May 07, 2021 08:00am
Teaching Faith: A Mother’s Story

The crash against the window took us all by surprise. What just happened?

I inched towards the window and scanned the yard. Nothing seemed out of place until I looked straight down and locked eyes on a dove. A lifeless dove.

By now the kids swarmed around my legs. Little faces smashed up against the glass with innocent hearts and questions I couldn’t answer: “Is the bird okay, Mom?”

As I stared at the dove, Jesus’ words from so long ago echoed through my thoughts,

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 (ESV)

I encouraged the kids with God’s promises and used the moment to remind them of His power. But somehow it didn’t seem like enough.


Something inside me felt like I should pray for this bird to be okay. And I immediately fought back with an arsenal of what ifs. But what if the bird doesn’t get up? What if I’m hearing this wrong? If we ask God to heal the bird, what do I do if He doesn’t?

Enter faith.

“But as for you, … Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 (ESV)

To pursue faith we have to do something that actually requires faith. Take action amidst unanswered questions. Throw our trust at the foot of God’s throne. Take the risk.


Uncertainty pulls us back from a bold move. Skepticism snickers at our shaky steps. And an overall lack of control sends shock waves through our nerves.

In his book Navigate, Scott Attebery spotlights the issue: “Faith requires us to let go of our own understanding and trust God. The problem is, we love our own understanding.”

I wrestled with my own ideas, took a deep breath and suggested, “Let’s pray.” So we prayed. And we watched. And waited.

Please God, please God, please make the bird get up, I silently begged.

It felt like we stood at that window for an hour with nothing. No sign of change. No sign of life.

Some kids lost interest and wandered on to something more exciting. Still, nothing.

I worked on a chore or two then scampered back to check on the patient. And still, nothing.

Then, in a motion much quieter than the one that started all this, the dove raised her head. Her body stayed as still as a statue, but God opened her eyes and lifted her head. And this mother’s heart rejoiced!

Oh, what God showed us that day! He proved His care over all creation. He solidified His providence over all things. We asked. He answered. We witnessed God’s gentle hand. We had front row seats to His perfect power.


The other day, a few of those kids asked to plant mustard seeds in the yard. We had a little jar full of these seeds Jesus talks about in Matthew 17:20,

“ . . . if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

We lost a few seeds before any made it to the dirt. They really are tiny! Even in the palm of a preschooler’s hand, the seeds seemed to almost vanish.

My favorite part of the planting was watching their eyes light up with wonder. Their excitement didn’t blossom from the near-invisible seed in their hands. Instead, it bloomed from the expectation of what it would become.

They’d heard Jesus’ words and believed Him . . . a small seed of faith planted in God’s power produces the impossible.

Copyright © 2021 by Katy McCown @ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing