Mmmm-mmmm. Looks pretty tasty, don’t you think? Three ice cream balls coated with chopped nuts and topped with whipped cream and, of course, a juicy, red cherry. Now, I’m not a dessert eater, but when Dave and I saw this picture on a menu at a Florida restaurant, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I asked the waitress if it was as good as it looked.
“We don’t have any,” she replied.
“Oh, you ran out?” I asked.
“No. We never had it. We just copied the picture off of the internet.”
It took me a few seconds to digest (excuse the pun) what she had said.
“You mean you just thought this looked appetizing and added it to your menu?”
“Yep. We get a lot of requests for it.”
I burst out laughing. “So, you just pretend? Oh my gosh, that’s hysterical!”
With that, our waitress turned on her heels, not finding it as funny as Dave and I did.
Can you imagine being so gutsy? Surely our waitress wasn’t supposed to tell us the truth. Surely she was to simply explain that they had run out of that particular dessert that particular day. Whatever the motive, I wondered what would happen if the restaurant got caught…you know, by the actual creator of those treats. What possible good could come from such pretense?
Then again, they aren’t the only ones who pretend. We all are guilty. It might not be as blatant as this menu, but I see it all the time, especially in Christian circles. We act peaceful. Non-judgmental. Loving. Giving. Maybe even Holy.
Oh, if such pretense could be our reality!
I love how Socrates put it: “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” What would it be like not to pretend just a little… like when I encounter telemarketers or slow drivers or people who don’t keep a six-foot distance and manage to bite my lip instead of biting off their heads?
Today I made a call to “Janet,” a Covid survivor and one I wanted to question about some political issues. I began by asking how she was feeling. She shared that she was surprised to hear from me (probably since we last talked 18 months ago and weren’t close friends), that she was doing great and had just made a four-state trip with her husband. Since Janet had not been anywhere due to the virus AND this woman’s voice sounded nothing like my friend, I realized that I had dialed the wrong Janet.
As it turned out, in our hour-long conversation, this Janet soon was sharing her spiritual struggles, and I was the ear she needed. When it was time to hang up, she said, “I cannot believe how God used you to call me out of the clear blue. How I needed to talk to you!” This was my chance to tell her the truth and not pretend, and that’s what I did…well, sort of.
“Neither can I, Janet. Neither can I.”