One of the things about blogging that has changed my life is discovering a holy experience, Ann Voskamp's blog. Her post this Wednesday talked about having friends over for dinner and the conversation being about parenting. Her last line seemed to be disconnected from the rest of the post to me, but God was up to something. You can read her whole post here.
Her last line was, "And what kids don't love apple pie?"
I found out this morning that it was a set up for her post today. It was also a set-up for something else entirely. The post captures her family at work in the kitchen making apple pie. But it did a whole lot more for me. It was confirmation. God knew I needed reassurance. Because now that the dust is settling on my dad's life-changing visit, and days are finding their routine again, I seem to be asking myself, "Did that really happen? Was it just my imagination?"
And God answered with apple pie.
Why? Because He knows a little something about reassuring kids about a father's love. And I wanted the author to know that God used her ordinary doings in her late summer kitchen in an extraordinary way today.
I just read today's post about apple pie. In the Carolinas apples won't be ripe for the picking until mid-October. It got me to thinkin' that I'm yearning for apple pie this year.
My father just came for a visit last weekend. Only his fourth in over 21 years. We did what you did this weekend -- we peeled away the outer skin that gets exposed to the elements and becomes a protection against what's harsh, and it turns hard and sees red. We carved off the outer shell to expose tender, delicate flesh underneath. I thought it was hollow in there--emptiness, but, to my surprise, there was soft, juicy sweetness hiding under there all along.
We managed to get to the core, finally, after all these years, and expertly extracted the hard-tough part that no one ever wants to consume. The painful past that has always been at the center and is unappetizing was extracted and thrown away, finally and fully. We did save the seeds, looking toward a future harvest with much anticipation, to gain back what the locusts have eaten.
Now that he's gone home again, I'm remembering the moments of his long weekend with us, disecting the newfound goodness, seasoning those sweet pieces of cut fruit with forgiveness and peace and a hard-fought-for love, and we've given it a new kind of outer shell. A flaky crust of restored relationship that will steam over time with the warmth and comfort of hot apple pie, homemade from the heart and hand, fresh from the oven.
Your pictures recorded my heartfelt and freeing weekend with my dad. I can smell and taste my future with my father in your pictures. And you are so right. Indeed, what kids don't like apple pie?
Your pictures and words mean so much. And the time it takes you to put them out there. Thank you for this.
I smile, and this proverb breathed true for me:
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. ~Proverbs 25:11