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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: The Icing on our Cake
By Debbie Roome


I couldn’t believe she was coming to our home group. “Why tonight?” I moaned to my husband. “Why when I have a special Christmas message prepared?”

It wasn’t that I’d actually met Angela, but her reputation had spread like wildfire.
“She’s from a town back east.”
“Her parents sent her here – to the group home in Chester Street. They hoped she’d calm down if she had more company.”
“She came to our Sunday school class and was so loud and disruptive.”
“I’ve heard she has ADHD and behavioural problems.”

It was easy to judge someone on the basis of gossip and my heart sank even further when she arrived in a flurry of noise. She looked to be about twenty. Short in stature, stubby limbs, flat features and a lion’s mane of strawberry-blonde hair. She had a well-used Bible tucked under her arm and was circling the room. “Good evening,” she greeted me, thrusting a pudgy hand forward and pumping my arm up and down. “I’m so glad to be with you folk tonight.”

After a time of worship, I started on my message. “God has given us all different personalities and gifts and if we allow Him to, he will blend us together. It’s almost like making a cake. We take an assortment of ingredients and mix them…”

“I know how to do that.” Blurted Angela. “I work for a bakery.”

I nodded politely as I removed a crisp, white cloth from the coffee table. “I have here, the ingredients to make a Christmas cake.” There was a brief pause as everyone’s eyes took in the laden bowls of cherries, dried fruit and nuts. The jug of heavy, brown sugar, the bowl of pristine flour, the slab of yellow butter and clutch of creamy, white eggs. “I’m going to mix up the cake as a picture of how God works in our lives. Of how he sifts and stirs…”

“I can do that.” Angela’s voice cut across mine. “We’ve been baking Christmas cakes for weeks now and…” her voice trailed off and she slumped back in the chair. “Sorry. I’m talking too much again.”

It was at that precise moment that I heard God talking to me. Let her help. Let her share my message. I hesitated, after all this was my evening, my moment in the lime-light. Then shame washed over me. How could I let pride interfere with sharing God’s word, with being obedient to Him?

“Angela, I’d like you to help. Come over here by me.”

Happiness rolled across her face as she joined me. As I handed her the mixing bowl and wooden spoon and started giving directions. “The first ingredient to go in is…”

“I have an idea. If we’re like God’s ingredients, why don’t I give everyone something to put in the cake?”

I nodded slowly. “Good plan, Angela. Go ahead.”

Her eyes danced round the room, buzzing with excitement as she matched people with ingredients. “You two have white hair.” She said to Charles and Doreen. “You can be my flour.” She grasped Tina’s hands and looked into her eyes. “I think you have a soft heart so you can hold the butter…and I see sweetness inside you.” She handed the jug of sugar to Jolene.

I was amazed at the depth of her perception. At the way she pinpointed our strengths. All around the room, people were smiling, cradling nuts and cherries, butter and flour. Finally she stopped by me and cupped my hands together. “You can be an egg.” She said, placing one in my hands. “Eggs are protein and they make people strong. You share God’s words and they also make people strong.”

She had brought my message to life. Given it power and ensured that none of us would ever forget that night. I turned to thank her but she was back in her seat. Draped limply over the cushions, effervescence leaking like air from a balloon. “I’m not an ingredient.” She said sadly. “I don’t fit in.”

Tears welled up in my eyes, washing out the last traces of the misconceptions I’d absorbed, the slander I’d listened to, the attitude I’d developed. I slipped into the kitchen and came back with a squat tub of marzipan. “Angela,” I said, “You do fit in here and you are important.” Murmurs of agreement circled the room as I gently pressed the tub into her hands. “And that’s why you’re the icing on our cake.”

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This article has been read 1124 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/06/07
What a great story with superb descriptions and a message to remember.
Angie Schulte12/07/07
Beautiful~! The greatest gift that we can give to others is what we seek for ourselves. Appreciation! Thanks!
Joanne Sher 12/07/07
Excellent descriptions and message - and I absolutely LOVE your last paragraph! Good stuff.
Marita Vandertogt12/07/07
The title is so appropriate to the MC. I really like how each person is compared to an ingredient in the cake - quite creative.
Good read, and good message!
Sheri Gordon12/07/07
This is very sweet. (No pun intended.) I love Angela -- you created a great character. You gave her just enough obnoxiousness and tenderness. Good job.
Holly Westefeld12/07/07
Superb craftsmanship, and a lesson we all need to deeply internalize. I wouldn't be surprised to find it as the "icing" for Masters this week.
Karen Wilber12/07/07
It's a stretch to work the "Angela's" into fellowship - but your MC did it in an excellent way. And gave us all a good message. Great story.
Emily Gibson12/08/07
Acceptance is important to all of us but especially those with differences from the mainstream. Your illustration here works very well.
Lynda Schultz 12/08/07
This is gorgeous—brought tears to my eyes.
Betty Castleberry12/08/07
So good! I got a little weepy at the ending.
Laury Hubrich 12/09/07
Wow! Great story. It would also be an awesome illustration to use sometime in a Bible study.
Temple Miller12/09/07
I love the honesty and the heart of your MC. Lovely story!
william price12/09/07
I still don't know if I'm matching the right story to the right hint, but here I go. I read this earlier this week and really liked it. I like the way you re-define "Icing on the cake." Usually it's tongue in cheek, which it was to start and then transformed to a sincere appreciation of the "icing". God always seems to know what He is doing. Excellent story. God bless.
Sharlyn Guthrie12/09/07
I love this! You brought the characters to life, and the ending is memorable.
Jan Ackerson 12/10/07
This one put a lump in my throat. Written with grace and sensitivity; thank you.
Tim Pickl12/12/07
This line brought tears to my eyes, “Angela, I’d like you to help. Come over here by me.” The simple obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit is wonderful! "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40 Thanks for sharing. God bless you!
Patty Wysong12/12/07
This is Totally Super (to borrow from the teens). Seeing the inner struggle of the MC really brought it home. The final paragraph was truly 'the icing on the cake'. Loved it.
Benjamin Graber12/13/07
Oh, this one is really good!!! This one touches the heart and inspires as well as providing some humor...
Kristen Hester12/13/07
Oh, this is so convicting. I have a friend I can't wait to share this with. Very moving. WONDERFUL! Congratulations.
Paula Titus 12/13/07
Absolutely beautiful. Congratulations on a well deserved placing.
Dee Yoder 12/13/07
A beautiful message in your entry. Congratulations!
Sheri Gordon12/13/07
Congratulations on your EC. This is very creative. Great characters.
Chong Shipei12/18/07
I really like your story a lot, really, really, really a lot. Even more, I really like to see it acted out in real life, a lot, really, really, really a lot. Even more, I hope to act it out in my life. People like Angela and MC are sweet. We are a family, indeed. :)