Breaking Beans with Nen

The lady in this picture is my mom’s mom (those two kids are my cousin’s.) We called her Nen; certainly one of the sweetest souls that ever walked the Earth. I sat with Nen on the front porch of her house one hot summer afternoon in that two-seat gliding porch swing you see in the picture. Nen had a big mixing bowl in front of her and her apron was full of fresh green beans from the garden.

She picked up a long green bean, broke the ends off and then broke it in half. When she broke them it sounded like dried twigs snapping. I said, “Nen, why are you breaking the beans?” And right there she taught me a lesson that I still have in my heart. It’s been more than forty years since we spent that afternoon on the porch.

Nen said, “Mikie (nobody is allowed to call me that but her) it makes them cook up better.” I asked why and she tried to explain it. She invited me to break some too, to help her out. I did a few and then I picked up a bean and tried to break the end off and it wouldn’t snap. So I tried the other end. No luck. I folded it in half, still wouldn’t break. Nen just sat and laughed at me. I was working so hard on something that was never going to change. She said, “It’s a bad bean Mikie, throw it away.”

We sometimes fail to get rid of things that should be set aside. It could be bad music, vile comedians, destructive habits and even toxic people. Not to be harsh, but sometimes we need to end relationships that are not healthy. We need to have the courage to put away those things that hinder our efforts to live good and holy lives.

In the Old Book, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age.” Matthew 13:47-50

Jesus taught, (and Nen did too), that the good should be separated from the bad. The bad is to be thrown away. What are the ‘bad beans’ in your life? Finding the good beans requires examination. It takes wisdom to know good from bad. It takes courage to make the choice. Be wise and brave.

telemicus out

3 Responses to Breaking Beans with Nen

  1. cindy smith says:

    how do you miss someone who has been gone for sooo long… but i do. i can only hope i have the impact and influence on my grandkids as she did hers. not that they adore me, but rather that they understand that i adore them and more important that God adores them. noone questioned that nen loved them. she was one of the sweetest souls to walk the earth. i count myself blessed to have been loved by her and allowed all the delights that sharing life with her brought. thanks for the reminders of a great day. i do remember that day. its when i learned how to snap beans. :)

  2. nancy murphy says:

    I have been reading your stories and statements for some time and I LOVE them. I especially loved this one. You know the part where you said you were working so hard on something that never was going to change? Well, people do that with other people. They know the situation is bad, but they keep hoping things will change. It’s hard to throw out the bean and the longer you are around the “bean” the sicker you get and the bad bean can affect all the other beans Sometime someome like Nen will tell you to throw it away but when you are “sick”, it’s hard to do that. I pray people do listen to what you say. You have a gift from God.bless you Michael. Keep on spreading the word. Nancy P.S. Maybe when I get to Texas again, we can have coffee

  3. sherry sparks says:

    I love the way you write and tell stories. Your stories always make great sermons. I was only in 3rd grade I don’t remember her like you and Cindy. Wish I could. I hope that there are copies of all your stories. That would make an awsome gift if you ever wanna give me something 😉 Cindy I still want a framed copy of “25 things about you” THAT was greatness. one of my favorite stories….. “you’ll like the way you look… I guarantee it” :)

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