I like pie. I like pie a lot. So there is very little arm-twisting involved when the opportunity to judge the Malibu Pie Festival heads my direction.
Several years ago in my first pie-judging experience I met Linda Hamilton of The Terminator fame who served as a fellow judge. I had chosen the “fruit” category, but she mentioned that she had decided to take one for the team and judge the pies submitted by children. This led to an ongoing moral dilemma in my life. Do I judge wonderful strawberry, peach, and blueberry pies? Or, do I judge pies adorned with gummi worms and breakfast cereals?
I have gone back and forth over the years based on my current walk with Jesus.
This year, I may have found a happy compromise by judging the pies submitted by older teens. There were three lovely pies to judge, including a cannoli pie, a pina colada pie, and a strawberry pie. All of them were terrific, and I left with very little guilt. Win-win, as they say.
My friends at the Malibu United Methodist Church have put on the annual Malibu Pie Festival for twenty-eight years now as a fundraising effort for the many good works they perform and support in the Malibu community, including a weekly community dinner for our homeless friends. I preached at MUMC one Sunday morning several years ago and was shocked to learn that it is a small church in terms of numbers. Malibu really is a small town. But MUMC is a huge church in its heart.
So sure, it is quite a privilege to judge pies at the Malibu Pie Festival, and sure, it is wonderful to see friends from the community out for the fun alongside celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Kelly Osbourne. More importantly, it is inspiring to know that good hearts seeking to serve the underserved make it happen.