Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

Late Sunday afternoon, I stopped by a local grocery store to pick up a few things. I was dutifully placing my items on the conveyer belt. A young man at the cash register, Mansur, asked me how my experience had been in Kroger and if I had found everything I had been looking for in the store. I commented that I was a little disappointed because they seemed to be out of the Oreo cookie pie crust; but I did manage to locate a graham cracker pie crust that I could use instead.
The young man at the cash register looked at me quizzically, slowly repeating what I had said out loud. I nodded, saying that was correct. Our conversation was interrupted by another young man, Sheldon, who was putting my groceries into bags at the end of the counter. Sheldon asked what I wanted with an Oreo cookie pie crust. I said that I was going to make a pie. Sheldon asked what kind of a pie I was going to make. I said that I thought that I would make a peanut butter pie. Sheldon said that he really liked pie, especially peanut butter pie.
Listening intently to the dialogue, Mansur politely asked, “What is pie?” I asked Mansur where he was from and if he had ever had pie before. He said he was from Africa, and shook his head no. I asked Mansur and Sheldon if they would like a piece of peanut butter pie. Mansur, still uncertain of what we were talking about, looked at Sheldon, who was nodding his head enthusiastically. Mansur said yes, and I asked them both when they were working again. Mansur said he would be working on Tuesday evening. I promised that I would be back with pie.
Mansur said to look for him when I came back to the store with pie. He said that he was easy to spot because he was the only guy in the store with a Mohawk, and he was black. He grinned. I thanked him for pointing that out, adding that I hadn’t noticed that he was black. He laughed. I looked at Sheldon and asked if he would be in the store on Tuesday evening as well. He pointed to Mansur and said, “I’m with him.” As I was walking away, I could hear Sheldon singing, repeatedly, “I’m going to get some pie…”
I stopped at the grocery store on Tuesday evening, during the designated time frame. Mansur was so excited to see me that he hugged me and said “You came back.” Sheldon was not at work that evening, but Mansur promised that he would get Sheldon’s piece of pie to him. I told Mansur that I would check back with him later to see what he thought of pie.
What a privilege it was to introduce Mansur to pie, and to remind Sheldon of how much he enjoyed pie. Mansur’s excited surprise at my return also was a sad reminder that we live in a culture where promises are plenty, but follow through is often lacking. Clearly, I don’t have any idea where this story will go. God has yet to set the stage for the next scene.
So, what about you and your life? What new friends have you encountered in recent days? How are you engaging the culture with expressions of love and care? How has God used you to bring surprise and joy into the lives of those around you? What promises do you need to keep?
You know, we are reminded in Psalm 34:8 to “…taste and see that the Lord is good…” How grateful I am to know a God who always keeps His promises.
Mary L.

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