Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Mirror of Our Soul

I once did my "cake talk" at a retreat.  Today, God has asked me to share it on my blog.  I pray that it doesn't lose something in translation since I cannot bake cakes for all of you to have a visual and taste enhancing experience.

Picture three cakes: an Angel Food, a Chocolate Cake, and a Plain Vanilla Cake with carmel like vanilla icing.  The later is a cake my grandmother, Minnie (Toad) Robeson always baked.  I will refer to it as Grandma's cake.  Think about this: "If you were a cake, which cake would you be?"

First let's talk about the Angel Food Cake--the one with the whipped cream icing and cherries on top.  It's such a pretty cake.  White poofy icing, bright red cherries to contrast.  But when you cut into the middle of the cake, you find lots of holes and a pretty rough texture.  It's a lot like some of us:  beautiful on the outside.  We seem to have it all together as far as the world can see, but our lives are full of holes.  Maybe the holes need to be filled by God.  Maybe we don't really even know Him, or maybe our relationship with His has taken a back burner.  Maybe we need love from our family, friends, or chruch that we are not getting.  Maybe we need to fix a broken relationship, or maybe we just need to feel good about ourselves.  Whatever hole this kind of person has, God knows and can fill it.

Then there's the Chocolate Cake. What can we say?  Beautiful outside, wonderful inside!  The Chocolate Cake person needs to be careful that we don't become so self sufficient that we don't see a need for God.  The danger here is allowing  our own strength to become our idol.   We become so sure of our abilities that we shut God out.  We may not do it consciously, but we can handle so much on our own that we forget to ask God what He wants.  Then we're really in trouble.

And last but not least, Grandma's cake.  Plain vanilla, falls in the middle, caramel icing that just lays there.  It's not the most beautiful cake in the world.  But that icing penetrates that cake and, on the inside that cake is so wonderfully sweet.  It is a good, solid, everday cake that you can count on to fill your craving for sweets.  The Vanilla Cake Person, though they may have a few lumps and bumps and sink holes on the outside, or may appear plain vanilla, is a wonderful person on the inside.  You can depend on her to fill the needs of family and friends, and oftentimes to be the workers at the church.

We need to be careful not to think ourselves less because we don't feel beautiful when we look in the mirror.  We need to not compare "cakes."  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and God sees all.  Whatever kind of "cake person" we are, God knows us inside and out.  He can fill our holes.  He can use our strengths and our weaknesses. He looks into the mirror of our souls, not the mirror on the wall.  We need to figure out which kind of "cake" we are, and ask God to work with and through the gifts He has given us.  We need to ask him to bring us to the point that, when we look into the mirror on the wall, all we see is the image of Him.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We have been doing some remodeling.  We had carpet removed in our downstairs bedrooms and went down to wood floors.  The house looks good and feels so clean.  We were able to get into all the far corners; all the dark recesses. 

That is what we need to do in our lives and in our spirits.  Reach back into the far corners; into all the dark recesses where no one can tread but us and God.  What is in there that makes us who we are?  What is it that causes us to "snap" at times over things not worth worrying about; little things.  Little things often times seem so monumental to us because of things that happened in our past.  They lurk there in the dark recesses until something or someone triggers them, and then they come bursting forth with a force that takes us (not to mention the person to whom our outburst is aimed) completely by surprise.   Most of the time we don't even realize what's bothering us. We attribute the problem to the person who triggered our undoing.

My favorite prayer is Psalm 139:23-24:  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my ways; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.  We need to search our hearts, our souls, and our minds along with God. We need to see what's in those dark corners of our minds where we don't like to tread.  Do a little house cleaning.  Pray a prayer of sanctification over our past discrepencies.  More than likely, we have already asked God to forgive them.  He probably has forgiven them, but we have a tendency to not forgive ourselves.

We need to pay attention when God brings those things to mind.  So many times, we simply dismiss them.  God gently nudges and we shove them back in the corner to be brought out again at an inopportune time. 

I would like to get down to the bare floors; to get all the corners cleaned out; to start with raw material; to come clean.  Maybe someday...