I already had the sugar in the bowl when he pulled up his stool. I added the peanut butter to the new-fangled doodad that you use for semi-solid ingredients like shortening and peanut butter, that two part contraption where you pull the inside cylinder down, fill up the resulting measure, and then push out the peanut butter. Judah managed to use the "plunger" quite easily, pushing out that two-cup blob of the main ingredient. Then I took the tiny measuring glass, the one that measures two tablespoons. I showed him how far to fill the vanilla, just "this much" under the 1 (tablespoon) mark, using my thumb and forefinger to indicate about an eighth inch. He leaned over and very carefully filled the little glass a tiny bit then checking, then a bit more, then checking, until he got it just right, and then poured it in around the spinning beater that was busily creaming away the sugar and peanut butter.
Then it was egg time. I cracked the first egg just enough to get him started. He took it and instead of gently pulling the two halves apart, he mashed with both thumbs against his fingers so hard they both flattened completely. The egg splashed into the cookie dough. Then he got down off his stool and, without being told to, took the shell to throw into the garbage. I surreptitiously checked the batter for smithereens of eggshell. Somehow, none had made it down into the bowl. One more egg to go. "Do you think you can crack it yourself?" I asked. A very serious nod followed, so I handed him the egg and held my breath. Let's just say, that boy does a number on eggs. But once again, no shell pieces migrated to the batter, and the vast majority of the egg went into the mixer bowl, so we were okay.
He really didn't want to handle the dough, making one-inch balls, so I did that myself, spacing them carefully on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Then he got to work again, using a fork for the characteristic crisscross pattern of all peanut butter cookies which I had shown him how to make. "It's a hashtag!" he cried, and was quite pleased with himself as he turned and mashed and turned and mashed two sheets worth of cookies. Obviously it took a little longer to make cookies that day, but it was worth it. He could hardly wait for them to cool enough to eat, and we had an experience we could share for our entire visit, every time one of us wanted a cookie.
I think we in the church may have forgotten the patience a new convert takes. Many of us are spoiled by having only the next generation of those "raised in the church" be baptized. They are easy to deal with, already having been taught right from wrong at an early age, and sitting in Bible classes since before some of them could even say a word. Of course most of them will know what to say, how to act, and how to tell true doctrine from the false. But what about someone who is converted "off the street," so to speak? I have heard of some churches that have a list of things they require a person to learn before they will baptize them. Tell me, how much do you think the Philippian jailor knew before Paul baptized him "in the same hour of the night?" If these "lists" are indeed necessary, God must have made the moon stand still. No, Paul made sure that man knew enough to say, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
God expects us to be patient with the newcomers. Look at this passage: But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Col 3:8-10). Did you catch that? These were people who had already "put off the old self and put on the new self," in other words, Christians. Yet they were still works in progress. They may have been saints assembling every Sunday, but some of them were still working on anger, slander, lying, and any number of other things. You know all those passages about being "longsuffering?" We want to use that only when people have personality differences. How about being longsuffering and patient as people learn to leave behind the culture of the world and become part of a brand new culture—the kingdom of God? You don't become righteous overnight, turning it on and off like a light switch!
So maybe those converts crack a few eggs to smithereens now and then. After all, it takes a little finesse to crack eggs. Instead of expecting chef-quality cooking from the get-go, how about just asking this question: Are they still making cookies? Are those cookies getting better and better with each try? If they are, the finesse will come later. Be patient, just like the Lord was, and probably still is, patient with you.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love (Eph 4:1-2).
The recipe for those cookies can be found on the recipe page on the left sidebar.