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by Stephen Major Chisholm
While in Guatelama we had the opportunity to visit a Coffee Plantation and get the full tour of the coffee making process. The coffee plant takes three to four years before it can start yielding a crop of fruit. Once the fruit is ripe it has to be picked by the delicate hands of migrant workers who know what to looking for.
Once the berries are picked they are stripped of their shells. The outer shell and meat of the fruit is reused for various purposes, made into jam, used as compost, etc. The seed, commonly referred to as the bean, has another shell around it that is then stripped by a machine and placed on a conveyer belt. Sometimes this process fractures the bean. Once again the beans are ready to be inspected by workers who meticulously separate beans out by size. The whole beans are moved to one area while the other beans are moved to another area. The pieces of beans are usually turned into ground coffee.
The whole bans are then sun baked to dry them out before they head to the roaster to be turned into the many different blends of coffee we all enjoy. They start as a plant, the plant matures, the berries are picked, the bean is mechanically stripped of its outer shell and then the bean is left in the sun to be baked, once dry its then placed into the oven to be roasted. Then its shipped all over the world where its fullest potential is then realized and enjoyed.
We are not too much different than the life of the bean. We are chosen or picked by parents to be brought into this world. From that point some of us have delicate hands guiding our process, maturing us along the way. Others are less fortunate and the machine of the world not only strips us of our skin and flesh but also fractures us. Sometimes, those who fracture us are the closest too us. From there we are left in the desert to dry under the sun. And if life couldn’t get any worse, we are then thrown into the fire. Only to emerge as something we never thought we could be…a blessing to others.
Perhaps that process, though intentionally guided by God, is the refining process of his work. Sure the world can strip us of all, take things from us, fracture us, dry us out and roast us. God is the one who can take all that and turn us into the perfect balance, blend and aroma of sweetness to others. Ultimately, regardless of whats been taken from us, we are to give our lives away for His purpose.

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