March 23

Written by Bill Grandi on March 23rd, 2023

Do you know what a cool bean is? No? Well some kindergarten kids in our school system do.

One of the programs I was involved in was called Real Men Read sponsored by the UW of Monroe County. I live in Owen County but it was a partnership since we don’t have one. Each month I would read to Mrs. Lee’s K class as part of the program. COVID shut the program down, although I was able to keep reading to Mrs. Lee’s class (we met outside when possible). I approached the K teachers (which my daughter, Tami, is one of) about restarting it and received 100% approval. Once a month I read to 5 different K classes in 3 different schools (1-1-3) and our youth pastor, Ryan, reads to three classes in the other school.

This month has been a book called The Cool Bean. Long story short: It’s about a bean who was left out of his pod of four beans. The other three became well known all over as The Cool Beans. He tried wearing sunglasses like they did. He tried slicking back his “hair.” He tried swagging when he walked. He tried acting cool.

He failed and was left out.

Then one day everything changed. One of the cool beans helped him when he spilled something. Another bean used a “beandaid” to cover a wound. And another helped in class.  He was included in the cool beans and they had his back. One day he saw a fellow bean fall and spill his books and papers everywhere so he asked if he could help. The other beans saw it and said, “Now that is C-O-O-O-L.”  Yeah…I know…cheesy. But effective.

The story taught several lessons. One I stressed to them is you’re not cool by the sunglasses or clothes you wear; you aren’t cool by anything outward. Then one of the little girls yelled out, “It’s inside. It’s your heart!”  “Absolutely right,” I told her. She got it. “Who you are, how you treat others is what really matters.” I also told them to go home and yell out to their parents, “I’m a cool bean! and when they wonder what you are talking about, show them the book.” (The three teachers yesterday bought them the book I read to take home).  “Then, ask them to read it to you.”

When Samuel was choosing a successor to Saul as king, he had Jesse bring his sons before him. Each one he thought was the right specimen. But God had other ideas. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” Case closed.  (And no, I didn’t tell this part of the lesson).

Being accepted, being loved, is not really determined by our outward appearance. Surface is not important. Beauty is more than skin deep. Don’t treat others on the basis of the outward. Serve because you don’t care about the outward and because your heart is full of humility.

Then you too can be a C-O-O-O-L BEAN!!


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I think you and Ryan are pretty C-O-O-O-L BEANs for taking the time to read to the kids at the school. I know the schools (in general) has been getting a lot of negative spotlight in many ways. It is nice to see that at least in some communities, they are open to having positive role models. If you only stop seeing who a person is based on the appearance, you are missing so much of the whole person. Skin, after all, is only … skin deep.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for the compliment Ryan. A C-o-o-o-l bean huh? 🙂 I am proud of the S-OCS school system for not being against positive role models and allowing us access to the school. And you so right: skin is only skin deep.

  2. I want to be a cool bean! May God enable me to see the hearts of people, not the exterior, no matter how “attractive” that may be.
    Blessings, Bill, and thanks for reading to the least of these!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That should be the desire of every person who is s Christ-follower Martha…to see the hearts of people and not the exterior. And to be totally transparent: it is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. I even told Tami last night to thank the two other K teachers in her school for giving me the chance to read.

  3. gail says:

    Very cool beans to read to the kids. I remember being read to as a kid, I loved it, I am happy the schools are letting you and Ryan do that.

    In order to see the whole person, and love them as Jesus has commanded us to do, we have to lean into the Bible, read it daily, make it a priority to read God’s word. God’s words are so important to help us learn to navigate this life. When you leave the Bible out of your routine, you will not be able to see people as Jesus did, we will quickly go back to our self centered opinions that serve no one. We have to be God focused first, its the only way we can serve God in His kingdom as we are meant to serve our King.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Very true Gail. We need the bible to show us how to be like Jesus not make something up. It only takes down a dead end road.