A young woman went to her mother and told her
about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know
how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of
fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots
with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to
boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed
eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit
and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She
fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the
eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out
and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me
what you see.’
‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the
carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then
asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the
shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.
The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then
asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced
the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The
carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being
subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg
had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid
interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside
became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity
knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or
a coffee bean?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems
strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and
lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but
changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death,
a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become
hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside
am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes
the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the
water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are
like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and
change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and
trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee
This was sent to my inbox today – most poignant to me because of yesterday’s lunch-time service at All Souls Church, Langham Place (every Thursday from 1pm) which was taken by Heewoo Han on Luke 12:22 – 34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A22-34&version=NIV). Then, my reading from Every Day with Jesus today was from the VERY same reading. Incidentally, yesterday’s reading was Matthew 6:25…yes – the SAME teaching again, but from a different book/disciple!
I’ve been praying and praying as a lot has been happening this month. Not just with the wedding plans and worrying how we’re going to pay for everything; but also with my sister splitting from her husband, my Grandad being ill and work issues.I think someone is trying to tell me something, and this puts these little things sharply into perspective!