Woodworking, Cake Baking, and Second Chances

Old Wood, New Wood. February, 2010.

[May 28: I’m linking up with Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays. I encourage you to visit the delightfulness there!]

Why Jesus Wasn’t a Baker

My husband Rich loves to build things. It may be in his blood, as his grandfather was a master carpenter. Genetically driven or not, working in his shop satisfies him. It’s fun for me, too, to watch as a pile of lumber takes shape as a doghouse, or a bookshelf, or a table. Sometimes, like a scrub nurse, I assist, handing Rich the tool he needs at a given moment.

One Saturday not long ago he spent the day sawing, sanding, driving screws and making things plumb. Meanwhile I was in my shop, the kitchen, baking a cake.

Wood, as a medium, is different from flour, sugar, and eggs. With wood, if the joint didn’t come together just as you’d hoped, you can undrive the screws and try again. Your chances to do it again, a little better, a little truer than before, are practically limitless. You can even renew a building, or a piece of furniture, by cutting out the old wood and replacing it with new.

Baking is less forgiving. If your cake recipe calls for two eggs and you add three eggs, You can’t unmix the batter, remove one egg, and try again. You have to toss the mess out and begin anew or take your chances with an extra egg in the cake. If your cake cracks, you can’t patch in a fresh piece of cake to fix it (though frosting can serve as spackle, in a jam).

I was thinking about this difference on that Saturday, as Rich buzzed through his project in the garage, sawdust dancing in sunbeams, and I wielded my Kitchenaid mixer in the kitchen, creating small clouds of cocoa dust. Wood gives you second chances. Cakes don’t.

Wood can be renewed. Cakes can’t.

My Shop. May, 2011.
Now I understand why Christ came to us as a carpenter, rather than a baker. He doesn’t trade in throwing out messes. He’s all for making us better, truer. He doesn’t hesitate to cut away the old wood and replace it with new, when I submit myself to Him. 

5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new. ” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. Revelation 21:5-7 (NASB)


  1. I love this!

    That's all I'm gonna say…

    What a great analogy!


  2. Thanks, Duane!

  3. I guess Martha got stuck with the cake baking, poor thing. Even Mary didn't want to mess with it. 🙂

  4. I reckon you're right, Ann!

  5. It is a great analogy.

    And this: "all things new" What a gift!

  6. Deidra,
    It is the Best.Gift.Ever.
    So glad to see you here!

  7. How is it that you turn one amazing post after another?

    What a great parallel!

  8. David, you're too kind.

    If I have a "secret" it's that when I write and revise, I'm looking for ideas that honor and glorify God.

  9. And….
    David poses a great question.
    How do you all turn out one amazing post after another?

    Because you all do, you know 🙂