Two-Percenters/Finn (again)

“…and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent…”

Finn Butler


This week, my sister Nancy sent me an email, a response to the Finn Butler poem that I posted before Thanksgiving.  I asked Nancy if I might share her message with you, and I’m grateful that she said yes. Her words are inspired and so important, especially during the holidays, when so many of us find ourselves stuck, hovering between that two percent and “and why am I still here?”

From Nancy:

So I’ve been thinking about that last 2 % this morning. When I read that, it made me recall this revelation that I had a couple of months ago about the mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20: He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

As a kid I thought about this a lot because I could not figure out how it worked. I do remember Grandpa referring to this piece of scripture a lot when we talked about “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Also during that time (not sure if this is when you were a baby or you were older) it was a trendy thing to have a mustard seed necklace.

See, I always thought that where it says “because you have too little faith” was a judgement kind of like “hey, if you only believed a little, you could do this.” This is also how it was/is presented in churches, as an admonishment.

Well a few months back, I was kind of marveling over the fact that after all that I have been through, I just kept getting up and believing in goodness and light. Like, what was this eternal hope, this sense of enduring faith? Many times it felt like such a burden because I did want to just wallow in everything ….

Then it occurred to me that maybe this is what the mustard seed parable could mean. When we are down to our last 2%, it is the strongest, most hopeful, most enduring parts of ourselves (perhaps it is our “true self”). In my mind, it is a piece and parcel of the Divine. It has been to hell and back and just keeps on having faith in the next moment, the next hour, the next day.

And even though many times I was/am walking in complete darkness and uncertainty and more often than not scared, I was walking. (I WAS WALKING!) And it seems that if I can concentrate on the small moment in time that it takes to put one foot in front of the other and move, then this too is powered by an infinitely tiny bit of faith that my feet will land on solid ground.

Even though I did not and do not understand why or how I was still walking, and I most certainly HAVE NOT enjoyed any of it (Do you hear that universe?), I am amazed by it … by this mustard seed-size of faith that I hold onto. And when I look back on all that it has gotten me through there is a part of me that truly believes that it could also move mountains.

And when I see you in your life, I also see that mustard seed that could move mountains. It’s like that quote by Bob Marley, “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”

So we gots the mustard seed, we gots it inside us and we can move mountains.
[By the way, Finn Butler’s book “From The Wreckage” can be purchased here .]



About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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3 Responses to Two-Percenters/Finn (again)

  1. Dana Mullen says:

    You and Nancy. Y’all’s my church this mornin’. Good lesson. Thank you.

    Sent from my shiny iPad


  2. Wendy says:

    I had a mustard seed necklace too as a young girl. I never really knew what it meant. I guess the grown ups tried to tell me, but they’d quote Scripture or something, and that still didn’t make sense to me. Only as an adult at Grace Church in NYC did it all come together. I’d say your 2% is golden, Vic. It’s not the amount that exists, it’s that it does exist. It is deep within you and burns bright. Love you.

  3. I had one of those mustard seed necklaces way back when. Nancy’s words have focused beautifully on what feels like a real meaning of the seed is. If that’s not what it’s supposed to mean, it’s what it should mean! Thank you.

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