At the Foot of the Cross, I Found….Cupcakes?
When is a cupcake not just a cupcake? When it equals love. For years, I have traveled to other countries. Many times alone, sometimes leading a team. We have attempted to serve using whatever talents, big or small, we might possess. At times, I have been frustrated by my seeming dearth of talents critical to third world development. I am not a doctor. I am not a dentist. I am not a skilled carpenter, plumber, or physical therapist. I have begged, cried, and done everything short of bribe (well, maybe I’ve even tried that…) those who ARE skilled in those areas to travel with us. While we have had some marginal success in convincing travel partners to participate who are skilled in what you might call “premium” professions for third world development, the reality is we are often a merry band of misfits, marginally talented and minimally equipped. That’s not to say we don’t have any talents. They are just often not the ones considered “in demand” for changing the world. We are ordinary people, with ordinary jobs, with ordinary incomes, and ordinary lives. We are teachers, business men and women, trainers and consultants, ministers and students, artists and musicians. How can we possibly change the world?
On our last team trip to Guatemala, however, we once again lived out a powerful example of how the ordinary can become extraordinary. While planning with a very small team of young adults and students, we decided upon a simple idea. Let’s just make cupcakes. We did have some money for other projects as well, but we needed a way to simply serve and love on those whose lives were a constant struggle. This was something we KNEW we could do. So we raised support from others and lugged suitcases full of sprinkles, cake mix and frosting into the state-run orphanage of Guatemala City. Working with a large group of teenage, single mothers and their very young children, we watched while tired hands came alive, globbing more frosting than should be humanly possible on tops of cupcakes. We wondered while eyes that had seen too much sorrow in such a short life began to sparkle with creativity as they threw caution to the wind and sprinkled the tops of the cupcakes with beautiful works of abstract art. As I looked around the table, incredulous at the beautiful scene in front of me, my eyes stopped on the overpowering statue at the head of the table, a huge wooden cross with the body of Christ hanging prominently over the scene. And then it struck me. I may not be extraordinary. I may not have talents that are in high demand throughout the missional world. My fellow travelers may never preach before thousands, have the means to donate extravagant funds, or do anything to actually eliminate poverty, disease, and suffering. But there is one thing we CAN do….that ANYONE can do. Love. Truly love. Give of yourself, give what little or much you do have, reach high, far, and wide to open your arms to anyone and everyone. That is exactly what Christ did for you. And while the big things are great and grand, love is simply love. Whether it comes in the form of a grandiose donation, or just a simple cupcake lovingly made by marginally talented hands of ordinary people, decorated with joy by gloriously talented hands of young mothers. At the foot of the Cross, we found cupcakes. What will you find there?
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