The late Sigmund Freud, progenitor of the Freudian school of psychology, is famous for making everything about sex. He is also known as the source of the aphorism, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” and thus by implication not a phallic metaphor.
This got me to thinking.
Is it possible that sometimes a cake is just a cake? That, regardless of our convictions about marriage, perhaps the mere fact of baking a cake isn’t an endorsement of something we don’t believe in? Allow me to lift the (metphoric) veil and show you how I came to that conclusion.
In his first recorded miracle, Jesus after some strong urging from His mother (despite protestations that his “time has not yet come”), transmutes water into wine. This, after all the wine at the wedding feast had been drunk. Is He here, by making wine available, endorsing inebriation? (Remember: the people had already consumed all the wine, hence the need for this miracle). Can we even begin to lay the onus at His sainted feet? No, the responsibility was that of those there imbibing.
The point being that Jesus, essentially, had no qualms about providing alcohol for party people. Think about that for minute. He was also, as He progressed in His earthly ministry, known as a “wine-bibber (alcoholic), a “glutton (overeater), and a “friend of sinners (He hung out with the wrong crowd).” Insofar as my experience goes, I’ve heard of–and seen–Christians accused of the two former sins; namely, over consumption of the juice of the vine, and over consumption of life sustaining food.
But when’s the last time you, I, or someone we know had that charge levelled at us? That we’re a “friend of sinners?” How can it be if we don’t know any, or wouldn’t be caught dead hanging around them? What would the pastor think?
Which brings me back around to cake. If we, right at the outset, shut someone down, how can we expect them to listen when we try to share the Gospel? It’s cliché, but true: people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. And what of Jesus statement “If someone compels you to go with them a mile, go two?” The fact of the matter is that baking a cake, or two (or catering, for that matter), gives us an inroad into someone’s life, gives us a chance at interaction we wouldn’t have if we start simply by asserting our rights.
Jesus didn’t seem to have a problem hanging out with sinners. Why do we? His presence in their lives wasn’t an endorsement of those lives; rather, an invitation.
How are we to be His witnesses if we never come out of our holy huddles into the great, messy fray of life? We must engage people where they’re at…