A Carrot, An Egg and Some Coffee Beans

By: Andy Landis
Monday, November 9, 2015

“What would you like to do with your grief?” she asked, tenderly. “You may become weakened by it, you may become hardened by it, or you may allow it to change you in a way that equips you to change your life in a rich and pleasing way.” Andy Landis shares a unique look at grief by comparing three very different items—a carrot, an egg and some coffee beans—and how they are changed by adversity. You decide how you want to travel the journey after reading this creative story.

by Andy Landis

A young woman had suffered a great loss and asked her mother what life was all about. She told her mom that she was tired of fighting and struggling and didn’t know if she was going to make it. It seemed that all kinds of things were triggering her grief and reminding her of her loss, and she just felt like she wanted to give up.

Her mother took her into the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed an egg, and in the third she placed coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about 20 minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished out the carrots and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the egg out and placed it in a bowl. She ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her daughter she asked, “What do you see?”

“Carrots, an egg, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did, and noticed that they were soft. Then the mother asked her to take the egg and break it open. She did, and observed that it was hardboiled. Then, her mother asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its richness.

“What does this mean?” the daughter asked.

“Each of these objects faced the same adversity—boiling water,” her mother explained, “and each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting but, when subjected to the boiling water, softened and became weak. The egg went in fragile with its thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior but, when subjected to the boiling water, became hardened.”

The mother looked at her daughter and smiled as she continued. “The coffee beans, however, were unique. When they were subjected to the boiling water, they, too, were changed. But then they changed the water into something rich and aromatic and pleasing.

“What would you like to do with your grief?” she asked tenderly. “You may become weakened by it, you may become hardened by it or you may allow it to change you in a way that equips you to change your life in a rich and pleasing way.”

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