Miss Rosalie spent her life bringing the gospel to inner-city children in Miami. One day, a well-dressed young man approached her and said, “You may not remember me but I was in one of your Bible clubs many years ago. I know I was a handful but you are a big part of the reason that I am a pastor, today.”
She remembered the man as a high-energy little boy who needed constant correction and lots of love.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It is tiny and unremarkable yet produces much.
There was nothing remarkable about Miss Rosalie other than her constant sharing of love and the gospel to the children living in the poorest sections of Miami. Her work was not celebrated in the secular nor religious media but she was a hero to everyone whose life she touched. Like so many of God's servants she was quietly planting seeds in the hearts of children.
Like a mustard seed, the Kingdom of God does its work unseen. It is not the pastors and religious celebrities that are changing the world. It is God's people buried deep in the places where the hurting are found, giving words of encouragement that point to Jesus. The Kingdom's influence grows through countless small acts of kindness.
I served alongside her one summer, bringing VBS to the projects of Miami. Her influence led me to attend seminary in urban New Orleans and commit my life to urban ministry. She never knew the impact that she had on my life and, for many years, neither did I.
Like a mustard seed Kingdom work starts out small and continues to grow. Let us not grow weary in our work when we don't see immediate results. It is not about building monuments to our own greatness and making a name for ourselves. The Parable of the Sower teaches us that the power of the gospel lies in the seed not the sower. We should rejoice at small victories, remembering that God's values are different than the world's, and give God the glory.