Once upon a time, it was a big deal to bring cupcakes to school to share with your classmates on your birthday. Now you have to remember, back in those days, there was no such thing as a ‘Cupcake Wars’ television series and there was no cupcake food truck in the parking lot at the office. Designer Madagascar Vanilla cupcakes with green tea icing weren’t even thought of yet. Cupcakes were just a simple homemade treat and once a year, it was cool to be able to pass cupcakes out to celebrate your birthday. For those of us who tended to be a bit on the quiet side or not quite part of the In Crowd, it was a day of earning extra cool points. In my case, it added up to a fair amount of cool points since my Mom’s from-scratch chocolate frosting is unbelievably good. Those days are the birthplace of Salvation Cupcake Theory.
So what do cupcakes and salvation have to do with each other? Well growing up Catholic back in my cupcake-laden school days I learned that Jesus was the Savior of the world. Somehow, I missed the part that I meant the world to Him. And to be clear, that’s not to imply it wasn’t taught. I just missed it or it hit that section of Teflon Brain that I have when it comes to certain spiritual topics.(See also Baltimore Catechism, Act of Contrition and most other rote prayers.) To follow my dangerously flawed logic to its equally flawed conclusion: He comes to save the world. I, being in the world end up saved by default, not by His choice.
Think back to cupcakes. Remember that rule about bringing one for everybody? The cool kids, the good kids, the bad kids, the quiet kids, the class clown, the bullies and even the class weirdo, everybody got one. Now it was common knowledge that how well you were connected to the cupcake-giver determined which cupcake you got. Best friends go the best ones with the extra frosting. Weirdos and bullies got the cupcakes that fell over in the tray and ended up with lopsided or missing frosting. Having always been something of a odd duck, I was usually more likely to get a slightly flawed cupcake. I didn’t exactly see The Cupcake Giver and I as BFFs (best friends forever) so yeah, I got the Salvation Cupcake but only because I happened to be here.
I remember the summer I spent working as a maid. I spent a lot of time on my knees scrubbing the floors in strangers’ bathrooms. One of my fellow maids came to me one day and asked me if I’d accepted Jesus as my personal savior. I answered, ‘Yes’ but somewhere in the back of my head I was thinking that it was only because He was kind of stuck with me and that
thought really gnawed at me. It gave me plenty to think about while I was already on my knees.
The Salvation Cupcake Theory was pretty much in the background my whole life until about four years ago. Much like the cupcakes at school, it was just the way things were. The whole personal savior question had stirred up something but it didn’t really hit home for quite awhile. When it finally did, it hit like an Acme safe dropped on my head, which was good thing because I think it chipped off some of the Teflon. Some, but not all. I still forget some days and something I read this morning brought the original Salvation Cupcake post to mind. I hadn’t read it since I posted it in 2009 and rereading it made me see how much has changed since I wrote it. Even in 2009, it still hadn’t quite filtered through the Teflon I wouldn’t even BE in the world to get a cupcake in the first place if He hadn’t so desired it.
Still, I have to admit the idea of getting a BFF cupcake with extra frosting kind of scares me a bit. Let’s face it, I’m the type likely to drop frosting on the floor, slip on it and break a hip or something. But then again, how could I possibly say ‘no’? So I accept it, but with a serious heads up to the Cupcake Giver, ‘Dude, you better be ready to catch me. You know what I’m like….’