On Grace and Cookies

For most of my life, those who knew me on a surface level labeled me as a metaphorical, “sugar cookie girl.” They assumed my innocence and sweetness made me immune to all darkness and sin. However, while I cringe to admit it, I’m actually a chocolate chip cookie. It’s true, even the ‘good citizenship award’ winners still have  some dark chocolate chips of sin inside. I did try really hard to be a sugar cookie, but with the rose of moral perfectionism, there is a thorn. Even among the closest companions, I spent years resisting true transparency.  Hypercritical of my own faults, and afraid to cast burdens on others, I attempted to fight battles alone. Then, aware others didn’t really know me, I held a false belief that my metaphorical cookie identity resembled neither chocolate chip nor sugar, but instead the now out of stock Trader Joe’s dessert, “journey to the center of the cookie.” This meaning, all the dark chocolate sin would remain hidden so deeply inside the center of my heart that anyone daring enough to take a bite would take me back to the reject section of the Pacific Cookie Company.

But one day, sensing something awry in my assumptions, I rolled my Trader Joe’s shopping cart up to one of the trusty Hawaiian shirt wearing employees, to inquire about the dessert.

“Journey to the center of the cookie?” He parroted back, baffled.  “Uhh, those are long gone. They weren’t very popular at all.”

I thanked him and quietly wheeled away. Of course they weren’t popular, I thought. Because Trader Joe’s always knows. Then I wondered, is it beyond the mind of God to knock sense into me through a Trader Joe’s employee? I don’t think so.

Overtime, I’ve learned, that those who feigning bland sugar cookie perfection, will always stay locked out of the close relationships they crave. True community occurs in accepting places where choc-chippers gather together, no matter the crumbliness of life state, for fellowship or fun. But also, holding one another accountable while reading the Bible, or occasionally Shakespeare, and commanding “out out damn [chocolate!]” Together we grow, we work, we play, we pray and we trust that in our transformation journey with Christ, he will improve our dough to chip ratio.

Sometimes it can be hard for me to accept gifts. It is especially difficult to accept the gifts I feel I did nothing to deserve. But in regards to grace, 

None of us DESERVE it. It is FREELY GIVEN. And that is why this whole life is such a gift. We were all once broken chocolate chip cookies, now MADE PERFECT sugar cookies in Him, because Jesus already PAID THE TOLL for our Toll House!

 

And so, to the cookie variety plate of the world: whether you play people pleasing sugar cookie, or wallow in lies and martyrdom of a dark brownie heart, fear not.  Repent of your chocolate chips, but then get up and walk, and never forget 2 Corinthians 12:9. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

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*Chocolate Boast: Pushkin’s, the family-owned gluten/dairy free bakery located in midtown Sacramento, baked the cookie in the picture above. I’m fully aware that many gluten free baked goods might as well be renamed “baked bads,” but I can honestly attest to the tastiness of Pushkin’s. The texture resembles neither gritty sand, nor wet clay, but rather a slightly more tender version of Toll House from your childhood.  Pushkin’s does not endorse me to feature them in my blog. But I will confess a rather chocolate chip ulterior motive that they will stumble upon this post and drop their delicious dinner loaves on my doorstep like manna from heaven.*

 

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