Monday, August 9, 2010

The Art of the Green Bean

Today I picked seven gallon bags of green beans from our garden. I love the fresh summer produce!

Since we didn’t get our garden in until later this summer, we’re just receiving the first fruits. These are the best. The plants are still young and the beans are tender.

As the summer progresses however, the beans change too. They are still tasty but you have to pick them before they grow too large; otherwise they’re a little tough. Also, as the plant starts to mature, the bean size and shape change. Instead of the smooth long thin bean, most of the beans have a variety of shapes. Some bulge at the end and remain skinny at the stem, while others are formed well except for a scrawny part in the middle.

I’ve always wondered why this is and what I can do to prevent it. Then it hit me today. Once again nature mirrors our human condition.

When we are young, we are strong and lean and nothing can stop us. As we age, we tend to bulge in the middle or sag in other places. When we are young, we are idealistic about ourselves and others. Age however, changes us too. We become pessimistic, we doubt our fellow man and we typically become jaded by life experiences.

I can’t help but wonder if my bean plants are a gift from God to remind me to remain tender and strong. I can’t help but think they are a gentle reminder of what happens to us when we take life too seriously or engage in experiences that are not good for us.

So the next time you eat a green bean, know that not only has God provided you with a nutritional supplement for your body, but a spiritual reminder that life should not always be too serious and we cannot allow ourselves to become jaded by everyday events.


Anonymous said...

I see parallels in life EVERYWHERE! I love your posts, Loretta.

Loretta Oakes said...

Thanks, Helen. You're right, there are parallels everywhere!

Jan Parrish said...

I love how God "plants" these lessons in something as simple as a bean. Great post Loretta.

Kay Day said...

Our culture seems to put a lot of emphasis on being tough. As though tough and strong are equal. But you're right, tender and strong. That's sounds contradictory, but it's not. It's a good reminder. Thanks Loretta!

Loretta Oakes said...

Strong and tender, strong and tender!