Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cake. Value. And a few photos too.

A young bride-to-be has finally found her dream wedding cake.

Not every bride has a dream cake, but this blushing beauty does.

Her mother was a baker. Not in career, but in passion. She loved it. Not only was she excellent at baking but she was even better when it came to decorating the delicious treats. She handled frosting the way Picasso handled paint, every dessert of hers was a masterpiece. She would dream with her sweet daughter about one day presenting her with the most beautiful wedding cake anyone had ever seen. The cake would sparkle. Covered in flour, wearing their matching aprons, mother and daughter would laugh and dream about that wedding cake. It always seemed so far away... Considering the daughter was only 14 and her future husband was no where in sight.

But that was then. And this is now. 6 years later and the future husband is very much in sight. In fact it's only 2 days until he will marry the darling daughter from the story. The tragedy though, is that her radiant mother will be celebrating this wedding from heaven. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago... And last November went Home to be with the Lord.

Which brings me back to her dream cake. She finally found it. Unlike other brides, for her, the cake felt like the most important part of the wedding. In her heart this cake represented her mother's life. It had to be perfect. It had to be exactly like the one they dreamt of when she was a little girl. She drew sketches of what she wanted. Her Dad and fiancé travelled the state with her to find someone who could make this cake happen in a way that would satisfy her aching heart's desire. the process was deeply emotional for her, because it was about so much more than just a cake.

Today she visited the baker she had chosen, to see the finished product... she wept... It was perfect. It looked exactly like the one in her dreams. When she saw it, she said that she could physically feel her mother's pleasure. Relieved, she left the shop, feeling ready to have the wedding.

A few hours after she left, a renowned photographer for a national bridal magazine came into the shop, asking to see some of the bakery's work. Unfortunately the only person working was a new girl, who knew very little about the shop and really knew nothing about the "dream cake" other than just how exquisite it looked.

She led the photographer to the back of the shop to show him the cake. He was blown away. Never having seen anything like it, he made a strange proposal... Let him borrow the cake to take and photograph, and in return the shop will get free advertising in this famous bridal magazine and he will pay them a large amount for any damage that could potentially come to the cake.

The shop attendant called the owner of the store but could not get through to him. After trying to call and text multiple times, she trusted her own judgement and agreed to the deal. She thought that even if the cake gets ruined, surely the money and notoriety will make up for it. So she helped load the dream cake into his car.

The photographer was thrilled. He made quick work to get as many photos of the cake as possible. Models had already been hired for a bridal shoot so he brought the cake over there to use it as a prop. The photos were unbelievable. Different backdrops. Outdoors. Indoors. With models. Without. The final shots were of two models, dressed as bride and groom, cutting the cake. Yes. They cut the cake and smashed pieces into each other's faces.

To them, it was just a beautiful cake. But to the motherless bride getting ready for her wedding, this was a treasure.

Obviously when word got back to the baker that the cake had essentially been sold, chaos ensued.

Though the baker knew what an amazing opportunity this was for his shop to gain fame... He recalled the young bride fighting to hold back tears as she described her dream cake. This was about so much more than just a cake and money.

This was about a daughter that missed her mother deeply. A daughter who was excited to get married, but at times wrestled with feeling like being happy with her new husband might make it seem like she doesn't miss her mama anymore.

The baker knew that it would not be possible to recreate that cake in such a short time. His only option was to call the young bride-to-be and explain what had happened.

Few things in his life were as painfully difficult as that phone call.

The bride was crushed. She dropped the phone and melted onto the ground in a weepy puddle. Her heart was broken.

....

To some, this story doesn't make a lot of sense. All of this hooplah about a wedding cake? But if you are like me... That story made me so sad for the bride. She didn't get her cake after all. And it wasn't fair... It wasn't her fault.

But as I thought about this story, I was pained with the feeling of how devastating it is when you know the value of something... Or someone... But you watch it... Or them... Get destroyed because someone else doesn't know the value.

I'll give you an example.

I have a best friend. We grew up together. She taught me to receive compliments. She taught me to be brave and not worry about what people think of me. When she laughs in a movie theatre everyone knows, because it is SO loud. She is an all star athlete, good at pretty much any sport she tries. She is creative, smart and artsy. She is fashionable, wise, and has known God since she was a little girl.

But a few years ago she started to get caught up with people who didn't love her. Maybe they thought they did, but I don't think so... Because "love always protects" and they didn't protect her.

She was taken advantage of sexually on multiple occasions. She partied. Not a little. But all the time.
Black out drunk... Waking up with people she didn't know. Dying inside... Being judged by those same friends who invited her into that crazy lifestyle. The God she thought she knew, seemed more distant than ever.

Each time I heard about a new crisis she was facing I would literally cry, right there, on the spot.

Someone else hears about her life and is quick to judge her... Or not think too much of her... Because she is a lot like every other young 20-something.

But not me. Because I KNOW her value. I know what she is worth and I know her potential. So while someone else might think nothing of her... I am the weepy mess on the floor because of her the devastation in her life.

....

Or with Karl. I watched him impact others. I know his potential to change the world. I know what he did in Haiti and Sunland to share Christ's love with people.

So while others didn't think twice when he started doing drugs again, I was heart-broken. And while others were suddenly sad when he died of those same drugs last year... I went crazy... Because I know his worth. I knew it the whole time. I knew that he was made for so much more than that kind of death.

...

And when I see girls. Valuable. Beautiful. Precious. Worthy. Purpose-filled girls... Choose to act like they aren't all of those things. Freely giving their bodies to anyone who wants them. Taking any guy who looks twice at them. Choosing that it would be better to be slightly less lonely in the moment, than to follow God's call and purpose for their life.

I turn once again into a weepy mess. I imagine that my sadness is just a glimpse of the sadness God feels in that situation. He knows our value better than anyone. Jesus counted us worthy to die for.

And yet we treat ourselves like those people treated the cake... Kind of nice... But not nearly what we are worth.

Leaving us destroyed and leaving the ones aware of our value, heartbroken.

Dear Jesus,
Please show us the true value that you have instilled in each of us. Help us to see ourselves and others as you see us... And give us grace to live according to what you see and not what we see.
We love you.


"But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you."
Isaiah 43:1-4


*these are some photos from our YWAM Christmas party. I'm honored to have such VALUABLE people in my life. :)

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