Tag Archives: God

Am I just baking or ….?

12 Aug

The summer after I graduated high school, a boy that I really liked drowned. I was only seventeen, and somehow in my young heart I thought he was “the one.” For quite some time I did not know how I would continue to live. Truly, it was devastating.

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Prep for A Raspberry Peach Cobbler

I needed to find comfort from someone in authority, so I went to the Baptist church up the street (where my little sister was in Bible school) and asked to speak with the minister. When I told him what had happened, the first question he asked me was “Did he accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior?”  I just looked at him and stammered, “Well, he was Catholic” and then he said, “Unless he had accepted Jesus, he is in Hell.”  This was not helping… and so I left quickly and decided to call the minister from my own church.  When I reached him, I told him I needed to talk to someone and he told me to come right away.

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Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

When I arrived, he invited me into the house where I’d babysat for his kids many times. After I told him what had happened, he shared some thoughts on the Presbyterian view of the afterlife (Hell was not emphasized) and after a while I felt better and got up to leave. If only he had not added these parting words: “Karen, you had me worried.  I thought you were going to say you were pregnant.” This was not what I needed to hear from the man who’d been my pastor for ten years.

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A Cobbler to Celebrate a Legal Marriage!

Two different men of faith, and with both I was left feeling completely lost and alone. No one suggested counseling – or even prayer – at that time, which is too bad because  I know I could have used it.  What did help me way back then was something that still sustains me to this day. Baking.  I began to bake every day. I brought cakes and cookies and all kinds of goodies to all of our friends, relatives, and neighbors.  Death was something out of my control, but baking—I could handle that.

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A Chocolate Cream Pie in honor of my friend’s Dad’s passing

Perhaps this is why in the last few months, I have baked many, many pies. Baking grounds me, makes me feel better, and when I am baking, I am putting all of my heart into the process.  It doesn’t hurt that it brings smiles to the folks that receive the fruits of my labor.  I think  perhaps I have found a delicious way for God to work through me… and that feels like the best comfort of all.

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A Four Berry Pie

“Where love is, there God is also.”  Mahatma Gandi

 

Spring Cleaning… a voice in my head… and pies!

21 May

A few weeks ago, I realized that my there was no clear path out of my garage because it was blocked by a dresser that used to belong to my Dad.  For a moment I considered where I could move it to as it was a nice dresser and I “should” probably keep it.  Then a thought come over me… and it went something like this, “Are you worried that you might need a dresser (in the future), and I won’t provide one?”  Immediately I felt foolish for wanting to hang onto something that I really didn’t need.  Within five minutes, my neighbors helped me carry the dresser to the curb, and the very moment we set it down, a couple walked by and offered me some money for it.

Then one cool morning, about a week later, I passed a homeless man as I went into Starbucks.  I ordered a small coffee and then looked at the display case, remembered the man, and added a breakfast sandwich. Outside, the man was peering into his coffee cup as I walked up to him and waited for him to look up. When he did, he seemed a bit startled to see someone standing in front of him and acted as if he was expecting me to chastise him.  Instead, I asked, “Would you like a biscuit with bacon?”  He was utterly surprised and he almost moaned with delight as he said, “Oh God.”  After I handed it to him, I wished him a good day and left.  As I walked away, I thought, “It really was God, wasn’t it?”

spaghetti pie with bacon

Spaghetti Pie with Bacon and Peppers for Bill

Images, memories, and voices sprang into my head so often during the year that I gave away pies that sometimes I thought something was wrong if I didn’t feel “moved by the spirit” or “inspired” or “insert your own word for it here.”  On those occasions, I just did my best to make a pretty pie, show up, and hope for the best.  And often, the best did happen – the recipient was genuinely happy for being honored in such a way.

pepper and mushroom quiche

Mushroom and Pepper Quiche for my physical therapist, Heather

It’s been more than four years since I began giving away pies, and while I’ve slowed down quite a bit from making a pie a day to making one every week or so, I truly hope that I can continue to listen to those voices in my head and continue to feel the tugs at my heart.  This project has been a wonderful journey and I hope to be baking pies… and sharing “pie” stories for a long time to come.

spaghetti pie veg.

Spaghetti Pie with Spinach and Caramelized Onions for Ellie

I’d like to close with one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickenson.

 

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin,

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.