The Christmas Pie

My friend Ross told me when he became middle-aged his life was a wreck. Divorced and depressed, he had stopped trying to lead a Christian life.

Ross kept odd hours, partied all the time, and did not care that his loud music disturbed the neighbors.

But Christmas was coming. For Ross it was the loneliest time of the year: no family, no feasts, no presents.

No amount of loud music could fill his emptiness.

Then just before Christmas, a knock came at his door. There stood an elderly neighbor  bearing a luscious chocolate pie.

She had ample reason to criticize and condemn him. Instead, she had baked him a pie. 

As Ross sliced through the warm filling, hope was born in his heart. Someone, he told himself, thinks I am worth saving. 

Ross returned  to church, to his faith and found a new way of living.

In time Ross married Carol, a beautiful Christian woman. Whether baking biscuits for Sunday School, harvesting hay or playing guitar in a blue grass band, his life was good.

“Every year at Christmas,” Ross concluded his story, “I remember with gratitude that wonderful Christian neighbor and her delicious chocolate pie.” 

Now hear the rest of the story.

Moved by Ross’s story, I submitted it to The Upper Room, a magazine distributed by the United Methodist Church.  They published the piece December 13th, 1996.

This month, twenty-two years later, I read that Ross was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.

God loves us so much that he sent his only son with a wonderful message. Whoever follows me will find abundant and eternal life. –Jesus

Good tidings, great joy–what Christmas is all about. 

Coming soon Flynn and the Dragonfly–a book to help distracted kids come along and belong.

4 thoughts on “The Christmas Pie

  1. Sweet story. I remember hearing you talk about Ross and the impact he had on your family. In an era of so much hate, it is refreshing to hear about people whose lives impact or are impacted for good.


  2. How pleasant to hear a story of hope at any time of year, particularly at Christmas when so many struggle with the feeling of loneliness and inadequacies.
    I am so grateful for the many blessings I have in my life.


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