Green beans & Jesus

by Tabitha Taylor, ttaylor@southwestern.com

My grandparents live in the middle of nowhere. Their home and land casts some of the most incredible scenery I’ve ever seen.  My family and I have grown up knowing this Tennessee hollow (pronounced “haller”) as “God’s country.”  When you are there, time seems to stand still and it’s impossible to not relish in the beauty that surrounds – the beauty God made.

PawPaw & Me
Pawpaw & Me

Last weekend, I dropped by to see my wonderful Nannie and Pawpaw, but with a gazillion things on my to-do list for the day, I had mentally prepared myself for a one-hour visit. When I called Pawpaw to let him know I was on the way, his response was “we have a mess of beans to pick, get here quick.” I knew then, my one-hour visit had just become a full day. I would not turn down the opportunity to spend quality time with the people I admire so much and crave to learn from.

When I arrived, my 84-year-young Pawpaw was working diligently to put up a fence. I got out of the car and he handed me a bucket letting me know which row of green beans had my name on them. I joined two of my cousins in the massive pile of dirt and rocks that encompassed these beautiful green plants, for what seemed like miles and miles. As I began at the end of the row and worked my way towards the middle, I felt pretty accomplished. I was tearing through each plant grabbing every bean I could, but then, something happened… God met me there, right in the garden.

As I inched closer to the middle of the row, I realized the plants were growing thicker and thicker. The ones that were not spaced out, it seemed, had flourished four-times greater than the ones I had already picked. I felt like every time I picked a bean, five more appeared!

Part of the day's harvest
Part of the day’s harvest

Then I realized… these plants are abundant because they have so many strong plants surrounding them. Their stability and growth were dependent on those encompassing their immediate circle. In the thick of the garden, I had one of those “ah-ha” moments. I felt like God said to me (or at least He had these thoughts cross my mind), “These plants are like people. You need to have strong Christians around you. People that strive to walk and talk the way you do so they can help you grow and make you stronger in your faith.”

Wow! I took a deep breath, sighed, and smiled thinking about just how good God is. How much He delights in the tiny things. I thought about how He had given me my own real life parable. That’s how many stories in the Bible are anyway. When we don’t understand what Jesus was trying to say, He gave us stories that were easy to understand and share with others. Oh man, what an awesome story teller He was! He used real life situations to teach.

While this lesson may not be as profound as the Good Samaritan, the Rich Young Ruler, or the Mustard Seed, I knew in this moment, in God’s country, He was speaking directly to me. This is one of those kind of moments that will stick with me forever and will be a story I get to share with those who are not ready to talk about Jesus just yet.

I now have my own little personal parable about the time Jesus met me in the garden when I was picking green beans!  Have you ever stopped to think about what parables Jesus has written into your life?  Share them here!

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One thought on “Green beans & Jesus

  1. That is why my job has been so “enriching” lately. God is showing me that I am surrounded by sisters and brothers in Christ who are living out their faith everyday at Southwestern while serving and glorifying God. Thanks for sharing Tabitha!

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