Friday, May 01, 2009

But, Daddy, the cat ate the pie."

April book winner: Lenae, who left a comment at blog.

Leave a comment here or send an email to and I’ll enter you name into the May drawing for either The Stained Glass Pickup ~ Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom or A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday

The date was my husband’s birthday, a few years ago when our son was 13 and our daughter was 10. Make that several decades ago. David and I readied to go out for an early dinner celebration, and we gave general instructions to the children before we left them home without a babysitter for a few hours.

The specific instructions came from their dad. Our family usually celebrates birthdays with a preferred pie instead of a cake. I’d baked David’s favorite—southern pecan. David told the kids, “You can each have one piece, but I don’t want to come home and find all my pie gone.”

When we returned home about three hours later, the house was dark, the lights out, apparently the kiddos were in bed early. That was out of the ordinary, but we felt so pleased. What obedient children.

When we opened the back door, we smelled the aroma of fresh baking, and when we flipped on the kitchen light, there sat a brand new pie on the table with a note propped against it. The kitchen was spotless.

The note said, “We’re sorry. We let the cat in. We know we’re not supposed to, and the cat ate your pie. You didn’t have any more pecans, so we made you a walnut pie. Love, Russell and Sheryle.”

So, that’s why the kitchen was immaculate and they were tucked into their beds early. We knew something was up. They had gone to bed early hoping the new pie and the note might soften our hearts. They did.

The next morning, we discussed how their disobedience, letting the cat in, had caused them misery. However, we did appreciate their attempt to make things right — pie dough from scratch and the innovative walnut substitution.

My granddaughter Jolie, who is four, loves to hear stories about her mother Sheryle. Recently, I told Jolie the “cat ate the pie” story. Afterwards, I asked Jolie, “Do you think Russell and Sheryle got into trouble?”

She bobbed her chin up and down saying, “Yes,” but I shook my head no. I told her that David, now known to Jolie as Pop, forgave Russell and Sheryle for letting the cat in and thanked them for the fresh pie. I then got to give details about forgiveness to a four year old. Try it some time. It’s fun. I explained that when someone says they are sorry that we are to accept their apology and forget the harm they did to us.

For each offence committed, there is not always an apology, but we can pattern God’s mercy and forgive anyway. The Old Testament prophet Micah said about God, “You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy” (7:18).

Other familiar words are a good starting place for all offenders and would-be forgivers, too, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

To receive mercy, offer mercy. And if you need to get your foot in the door to seek forgiveness, it might not hurt to have a pie in your hands.


  1. I love your "the cat ate the pie" story & how your kids baked a walnut pie as a substitute. Now Jolie got to hear about the pie caper of her dad.
    You could write a children's book with this title!

  2. Terra, I'd never thought of children's title from this story. Thanks for the idea...Cathy