What I Wasn’t Thankful For


I hate pumpkin pie.

If your initial reaction is “How can you hate pumpkin pie?” believe me, I’ve been asked that a lot. I just can’t help it. I don’t like the flavor or the texture, especially the flavor.

The problem is that for Thanksgiving, there would be nothing else for dessert. You could have twenty pies, and all of them would be pumpkin. If you invited a guest, that person was bound to show up with—guess what!—yet another pumpkin pie “just in case there isn’t enough.” So I got to forgo dessert, while five pies remained unsliced and uneaten.

If the only option is adding a dollop of whipped cream, that’s not much of an option when you don’t like what’s under your Cool Whip. Couldn’t we, I begged when I was a child, once in a while have just one other flavor of pie too? Or couldn’t I have a scoop of ice cream from the freezer? Absolutely not! We were having pumpkin pie, and if I didn’t like it (which I didn’t), I could just plain do without (which I did). Being forced to sit at the kitchen table (because “you will be here with the rest of the family”) and watch everybody else enjoy their dessert while I got nothing wasn’t much to be thankful for on a day when I was supposed to be thankful.

[SIDENOTE: What really burned me up was the knowledge that if an adult who didn’t like pumpkin pie had been invited to our Thanksgiving, you can bet my parents would have accommodated him. Yet somehow a request was rendered ridiculous and unreasonable by the simple fact that the person making it was underage. To this day I don’t understand that.]

Only when I grew up and could bring my own dessert did I get any. The first time I showed up with an apple pie, boy did I get some funny looks from family members. I think they would have been more accepting if I’d shown up with two heads.

“What on earth is that for?” I was asked.

“Variety,” I answered. “Wouldn’t you like a little variety?”

Guess not, since the only slice of apple eaten would be the one I had myself while everybody else had the traditional pumpkin. And that’s how it went year after year, Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving.

All this business with the pumpkin pies led me to understand how wrong it is when people claim there can’t be a God since a loving God would not allow evil in the world. But without the option of evil, you don’t have the option of love, since one choice is no choice. If you have to eat dessert and there’s only pumpkin pie, that’s no choice at all. So, since God wants children and not robots, He has to allow us the free will to choose between loving and not loving. Forced love is not love.

Well, one Thanksgiving I was actually put in charge of dessert. I brought one pumpkin pie, one apple pie, and a chocolate cream pie adorned with shaved chocolate. A tiny slice of pumpkin was eaten, a tiny slice of apple was consumed, and the chocolate cream pie was totally devoured.

Ah, sweet vindication!



About ajavilanovels

I am the author of four Christian novels: Rain from Heaven, Amaranth, Nearer the Dawn and Cherish.
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