I just finished reading Blue Like Jazz...for the third time. The book instills such a passion in me to be a better person. Ironically the book is nothing about being a good person. It's about life. In the authors notes he state's "Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself, it's as if they are showing you the way."
When I was in high school I had a phase of rebellion like most kids, I would lie to my mom about what time I went and came home from work. Thus giving myself time to get away from the stress of family. The only problem was that I was a home schooled pastor's daughter, who worked in the afternoons, there wasn't much trouble to get into. One day I was driving around, and I saw Marry Cheek, one of the widows from our church, her husband had died earlier that year, and she was in pretty bad health herself. She was trying to walk to the mailbox when I stopped at her house to say hello. She was very frail and much too weak to be getting out on her own. So I got her mail for her, we went inside and talked until I had to be home from work.
This eventually became a routine, I would go to her house, she would tell me all about the great depression, using the rubber of a bicycle tire as the elastic in underwhare. She would always go on rants about how her great grand kids were so spoiled by indoor plumbing. I loved her. She would make me chocolate milk and she always had a fresh rhubarb pie. Every time I came over a rhubarb pie was there, now, I didn't really like that particular type of pie...mostly cause I still don't have a clue what it is. One time Marry asked why I never ate the pie, I sheepishly admitted that I didn't like it. To my surprise she laughed and said "me neither". I was shocked, whenever I was over there was always a half eaten pie, I just assumed it was her favorite. When I asked Marry why she ALWAYS made them, she got a distant smile on her face, and said "that was Melvin's favorite pie". She said "every time I eat a peace I think of him. I used to hate the taste, the smell, I hardly ever made them for him, sometimes he would even make them himself, not any more" she said. "Rhubarb pie is my favorite pie now, every time I smell it, see it, or taste it, I think of my Melvin's smile. Loren dear, someday you'll understand, someday you will love something only because you watched someone else love it."
I'll never forget the next visit to Marry Cheeks house, she made me chocolate milk, and then I asked her for a piece of Rhubarb pie. She smiled and got us each a slice. And thus began the routine for our visits, chocolate milk, Rhubarb pie, and lots of memories. Marry loves Rhubarb pie because of Melvin, I love Rhubarb pie because of Marry. Now I'm not asking you to go out and try Rhubarb pie, I'm asking you to love Jesus so much that other people love him too.
If you do choose to go the extra mile and try Rhubarb pie, I know a little place on 17th maple street in Buffalo, Mo. Marry may be in her 90's, but she still makes the best Rhubarb pie ever!