-walked across the foaming Niagara Falls, performing incredible feats such as crossing in a sack, on stilts, and even cooking an omelette mid-walk. One day, he asked the crowd if they believed he could carry a person across the falls in a wheelbarrow. They all shouted in agreement, but when he asked for a volunteer, no one stepped forward.
This story illustrates the gap between faith and action. Sometimes, we believe something in our hearts, but we struggle to put it into action.
In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus speaks of faith, saying, "The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
A mustard seed is tiny and vulnerable, yet it can grow into a strong tree with sturdy branches, providing shelter and rest for birds. Jesus chose the mustard seed to symbolise faith not because it is grand, but because it is small and has the potential to grow into something much larger with the right care and nourishment.
Faith requires small acts of kindness, prayer, and action. It's not about carrying someone across Niagara Falls in a wheelbarrow, but rather, doing the little things that make a difference in the world. When we perform these acts of kindness, our faith grows, and we can change the world, one small act at a time.
This year's Christian Aid Week theme comes from Malawi, with the slogan "Give Peas a Chance". Although there is a difference between a mustard seed and a pigeon pea, they both carry the message that small things can make a big impact. Christian Aid is working to help families and communities in Malawi, showing that even the smallest act of kindness can create change.
So, let us reflect on how we can make a small difference in the world. Whether it's through prayer, acts of kindness, or supporting organisations like Christian Aid, every little bit counts. Remember, just like the mustard seed, even the smallest act of faith can grow into something much larger and more powerful than we can ever imagine.