We had all of the fixings laid out to make Christmas chocolates. My mom had gotten out the hot plate, the chocolate for melting, strawberry jam, grape jelly, and some kind of marshmallow creme. Yep, we had everything we would need to make Christmas chocolates.
My mom got on this wild kick that we should have a family night and make chocolates to give away at Christmas. You know, one of those “family bonding” times. Great idea, Mom. I can’t think of anything I would want more as a gift, than candy made in somebody’s kitchen by kids with runny noses and dirty hands. I was the kind of kid that could only take so much family bonding. After I had reached my warm and fuzzy limit, it was time to do something “creative.”
I carefully filled the chocolate mold with molten chocolate, and waited for it to cool. Once it had solidified, I decided against marshmallow creme, strawberry or grape jelly, and went straight to the refrigerator. There, on the second shelf, behind the butter and science projects masquerading as leftovers, I found it. Tuna that was leftover from my lunch. It would make a perfect chocolate filling. Tender, flaky, juicy from the Miracle Whip. What could be better?
I spooned the tuna into my little mold and quickly covered it with chocolate. I made sure I knew right where it was, because I didn’t want to be the one to accidentally “enjoy” it.
All night long my mother had been telling us not to eat the chocolates, and all night long we had been pilfering them whenever she turned her head. It was too easy. I simply put the tuna chocolate a little too close to Greg’s plate. What happened next could have been written in Hollywood.
As soon as Mom turned away, Greg stuck the whole tuna chocolate in his mouth. His face was a picture of smug satisfaction at having been able to sneak another candy. Suddenly, his whole face changed as his taste buds realized that it wasn’t jam in the middle of the chocolate.
Did you know that tuna filled chocolates, when spat out of a human mouth, can actually exceed Mach 2? It’s true. Greg spit my concoction out of his mouth so fast it made a little sonic boom as it sped over the kitchen table.
After his usual rant about us trying to kill him, he ran into the bathroom and brushed his teeth. Greg didn’t steal anymore chocolates that night.
I could blame all of this on Greg and say that it was retribution for the things he had done to me. I could say that I did it because I grew up in a single parent home. I could say a lot of things, but they would be lies and justifications. I did this because I was being mean, plain and simple.
Oh sure, Greg had offended me and made me mad on occasion, but nothing he did really deserved the tuna filled chocolate. I just did it because I could.
How many things do we do to those around us simply because we can? How many people in businesses and families have been hurt by people with no greater agenda than a mean spirit?
I would love to tell you that Christianity is immune from this kind of behavior. Unfortunately, this is just not true. I would still rather hang out with God’s people than any people on the planet. And the fact that Christians aren’t all perfect doesn’t, and shouldn’t, justify people staying away from the church.
So what is the cure? Learning to love others the way Christ loved us. Paul gave us the recipe when he wrote, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). Somehow, I don’t think that tuna filled chocolates, or mean-spirited people (Christian or not), fit that scripture.
As for Greg and I, we’re okay now. He has forgiven me, and I haven’t tried to poison him in at least a year. Isn’t it great when kids grow up?
Planning to make chocolates for all my friends… Jerry