Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cookie Comfort

It's been a stormy beginning to summer. Even today the weather map is colorful. It seems the atmosphere has been volatile and damaging on a pretty regular basis. And the evidence of it's volatility is plain to see.

One of the most beautifully flowering and symmetrical trees on our property fell victim to wind and storms. It's a tree, yes, but it was sad, given this particular tree's strategic place on the landscape. And now it's gone.

A different kind of storm is raging and threatening to extinguish the life of a piece of my personal life landscape. I learned, a few months ago, that cancer was rapidly consuming the life of a lady that has been a huge encouragement to me, especially during my years of ministry at Grace. This lady wrote me countless notes and cards, and baked me untold numbers of cookies. And she made a point to make the kinds of cookies i like... monster cookies and peanut butter cookies.

I saw her last Saturday, after hearing that she wasn't doing well and wasn't expected to live through the next month or so. I was saddened to see how much she'd deteriorated, but thankful for the opportunity to visit with her and her husband. As I prayed with them, and then left, I was struck by the reality that heaven might be the next place that we visit.

So I baked cookies.

I wanted to do something tangible and symbolic of the impact that this woman had had in my life, and the positive input she'd made on my ministry. Even realizing that she might not be able to enjoy them, I wanted to at least bless her husband, especially if she hadn't been able to bake since she got sick. And I also prayed that they would be edible.

A Crisco baking stick and one packed 1/4 cup of brown sugar inspired me. 

I strategically placed the second cup of brown sugar to create a little Pinocchio face in the mixing bowl.

I was thankful to find my roommate's electric mixer after my hand cramped up gripping a wooden spoon.

And voila... the finished, golden product. In sincere and thankful humility, they actually tasted pretty good.

Storms are inevitable, and so is death. But cookies help ease the frustration and helpless feelings that accompany the hard stuff.

I had a lump in my throat as I wrote a note to my cookie encourager, Colleen. I told her that it's people like her and her cookies who keep people going when they need encouragement. It's timely words and sweet treats from well-meaning people that help take the edge off of life's storms. And I told her that I was pretty confident of rewards for her in heaven... and maybe cookies.


Momma H June 14, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

Wow! That is great, Jim. The cookies look delicious, and much nicer than the beady eyes. ;-)
We are all feeling this loss before it happens. But for the comfort that we all know where she will be, and that she will be pain and disease free! I guess we can only pray for God's mercy.

DeMo June 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM  

That's awesome, Jim. Those cookies look delicious. It's sweet that you took the time to encourage her like that, and yes, a blessing to know that we'll see her again.

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