God can mend a broken life with blessings

By The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Ledbetter, Special to the Tri-City HeraldNovember 3, 2012 

RICHLAND, Wash. -- I'll always remember my grandma's fabulous pie crusts. It's just that simple -- she makes a mean pie crust. And you know, in some ways, life is like a good pie crust.

I know Forrest Gump's mom says life is like a box of chocolates, and that is true in the sense that you never know what you are going to get. But I think life also is like a good pie crust in that you have to be careful with the ingredients and gentle with the preparation -- and best of all, you can always patch up your mistakes.

Grandma selects and measures her ingredients carefully. We, too, must select and measure the stuff of our lives carefully. Too much of this or not enough of that will result in a messed up crust -- and life.

Some of what makes you what you are was given to you at birth. Some of what makes you, YOU, has been growing over the years like an Eastern Washington wheat field with both good grain and troublesome weeds.

So you have to choose carefully the ingredients of your life to give it meaning and purpose.

Grandma is gentle in the preparation of her pie crust. If she is too rough or rolls it out too long, it becomes tough and chewy. Same thing with our lives. If we are treated too roughly and are rolled over too many times, we lose intended softness and sensitivity to others around us.

Toughness has its place -- jeans, calluses on hands and heels, trucks, baseball gloves. But in much of life, gentleness and mercy is required so that life can be nurtured with love and compassion.

The best part is that like a torn pie crust, a broken or torn life can be repaired. Just because your life isn't perfect doesn't mean it is worthless. Far from it!

God is like Grandma in that both know how to fix the broken places and wounded parts. Many times a hug to soak up the tears and a kiss to soak up the pain is all that is needed to be put right. Other times, clear correction and redirection will help a wanderer find the right path for goodness sake.

We know that parts of our lives look like patchwork pie crusts. But Grandma knows that once you put the delicious filling in, how the crust looks doesn't matter. As our lives fill with activities, accomplishments, obligations, successes, failures and other types of filling, what matters is that the crust is patched up and ready to hold it all together.

And wouldn't you know it, God is in the business of patching up the broken pans and torn pie crusts of our lives, and then filling them with blessings.

So, let us give thanks for all grandparents and their pie crusts. They might say, "Oh it's nothing!" But I say to you, of such is the kingdom of God, on Earth as it is in Heaven. May it be so for each of us.

* The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Ledbetter is an American Baptist clergyman, professional chaplain and member of Shalom United Church of Christ in Richland.

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