Faith like a mustard seed (Day 4 of “8 Days for Ethan”) 3

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Day 4 of 8 Days for Ethan.

TODAY’S GOAL:  Ask our churches to help us raise awareness of the pain of Ethan’s death, and the need for Justice for Ethan.

We are halfway through “8 Days of Ethan”.

The bible passage above today’s doodle has always been one of my favorites.

Don’t let me mislead you, I’m not a religious man.  After being inundated with 21 years of organized religion, I took a sabbatical.  I don’t think organized religion is bad or anything like that, its just not for me.

That said, I still read – and try to live by – the Bible, particularly the synoptic gospels of the New Testament. And  I recognize that the pursuit of justice and civil rights has, historically speaking, been born in churches and religious communities around this country.

But back to that bible passage. Matthew 17:20 says “If you had the faith like a mustard seed, you could move mountains” (or words to that effect).  I used to think that meant that if I had faith the size of a mustard seed, I could move a mountain.  I was frustrated by this, because I didn’t know how one measured faith to know whether one had enough to fill a mustard seed.  And back then, I had a lot of mountains that I thought needed moving.

Then, one day while working in the garden, I realized that when you plant a seed in the ground, it grows.  If the conditions are right, it will germinate.  If the conditions are right, it will sprout.  If the conditions are right, it will develop leaves. If the conditions are right, it will  flower and, with some help from mother nature, will bear fruit.

But from Day 1, the seed itself just does only what is in its nature to do – it grows.  The measure of its faith is that it does what it is supposed to do: its action.

This is the faith the Justice for Ethan campaign needs   Not the faith of any particular outcome – if the conditions are right, the outcomes will happen.

What our movement needs is the kind of Faith that is Action – taking the next step, without fear or anxiety over the outcome.

Many of the folks that read this blog are religious, and go to church every week. Day 4’s action item is for you guys, and I’ll outline what we are going to do in the steps below.

But what if you’re not religious, and don’t go to church, what should you do on Day 4 of 8 Days for Ethan? Here are 2 Options.

Option A:  Somewhere in your circle of family or friends you have someone who is deeply religious.  Call them. Talk to them about Ethan Saylor.  Tell them how his death affects you and your family.  Ask them to take this action for you.

Option B: Spend your 15 minutes today circulating information about our White House Petition.  As of 6:30am Texas time, we only need  35 more signatures and our petition “goes public” and is first searchable viewable by the public on That’s HUGE.

Step 1:  Call the person at your local church that you are closest to. (1 minute)

Whether it be a priest, deacon, pastor, preacher, rabbi, imam, or the spouse of one of those individuals, pick up the phone and ask for 15 minutes of their time to talk.

Step 2:  Tell that person  about your struggle with Ethan’s death. (Time: 13 minutes)

Whatever your struggle is with Ethan’s death, tell that person about it.

Tell that person what Ethan’s death meant to you.  Explain why its hurting you.  Discuss how you struggle to make sense of it.  Talk about what really is bothering you about Ethan’s death, or how his death is impacting your family.

Step 3:  Ask that person to talk about Ethan, or Justice for Ethan, in their sermon on Sunday. (Time: 1 minute)

That’s bold, isn’t it?  My grandmother used to say “ask-not, have-not”.  So, again, the goal isn’t to get your pastor or preacher to proselytize on Justice for Ethan.

The goal is to plant the seed, in your church, about Ethan’s death and Justice for Ethan.

If the conditions are right, the seed will grow.

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