Dedicated to my friend Judy
Did you ever have to eat something you didn't like, do a chore you didn't want to do, work on homework you didn't feel like doing, be nice to someone you didn't want to be nice to? I have named these "Cherry Pie" situations. Let me tell you this story about my friend and me:
Several years ago, on the first day of school, two new students happened to be in the same lunch line. Neither had much money.
They stared at the salads, meats, and vegetables and introduced themselves. "Hi, I'm Judy. I'm new at school this year."
"Hi, I'm Mary. I'm new, too."
Before they reached the dessert section Judy and Mary felt like long lost friends. One would start a sentence, the other would laugh and finish the thought.
When they reached the dessert area, they looked at the row of cherry pie servings and rolled their eyes. "I hate cherry pie."
Judy snapped her fingers. "I have an idea. Since you and I both hate cherry pie, let's buy one and split it."
Mary wrinkled her nose. "Are you kidding? No way."
Judy picked up the piece of pie. "It'll be a game. We'll split the piece in half and see who can convince the people sitting near us that we actually love cherry pie. Who knows, maybe someday we'll be in a special place where only cherry pie is served and we'll be expected to eat it."
"I don't know, Jude. I really don't like that kind of pie."
Judy moved her tray toward the cashier. "What if you were a missionary in the jungle somewhere and the people served you their favorite dish, something like snake or frog--"
"Well, that's different. Of course I wouldn't want to offend the people. I'd eat it."
Judy handed the cashier half the money for the cherry pie then looked at Mary. "Well? Maybe the person in the jungle will serve cherry pie."
"OK.OK. I'll play the game."
Judy and Mary chose a crowded table and squeezed in the middle. Sitting across from each other they grabbed their forks and plunged into the pie. Judy raised her eyebrow. Mary smirked signaling the start of the game. They raised their forks then slid the dessert into their mouths. Neither cringed, or shivered, or shouted YUCK!!
They talked about their previous schools and families laughing as though they were catching each other up on recent news while sliding new forkfuls of cherry pie into their mouths.
After a few minutes, a girl at the table looked their way. "Do you know each other? I've never seen either of you at school before."
Judy swallowed her pie. "Actually, we just met."
"Really? I thought you were friends already. Good thing they had cherry pie today. You both seem to like it a lot."
Mary and Judy laughed so hard they nearly spit out their pie.
Judy married a pastor, which meant she had many cherry pie opportunities. Mary went on several short term mission trips, which meant she also had cherry pie, or snake, or frog, or something unusual--she didn't want to know what the food really was, but she smiled and ate whatever the people served.
In my family, "Cherry pie" became the name for situations when someone decided to do what needed to be done, even if he or she didn't want to do it.
when you're served a "Cherry pie" situation--
think of Jesus,
and make someone happy.
Happy Birthday Jesus!