I really don’t know where to begin. Should I confess the original sin in this category or the most recent one? Let’s start with the most recent one.
I was having a preacher’s meeting at my church last week. My superintendent had put me in charge of a little sub-group. It was not a task I ask for. In fact, I was wondering why my superintendent didn’t do it …. well, let’s not go there. That’s subject matter for a separate sin.
So, Debbie, a member of my church, knew I was having the meeting. She graciously baked some brownie like pastries for me to use for refreshment at the meeting. I didn’t ask her to. Fact of the matter was it was a preacher’s meeting and I wouldn’t, myself, have fed them lest they overstay their welcome. But she provided them, and just before the meeting I started to place them on a platter to serve.
In the process of setting them out, i tasted one. It was the proper thing to do. It’s called “manners.” They were delicious! Let me repeat that. They were delicious! Here, dear reader, is where I fell into sin, again. They were delicious. There were three dozen of them. There were going to be eight preachers at the meeting. I stared at the platter.
It was at this point the Devil whispered in my ear. I, being a servant of the Lord, commanded the Devil, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Satan did. Once Satan was behind me, he whispered in my ear. “Okay, now I’m behind you and you can pick the biggest one for yourself.” I did, dear reader; I did.
Not only did I pick the biggest one for myself, but, after doing so, I looked down at that platter where thirty-four more remained. I then counted out nine and placed them on a small plate, one for each of the participants and one for me to consume during the meeting.
When the meeting was over, I took the twenty-five remaining goodies home with me. I didn’t think it was necessary to explain to Debbie why they were not all consumed at the meeting. The important thing, it seemed to me, was that Debbie was returned a clean platter.
It was about eleven that evening when I looked down at the platter again and realized there was only one remaining. Logic insisted that since I was on a diet and the diet demanded a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast the remaining sweet delight should be consumed before bed. It was.
Sometime during the night the dream came. I dreamed of 1965, my first year of ministry. Mr. and Mrs. Wilkerson were members of that church, but they didn’t attend. They had a grudge against the church, but they never renounced their membership. I was told they were a helpless case. I went to visit them anyway. We hit is off. They invited me back for dinner a couple to times. A few months after that Mr. Wilkerson passed away. It was my first funeral.
Mrs. Wilkerson, a few months after the funeral, invited me to come over for dinner. Being a bachelor preacher I had made a habit of visiting my members just prior to dinner. Her invitation fitted into my pattern. I accepted.
I don’t remember what the dinner was. But I remember the dessert. Mrs. Wilkerson told me it was her speciality, Peach Blitz Tort. I took my first bite and realized that the emphasis of that dish was on the blitz. I may have been a rookie pastor, but I had a little experience. Mrs. Wilkerson’s “blitz” in my experience would more properly have been called “Burbon.” And it was a fine quality Burbon. It was good. It was really good. When Mrs. Wilkerson asked me if I wanted second helping, I realized it would be impolite to refuse it. When Mrs. Wilkerson asked me if I’d like to take the whole container of Peach BLITZ Tort home with me, I realized it would be impolite to refuse.
Arriving home, I realized I was a bachelor. I didn’t know how long that Peach BLITZ Tort would keep. I did the expedient thing. I ate the whole thing. It never occurred to me that then next morning, Sunday morning, one could wake up with a hangover from eating a peach dessert.I woke with the dream’s recollection bouncing around in my mind. I awoke and went to the kitchen where Debbie’s dessert platter waited upon the counter, a reminder that one does not always learn from one’s sin.