Be hospitable to one another.~1 Peter 4:9a NKJV
Mother pulled the pie from the oven. I hovered, waiting for a taste. How could she resist giving a portion to her eight-year-old daughter?
She continued to work, scalloping the edges of a second pie. She sliced apples into the pie shell, and poured in the blueberries and raspberries that were set aside in a bowl. She topped the fruit with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. I slid a finger onto the counter, eyeing the cherry filling oozing from the hand-fashioned crust of the first pie. Maybe I could sample just a smidge…
Mother’s eyes finally met mine, but not with approval. “You know I’m saving these. You can taste them tomorrow,” she said, sliding the pie further back on the counter, “if there’s any leftover.”
“But Mom, they look so good,” I pleaded.
“They do. And you’ll get to taste just how delicious they are…”
“That’s right. These are my friendship pies.”
“You don’t know if someone is coming over, right? And they don’t know you’ve made pies.”
“So why can’t I just have a slice?”
“My guests would like a whole pie,” Mother said, swatting my fingers, “that hasn’t been tasted.”
Evening approached, and as if on cue, a neighbor rang the doorbell. I careened into the kitchen, knowing I’d finally get a slice of Mother’s creation. After supper, I got a second piece–of the cherry pie she’d sliced for the neighbor–the apple and blueberry remained on the counter, reserved for any other neighbor who might show up.
And usually, someone did.
Be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.~1 Peter 3:8b NKJV
Mother taught me to be hospitable through those friendship pies. She not only reserved pies for potential guests, she fed neighbors regularly, often hosting dinners for twenty at a time. I don’t know how she seated everyone, but she managed.
When I got older, my boyfriend was a regular guest at the dinner table. She’d hear the rumble of his sports car and ask me to set a plate. Over time, she instructed me to set a plate ahead of time, expecting his arrival.
She also gave gifts, sewed clothes for our family and for neighbors, and did other acts of service to show love.
Later, I learned about her card ministry. Some time between washing clothes, cooking, hosting parties, cleaning, sewing for the family and for neighbors, and baking friendship pies, she managed to send cards to anyone she thought needed encouragement. I never knew the scope of this ministry, nor did our friends, until we swapped stories after she departed.
Friend, hospitality is a gift from the Lord. Because Mother modeled this for me, I now do the same. The simple act of serving shows others that we care, we are listening, and we’re available.
Do you desire to make an impact on those around you? A slice of friendship pie will do.
Share how a hospitable friend has impacted your life.
Lord God, help me to show friendship through acts of service, like Mother’s friendship pies.
In Your Beloved Son Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen.
Genre: Creative non-fiction
Copyright 2021: The Friendship Pie: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved
Published: November 2021: Christian Broadcasting Network: Senior Producer Beth Patch
Published: May 2022: Inspire a Fire: Senior Editor Martin Wiles; Executive Editor Cindy Sproles