Nine-Bean Soup

Several years ago, one morning, I was taking an inventory of my dried beans. I always keep a good supply with a family this size. I decided to make a mix. We love the mixed bean soups. So, we looked at our assortment of beans that morning and we had nine. I commented that this was one variety of beans per person in our family. I used one of my very large storage containers that is clear on the sides. I poured in one variety at a time.

Black-eyed Peas
Navy
Lentils
Green Baby Limas
Small Red Beans
Black Beans
Pintos
Green Split Peas
Large Limas

Because the container is clear, it was really neat seeing the layers that the beans made. It was very attractive, almost artistic, as each bean represented different colors, shapes and sizes. I once again commented that these beans were like us, all unique and different. We don’t look exactly the same, have exactly the same interests or talents.

Some of the children thought they looked so neat in the layers that we should leave them like that until I pointed out the problem. Our goal was to have a mixed bean soup and if we didn’t mix them up and combine them we would never have the full flavor that they could only bring once combined. As a matter of fact I concluded, we wouldn’t even be able to experience the bottom layers of beans for a long time to come and if we weren’t going to mix them up. If we wanted to experience them separately we should have just left them separated. Talk about a teachable moment!

Our family does not consist of all the same ‘variety’ of people. And yet, God Himself combined us together to create a special family that holds a unique flavor, all its own. As an adoptive family, blending together does not necessarily occur effortlessly. As an extra large family we can all feel as if we are being swallowed up and losing ourselves in the mix. While we are each individuals and celebrate our uniqueness, we also celebrate having been put together and made into something lovely…a family! Our flavor is unique because of each individual that makes up the whole.

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