My younger sister winced as her tongue came into contact with what she thought was going to be delicious fruit.
But instead of a juicy sweetness dancing delightfully across her taste-buds, all she could detect was the sharp shock of sodium chloride.
My dad had salted the pineapple. All of it.
Five minutes before, the tropical delicacy was sitting in her kitchen with its plump, yellow slices enticing a hungry family to enjoy its flavour and be refreshed.
But alas, Michelle began to gag and promptly spat the entire contents of her mouth back onto her plate. Her husband did the same, with their two children following. My husband pushed his plate aside and my daughter put her share onto it.
“Dad! Why have you put salt on the pineapple?” She asked as the inside of her bottom lip turned opaque.
“Umm! Umm! Because it brings out the sweetness, umm!” He replied with a big grin.
As he smiled, juice trickled down his chin and his mouth revealed a row of teeth with stringy bits stuck in between each tooth.
“But you know I hate salt on pineapple!” She gasped.
Ignoring this angst, Dad focused on the fork in his hand.
“Does the same with oranges too you know.”
“I don’t like salt on fruit at all! It tastes disgusting. Can I have a piece without salt on please?”
At his point, I felt really bad. I am like my dad in that I also love salty oranges and pineapple and I agree that it seems to make them sweeter. But then, I am a Marmite girl and I love anchovies. But I could tell from the silence coming from across the table, that he had sprinkled salt over the entire contents of the plate. The whole bloomin’ lot.
And I knew how much she had been looking forward to consuming a few tasty slices.
Dad looked up guiltily then shrugged his shoulders proudly and added fuel to her anger by answering with his mouth full:
“Ar av puth sal arn it ull. Sor ree Meesh, bar ar thor yoo din mined. Juss try som ffth, ish delishuss ffth.”
Michelle’s eyes doubled in size but her pupils shrunk. Her lips pursed until they were two thin lines on top of one another and her fists clenched into a tight ball.
She mouthed something that looked like ‘shell fish’ and arose from the table, too infuriated to say any more.
The bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (Proverbs 3:12) And it is true. There’s nothing worse than excitedly waiting for something, to then discover that it is either not going to happen, or doesn’t happen the way we anticipated.
For some, this is too much and the mind slips into a spiral of depression. A broken relationship, a child born with disabilities, an investment turned sour, or just life not turning out the way we desired or were promised.
But if that verse is in the bible, we can be comforted – because if God wanted us to know that he knows how we feel when disappointment hits us, then we know it’s because he wants us to be assured that he really cares about our feelings.
I know depression can come out of nowhere and blast some so severely that they haven’t time to react against it. But for others, it is an option we do not need to pick. Running into daddy’s arms and having a good old cry is. There’s nothing like his soothing hand and reassuring words to comfort our deepest pains.
So whatever has made our lives taste like a poisoned pineapple, let us run to him with our shattered dreams and let his love bring us the peace we so desperately need.