I Can Eat Anyone’s Cooking, Except My Own
Ed, my neighbor next door, has been watching me pick up apples every day. Our one apple tree is covered with apples. It has been the first to ripen, and to shed its apples, on the ground each day.
When I brought up another pail of apples to the house yesterday, Ed called out, “I’ll tell you how to make crabapple wine if you want to know. You can use your regular apples to make it.” I declined his offer.
Ed hadn’t expected me to take him up on his recipe for homemade apple wine. When I mentioned freezing the apples as apple sauce, and baking a pie or two his attitude became a little eager. He said, “I don’t care for apple sauce, but a good apple pie is just about unbeatable.”
“Do you want some apples so Ruby can make a pie with them?” I offered. Ed refused my offer saying regretfully that Ruby won’t bake pies because he eats them too fast. Ruby claims she would have to lock them in a timed vault to have a pie last more than an hour. Hearing Ed was under a pie band, I asked him if he wanted a piece of pie that I had baked. He was torn. He loves pie but hated the thought that I was being nice to him. His stomach won out.
When I presented Ed with his piece of pie, he was tentative. He asked, “Where’s the pie crust on the top? Why does it have dream whip on it instead? I haven’t seen apple pie like this before!” he stammered.
“Just try it Ed, it is good pie,” I assured him. The first bite was hesitant, but his next one was eager, and in seconds the piece of pie was a thing of the past. In spite of hating to do it, Ed did confess that his piece of pie tasted surprisingly good. Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there as he also said, “I can eat anyone’s cooking, except my own. Doesn’t matter how bad it is, I can usually clean it up.”
One thing that I really like about my neighbor Ed is that, he speaks his mind. I could never say he hides what he thinks. You always know where you stand with Ed. Most of all, he never says anything about you, that he hasn’t already said to your face. Ed is not one to flatter folks. He does not pretend to be someone that he is not, to impress others.
God is never fooled by our outward appearances. Jesus had a dislike for religious leaders who were fastidious about outward appearances and rituals. For example, they were concerned about the neglect of ceremonial washing before meals, but not about the greed and wickedness hidden inside their hearts. God knows if we act in justice and love and if we give to the poor. It is good to give a tenth or tithe to God, but not while still being greedy and wicked at heart. Religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved to claim the most important seats in the synagogues. What does God see us claiming for ourselves before others? What does he see going on inside our hearts?