I had a disastrous cake day on Saturday. The day was already busy, but I found myself baking two cakes and encountering failure both times.
It was my son’s birthday last Tuesday and I made him a perfect cake. But this weekend, all the relatives were coming expecting to sing around another one (or so I told myself). When the first came out overcooked I ignored instructions to just buy another and started a sponge cake. But I was tired, forgot to grease the tins properly and then failed to empty them out at the right time. As I was shaking them upside down later on and watching some bits fall out, some stay in, I realised I should never have started.
I cried a lot, always more than the situation merits, and just gave up. Thankfully, my husband skillfully stuck it all together with jam while I stood with my hands over my face.
The next day was singing around the cake day. I had feelings similar to standing there with no clothes on thinking about everyone seeing the state of that darned cake. But then I remembered the ribbon. It wrapped round the faulty cake, completely covering its messiness. If I hadn’t said anything (naturally I told everyone the whole sorry tale), no-one would have noticed.
I found myself thinking about grace that day and hiding brokenness. It might be seeing the shadow of your neighbour, bowed with grief, through the narrow slits of the garden fence, or a friend hiding her sadness behind sunglasses, a lonely person laughing too loudly, a child backing onto a corner when everyone else has found a playmate, curtains never pulled back, doors permanently locked shut.
Sometimes, hiding away is the only way to cope, but other times we need someone to stand beside us and help us face the world again. I still much prefer it when my children walk beside me because somehow I feel like they cover me a little and give me courage too.
Is there anyone behind a door or a fence who needs your help with their lives? Maybe they just need somebody to hide with for a while. Maybe they need a ribbon of grace. Let’s go softly and seek them out.