Today I spent many hours preparing food for a celebration of life service. It was my honor to do so and I was touched by the trust that had been bestowed on me. It was important to me to return that trust and so I worked very hard to make sure that everything that I made was as good as it could be.
When all the preparations were completed, the celebration service began. The moderator opened with a moment of silence. Afterwards friends and family members shared their special memories about a man who was well-loved and who will be missed very much.
After the service, I realized that I had yet to deliver my pie of the day. I’d made it for a friend of mine but when I called tonight, she did not answer. As it was nearing nightfall, I thought I would find someone in need of dinner and honor my friend another day.
After a short ride through the downtown plaza in Ashland, I spotted several outdoor urban dwellers and parked my car. As I approached the men, I held out the quiche and asked if they would like it. Immediately they both began thanking me and said that they would bring the quiche to the church shelter to share with the others who were there. As I left, they thanked me again and wished me a good evening.
As I was driving home I was struck by this thought: I put the same attention and care into the feast as I did with the quiche and it does not matter who receives our gifts; what is more important is that we use them.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
— Mother Teresa
This morning I was planning for a busy day but I also knew that I wanted to attend church to see the children’s Christmas Pageant. As I was planning my day, I thought the best way to give my “pie of the day” would be to bring it to church with me. There are so many really lovely people in our church family that I have considered as pie recipients that I knew one of them would be in church today.
Once I was seated in my pew, I began to look around at the people in attendance when my eyes focused on one couple and I knew that they were “the ones” today. It’s funny, because I know so little about these folks. I came on the scene late in their lives so I don’t know what they were like when they were “in their prime.” I know from the Rotary directory that Bob’s field was Nuclear Science but I don’t know anything about what he did in his career… and I don’t know what Barbara did at all. On their part, Bob knows me from Rotary and Barbara knows me because of my part on the Parish Life committee.
A few years ago, Bob reminded me that his birthday was in January and since I was making the Rotary birthday cake I asked him what kind of cake I should make. He told me to make a chocolate cake and said something about putting m&m’s on top of it. When the time came, I did make a chocolate cake for the birthday table, but instead of putting m&m’s on the cake, I put a bag of m&m’s at Bob’s place at the table. And he was surprised that I would do such a thing! But really, I love knowing how to make someone happy…. because then it is so easy to do!
After church today, I ran to my car to get the still warm apple pie and then I brought it to Barbara. She told me that she’d heard of my pie journey and then she said that she and Bob both liked pies. I mentioned that she should consider it her pie and if Bob was good, she might share it with him. It was a joke of course, because I think that Bob is always as good as he can be… and I am just tickled to be able to bring them a simple gift that they both enjoy for it makes me feel so blessed.