Tom and Laura Clifton, serving as missionaries with FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru.
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Friday, June 24, 2011
The Ugliest Cake and a Lesson on Forgiveness
The day before MaryElise turned three I wasn't feeling good. I knew I needed a cake and I was debating whether to make one or pick on up at the grocery store. Tom and Josiah were headed to the store so I enlisted them to find a cute pink cake for MaryElise's birthday.
Sometime later Tom called from the store describing some of the cakes. He told me about a "Diner Cake". I had no idea what he was talking about. I heard the lady in the bakery talking about a "big cupcake cake" or a Cinderella cake and then Tom said, "Okay, I think we got it covered" and then he hung up. I felt secure knowing he would come home with something cute with the help from the bakery lady.
He entered the house carrying a cake box and I took a peek inside to see what kind of a cute cake he chose. The cake he came home with looked more like a jelly doughnut explosion than a birthday cake. The sides were smeared with strawberry jelly and the top had mounds of icing and globs of jelly. It was the ugliest cake I had ever seen. I responded by going into my room and crying. (Really mature I know) Much to Josiah's credit, he came in and apologized and said it was his idea. He thought the cake looked great.
Throughout the day I couldn't get over my disappointment. I rehearsed the situation over again in my mind and the frustration began to grow. "How could he be so clueless? This cake is ugly. It isn't even pink. Maybe I'll get lucky and the cake will accidentally fall on the floor and I'll have to get a new one. There is no way I want to take pictures of my cute little girl with such an ugly cake!"
I didn't realize how far I had let the situation go until dinner. I can't remember exactly what it was that I said, but Tom's reply was, "Oh, that really sounds like forgiveness". I realized from his tone that I had not forgiven him. I was choosing to wallow in the disappointment rather than forgiving and letting go. God convicted my heart. How many times have we as parents spoken to our children about the importance of forgiveness and here I was holding on to something silly!
In Colossians 3:13 it says, "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." I had a choice to make and I chose to forgive. (Needless to say, I did take pictures of MaryElise with the cake that we still fondly refer to as the Jelly Doughnut Explosion!)