This was one of those uber-rich cakes with scarcely enough flour to hold it together. When I read that I was to cut this two inch thick layer in half, fill it, and then put the top back, I should have known there would be trouble with so little flour. And there was. First, it sank about halfway in the middle. That meant when I took my long serrated knife and tried to cut it in "half" there was nothing in the middle to cut. What I cut off looked like a tire. Calm down, I told myself as my pulse and respiration increased, the filling will show through there and it will look like it's supposed to be that way.
But then I tried to remove that top. It came away in sections. You would have thought a Lamaze class was going on I was panting so hard by then, but I carefully put the pieces on another plate and kept them all where they were supposed to go. "There is a chocolate ganache glaze," I kept chanting. "Ganache fixes anything!"
I got the peanut butter filling on and learned immediately to be careful spreading it, otherwise the cake sticks to it and rolls right up over the knife. More panting and chanting. Finally I got the filling spread on the bottom layer.
Now it was time to reassemble the jigsaw puzzle of a top. Except the cake was so moist that a thin layer of it stuck to the plate the top was sitting on. And the large sections broke into small chunks. Gradually, I got all the pieces put back on top of the cake. With the peanut butter filling, the torte was now nearly 3 inches high, in spite of losing a good eighth of an inch on that other plate, but it looked like a chocolate mosaic.
No one has been happier to make ganache than I was that day. This will cover all sins, I told myself. It will be shiny and beautiful.
Oh, it was nice and shiny all right, but underneath that glistening surface you could see every lump and bump, every nook and cranny, every place where anything underneath was not absolutely perfect. Kind of reminded me of the last time I tried on a dress a size too small.
So now what? Do I take this monstrosity to our potluck? Well, it was a tiny little potluck made up of one of my classes and their families and they always count on me for an entrée and a dessert. I had no time left to make another after having spent not only two hours on this ugly thing, but another one on the entrée and another couple studying. And besides that, this thing was expensive. I sure couldn't afford to throw it away.
So the next afternoon I took my so-called torte and apologized for bringing the ugliest thing on God's creation to our lunch. For some reason, it didn't stop them from eating it, and one even asked for the recipe. "Sorry," I told her, "I threw it away."
Well, guess what? Every one of us is an ugly cake. God took beautiful ingredients and made us "in His own image," but for some reason we all eventually turned out just plain ugly.
We have all sunk into the morass of sin and crumbled beneath its weight. Even when we proclaim our commitment we often manage to stick to things we should have let go of. We fall to pieces in trials and temptations instead of standing strong. It took Him a few thousand years of piecing things together, fixing the things we made even more messes of, and spending the most awful cost to do it, but He made us into a cake that tastes pretty good when we follow His directions. Oh, the lumps and bumps may still show through occasionally. Our imperfections may leave scars that simply cannot be hidden, but He is ultimately satisfied when we forget about trying to fix things ourselves and just do it His way, not worrying what others might think about how we look. He won't give up and throw us away, but will take us to the Feast he has prepared, and will not be ashamed of what an ugly cake we were to begin with. After all, ganache—in this case, grace—can fix anything.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:20)