The Missing Slice of Pie

How a wedge of lime pie came to have sin, forgiveness and love all wrapped up together.

Posted in , Apr 8, 2015

Key Lime Pie with one slice missing

For several years now, my daughter Mary has baked all the desserts for our holiday dinners. In the days leading up to Easter this year, she spent hours making a special Italian lime-and-blackberry pie topped with meringue. It was beyond delicious.

Sometime the next day, one of my other children–one who had done nothing to prepare our Easter dinner–snuck into the kitchen and took a very large slice of what was left of the pie. I discovered the gaping space in the pie pan before Mary got home from ballet.

I found the teen I suspected was the culprit, and–perhaps because it was only a day after Easter, or perhaps because he’s been depressed lately–asked fairly gently about the missing slice.

Perhaps it was because I asked gently that my child admitted to having taken it.

Perhaps it was because the child confessed (or perhaps because I wasn’t angry) that I could see the sadness in his eyes, the shame of wrongdoing coupled with the pain of going through a rough phase of life.

“You’ll need to apologize,” I said.

“I know, Mom,” came the reply.

I texted Mary, reminding her that this sibling has been depressed lately, and then telling her that in an effort to have something nice in his day, he had eaten some of the pie. I waited with some trepidation for her response. She’d worked hard on that pie.

She texted back, “That’s okay. It just means there’s less of it to tempt me!”

And so, somehow, that lime pie seems very much more an Easter thing than it did when it was on the table on Sunday. It now has sin and forgiveness and love all wrapped up together.

And while I hope that next year we won’t have a repeat performance of taking more than a fair share, I’m not entirely sorry things worked out the way they did. For a child to know he's forgiven is a powerful thing. It’s a powerful thing, indeed.

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