Spilling the Beans

Somebody spilled the beans.

I don’t think I was meant to find out, but I did anyway.  Come to think of it, I’m sure that no one tried to hide it from me either.  Regardless, I know all about it now.

That’s the way it is with secrets.  Somehow, they make their way inexorably to the light of day.  Deeds done in private, things thought hidden from all prying eyes, push through all the layers of secrecy and burst into full view when you least expect it.

Frequently, they have help from someone.  Usually, all it takes is time.  Time–and nature working the way our Creator intended.  Suddenly, where you never thought to find it, the mountain of evidence is amassed and the secret is out.

I certainly wasn’t looking to find such a secret as I mowed my lawn the other day.  Seven days after I had last mowed, the yard was showing signs of getting out of control again.  So, I did what I had to do.  Normally, I don’t enjoy this kind of work.  The surprise that awaited me in the side yard was almost worth the trouble on this day.

I expected to be trimming too-long fescue grass (along with more than a few weeds), and in fact, that is mostly what I found.  But, suddenly, as I pushed the red and white mower along the verge of the grass closest to the parking area, I saw a section of almost vine-like growth.  Standing four or five inches above the tallest grass, it looked so out of place that it grabbed my attention.  That wasn’t here last week!  I would have noticed.  Killing the mower, I bent over to see what this strange plant was.

Unmistakably, there near the ground on almost every shoot was the skin of a pinto bean, shed by the quickly sprouting plant as it shoved its way out of the ground.  We’ve had a lot of rain this summer, so the fertile ground is not lacking in moisture, but bean plants require beans to start.  Except for the original creation mentioned in Genesis, I can safely say with Fraulein Maria in The Sound Of Music that nothing comes from nothing–nothing ever could.

How did these get here?  Someone had to put them here!

I asked the Lovely Lady, who had no idea.  No.  She did have a thought.

“I gave some pintos to Mary the other day to take home.  Maybe one of the kids dropped them.”

A conversation today with our daughter cleared up the mystery.  Our oldest grandson had been carrying the beans to their car when he dropped the bag and it broke open.  He picked up most of them, but some must have remained hidden in the grass, where they seized the opportunity offered them and put down roots, springing into mature plants in less than a week.

The secret is out.

What’s that you say?  That isn’t what you expected?

When I said someone had spilled the beans, you thought perhaps someone had told a juicy secret about something I wanted to hide.  Maybe someone close to me had a skeleton in the closet which they’ve kept hidden for decades.

It happens often enough.

I’m not all that sorry to disappoint you in that respect today, but it should be pointed out that the truths mentioned at the first of this little expose’ are no less poignant than you may have believed when you first read them.  Secrets can’t be kept hidden forever.  The evidence of what has passed will come to light when the natural results bring them into view.

Just like the beans sprouting into full-grown life, our most guarded secrets can’t be hidden indefinitely.

The red-headed lady who raised me used to say, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

Those words usually preceded a spanking to reinforce the idea that I shouldn’t be hiding whichever secret it was that had come to light that day.

I’m not sure I’ve completely learned the lesson yet.  There are dark places within me which I would still be chagrined beyond belief to have opened to public view.  Grace brings forgiveness, but not forgetfulness.  But, now that I consider it, that’s not such a bad thing.

When I recall the darkness I have lived in, I am determined to never dwell there again.  The dark places we have been remind us to live in the light we are given today.

One last thought–I’m pretty sure the plants I found the other day will have pinto beans on them eventually, not corn or peas.  Things done in secret seem to yield the same fruit as that from which they have sprung.

Just a word to the wise.

“Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”
(2 Timothy 1:12b ~ NIV)

“The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.”
(E.W. Howe ~ American novelist/editor ~ 1853-1937)

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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