The Coal Basket

Though you’re probably all familiar with this story, I will share it because it is worth repeating…

They say there was an older gentleman who owned a farm in the Western Hills of Kentucky. He lived with his young Grandson.

Every morning, the Grandpa would rise early and sit at the kitchen table to read his old and beat-up Bible.

His grandson wanted to be just like him.  He imitated everything his Grandpa did, including getting up early and reading the Bible.

One day, the grandson said, “Grandpa, I try to read the Bible, I mean, I like it and all, but I don’t understand it.  And what I do understand, I forget as soon as I close it.  So what good is it for me to read it?”

The Grandfather quietly stopped putting coals in the stove and said, “Grab the Coal Basket and go down to the river and bring it back to me filled with water.”

The boy did as his Grandpa had asked him, even though all the water had leaked out before getting back to the house.

The Grandfather laughed and said, “You’ll have to move much quicker next time.”  And he sent him back to the river with the basket to try once more.

This time, the boy ran much faster than before, but still the basket was empty before he reached the house.

Breathlessly he said that it was Impossible to carry a Basket full of water. And he went to grab a bucket instead.  But his Grandfather said, “I do not want a Bucket Full of water.  I want a Basket Full of water.  You can do this.  You just aren’t trying hard enough.”  He then pointed him towards the River once more to watch the boy try again.

The boy knew that what his Grandfather was asking for was impossible, but he wanted to show him that even when he ran as fast as he possibly could that the water would all leak out before he made it back to the house.

So, the boy quickly submerged the basket in the river and ran as fast as he possibly could!  But, by the time he reached his Grandfather, the basket was empty.

Huffing and Puffing he sputtered, “See, Grandpa, it’s Pointless!”

“Why do you think it’s pointless,” asked the Grandfather.  “Look inside the basket.”

The boy looked inside and for the first time he understood that the basket looked different. 

In place of the soot-covered, coal dusted, coal carrying basket, there, in his hands was a  clean basket.

“Son,” said the Grandfather, “this is what happens when you read the Bible.  Perhaps you can’t understand everything or even remember anything.  But when you read it, it will change you inside.”

That is the Craftmanship of God in our lives.  To change us from the Inside and slowly Transform us into the Image of His Son.

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts (Hebrews 4:12

Una vez más, Gracias, Padre Roman.

9 thoughts on “The Coal Basket

Add yours

  1. What an awesome story. I can relate to that little boy, but I keep trying. Often the Holy Spirit gives me others to help me in the lessons that need to be learned. Thanks!!


    1. Those others are The Incarnation Principle! 😀

      Father Mario is constantly repeating and reiterating that to us.
      We aren’t meant to go things alone.
      God is Always there. He is there via, through, In Others. We just have to let Him help us.

      We should all be like that little boy…Wish I was 😕


  2. I started reading the Bible only in 2003 and just like the basket in this story, I changed – slowly, gradually.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: