Well there we were, God and I in the kitchen on a Saturday morning.
It was my husband’s birthday, June 25. He loves pies of all kinds, especially fruit pies. No birthday cake for him: pie all the way. My niece had said she would bring two wonderful berry pies to the party that night, so I decided I would make an apple and a lemon icebox, which is a favorite of mine in the summertime. I began on the lemon pie first, because it would need more than six hours in the freezer before it was ready to be eaten.
And just like that, I thought I heard God say, “Isn’t that something that many things and people need — time?”
O child, lean on Me in all your interactions and I’ll show you how to love like I do.
As I checked my recipe, I discovered I was missing two ingredients. This necessitated a quick trip to the grocery store. But my car was blocked in. I could easily have taken one of the other vehicles, but decided instead that this was a good morning to pretend I was back in China. So I went to the shed and pulled out my bicycle. The tires needed airing up, and dear husband did that for me as he was delightedly puttering in the backyard.
Then I was off, on a sultry, Southern, sweet-tea kind of morning at 9 a.m. And just like that, God and I were flying down the roads. Being outside without much traffic, hearing birds, seeing the patched light filtering through the trees and feeling the warm wind rush by me oozed joy into my spirit. I bought my two items and headed home, downhill all the way this time, and going fast.
Back in the kitchen, supplies assembled, I began the creating. Grating lemons for the zest, I was reminded of things that grate against me, sometimes annoy me or “get to me” — nothing specific, mind you. God’s Spirit soft and gentle came and said, “Don’t be easily irritated, because that is not My kind of love. O child, lean on Me in all your interactions and I’ll show you how to love like I do.” My response was, “O Spirit, lead me in Your good and gracious ways. Sometimes I just react too quickly, and it is by my flesh.”
Next came the squeezing of the quirkily-formed, sunshiny-yellow lemons. Having no lemon squeezer, I used my special lime juicer. It is a treasure to me. This device, the same color green as a lime, was a gift from my St. Croix cousin when she came to visit me in China. Of course, the lemons didn’t fit quite as well, but with a little trimming, things worked. As I was squeezing six lemons for their fresh, tart juice, God was there again. We conversed about the pressures in daily life and the way they can squeeze us frail humans, until we feel as though all the juice is gone and we are dry. God pointed out to me that Jesus Christ endured squeezing pressures greater than we. I can experience His life and the power of overcoming and having the dry places filled back up — re-juiced, if you will. Once again, the Spirit taught through this kitchen moment.
Lemon juice, zest, egg yolk and condensed milk whisked together, poured into the salty-sweet graham cracker crust and ready to be baked, I thought of the richness of my morning. Just me and the Trinity in the kitchen baking a lemon pie!
And as good as that creamy lemon pie tasted, even better is to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”