The Two Cakes
This past month, I was preparing for my 33rd birthday. Birthdays are always a great celebration in my family where everyone gets together for a big party. There is without a doubt always too much food, a favorite dessert (or two), & an assortment of funny cards accompanied by a few gifts. But this year was going to be very different and I knew it would be. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic & social distancing stay-at-home guidelines, the normal sense of celebration that takes place wasn’t really there. Feelings of disappointment and aloneness started to creep into my mind as I started to bake a cake for myself in preparation for my birthday that would be spent without my family.
You may be thinking, it’s really not a big deal, and you’re right- it’s not a big deal! But there’s a beautiful story within this story that I wanted to share with you. I was feeling down. God knew, and He cared.
So, as I mentioned above, I baked my own cake this year the night before my birthday because not only did I want cake (who wouldn’t?!), but I wanted to create some sense of normalcy since I wasn’t able to be with my family.
Fast forward to the next morning- it’s my birthday. It’s early. I’m in my pajamas and bathrobe, mulling around the kitchen, trying to decide what to eat for breakfast. My husband is upstairs getting in his routine morning work-out. “Well, this is 33,” I think to myself. I ate breakfast and continued on with my morning. Shortly after that, I opened the front door to check the mailbox which didn’t have any mail in it… but there was something amazingly unexpected on my front porch.
A lovely friend - who also shares the same love of mine for all things baking & the Great British Baking Show - remembered my birthday. Sometime that morning before she went into work, she sneakily dropped off a homemade birthday cake & handmade card on my front porch! I was stunned. I can’t believe she remembered my birthday... and I can’t believe she thought of me!
In that moment, a rush of emotion came over me and I suddenly felt the warm, saturating love of God. This gesture of loving-kindness and thoughtfulness floored me, and I started to tear up. I couldn’t help but take such comfort in being remembered, celebrated, and loved. I carried the cake into the kitchen, placed it on the counter, and just stared at it for a while. I was taking in the generosity of this gift. It was more than just a cake & a card. God spoke to my heart through the kindness of this friend, and He reminded me that no matter how seemingly small something might be (like a birthday cake), if it matters to us (things that are good & pure), it matters to Him.
I put the cake into the fridge and giggled because I now had TWO CAKES to enjoy on my birthday with my husband. It was suddenly extra special because this surprise cake was made FOR me- I was not forgotten. I realized deep down that I was struggling with feeling like I was going to be forgotten this year since I wasn't going to be able to see anyone. Of course I’ll always remember my 2020 birthday because of the obvious- Coronavirus social distancing craziness- but also because of this random act of kindness that reflected the total goodness, kindness, and unconditional love of God.
As I close this up, I just wanted to share this simple story to encourage you in this moment in time. God sees you. He is with you. He hears and knows the thoughts you have. He cares about your heart & your well-being... so much that He gave His only precious Son for you and me (John 3:16). This is truly the greatest act of selfless love we could ever know. He desires to know you on such a deep, personal level, even beyond what our human brains could comprehend. He knows what makes you tick. He knows what concerns you, what delights you, and what blesses you. He knows what makes you, you.
He knew that this gift would bring me great joy. He knew that this gift would impact me to the core. He knew that this gift would bring me pure delight. He was telling me that not only was I NOT forgotten, but I was being celebrated. He is THAT good and THAT kind. He spoke to me clearly on my birthday this year, shattering the fear and the lie that I was forgettable.
So, whatever challenge or struggle you may potentially be in the midst of right now, I hope that you will think of this simple story of the two cakes. God has your own personal version of “the two cakes” waiting for you! He loves to speak to you. May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may His face shine upon you. May His love tangibly surround you today. He is for you and He loves you!
To this friend: thank you again for truly blessing me with your kindness.
by Laurie Anan
Worship Leader at Elevate Church