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Mustard Seed

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. (Matt. 17:20)

A couple weeks ago I was working on some of the lighting in the church. Our church flower girl, Linda Sakamoto, was wandering around the gardens as is her custom. I was inside the Education Building when I heard her come in and say under her breath, “I’m looking for a couple screws.” I looked down and she was carrying a small metal sign…and nothing else. This part is important. She only had the metal sign but was intent on attaching it to a bench out by the old garden.

I just happened to have some small screws with me. “Linda, I have some small screws. Will these work?” She came over. “Yes, I think so.” So, we tried them. The screws were a little too big. I had a drill with me, so I bored out the holes a little and they fit. I gave her the screws and as she started to walk off, she turned around and asked, “You don’t happen to have a screwdriver for these, do you?” Sure. So, I handed her my #2 Phillips screwdriver. She started to walk away again, and I asked, “Do you need a hammer?” “Hmm. Yes, I guess I will.” So, I gave her my hammer and also gave her an awl for punching a starting hole into the wood. I continued with my work and could see her outside mounting the metal sign on the back rest of the wooden bench. She later came in and returned the hammer, #2 Phillips screwdriver and the awl. She thanked me for the tools and said the wood was very hard, and the awl came in handy. She was happy with the sign and its mounting.

At the time, I just shook my head in amazement. Linda set out to mount a metal sign to the back rest of an outdoor bench. She had no screws, drill, screwdriver, or punch (awl) for a pilot hole. She was totally unprepared. Yet she was determined, confident, resolved. There was absolutely no doubt in her mind that she was going to get this sign mounted.

Initially, my reaction was, “What was she thinking? Were the screws and screwdriver just going to appear miraculously? What about planning and thinking ahead? What about the 'wise man who built his house on the rock?' He planned ahead. 'Give careful thought to the paths of your feet…' (Prov. 4:26)" The project manager in me also wondered what would she have done if I hadn't been here? What if I hadn’t brought the screws and drill? Then what would she have done?

BUT, I did have the screws, screwdriver, drill, hammer and awl. I was there…at the right time…with the right tools. What was I thinking? [Emphasis on the “I”] Do I need to be critical of God providing the right things at the right time? For anyone accustomed to prayer, it is a pretty common occurrence. Prayers are answered all the time. We are surrounded by miracles. Should I be skeptical of miracles, even if they only involve screws and a drill? Was this a miracle or a pleasant coincidence? I don’t have an answer, but I would like to lean toward the former. Jesus asked his disciples, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. (Luke 22:35) He sent them out without planning ahead, totally dependent on God providing what they needed through the generosity of others. Just like Linda.

Later, I went out to look at the metal sign she placed on the back rest of the bench. She did a good job. It was centered and straight. The stainless steel screws would not rust. And then I read what the sign said:


In Memory of Dan Bacon

Written with permission from Linda Sakamoto.

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