I believe in the power of creative expression.
This is something I have always believed, almost without conscious effort.
Since before I can remember, I have always poured myself into my projects or my baking or long ago (or maybe not so long…) in my princess coloring pages.
Always striving for some higher expression as if, by icing the cake a certain way or finding the perfect colors, I could somehow share a piece of myself –an unspoken, inarticulate piece – with the world.
Today, I find myself halfway around the world, as the Director of Baking with a Café that is hiring women out of prostitution and inviting them into freedom.
Who knew God would someday take my love of all things butter and sugar and bind it with my passion for restoration?
I’m out of my element in language and culture and just about everything else, six weeks into training with eight beautiful women, desperately trying to figure out how we are going to make this work… together.
Despite my deep, soul-conviction in the power of creativity, I often doubt our ability to overcome.
How can one amateur cook (myself) and eight, unskilled, overlooked women possibly make this work?
And even if we somehow figure it out, will it mean something?
Something more than coffee and cinnamon rolls… something transcendent.
The days when I am swimming in recipes and menu strategies, cost analyses, and sourcing leads, I sometimes question the value of it all. It feels like busywork and, let’s just be honest, I don’t really do busywork.
But then I walk into the kitchen… I breathe deep in the warm, scented air and scan the shining stainless-steel countertops.
The opportunities here are endless.
I hear the women laughing. I see the eager looks on their faces.
Some are nervous, some confident, all of them determined.
But when I look into their eyes, I see something else too….
Together, elbow-deep in flour, we work and re-work the dough, and maybe it’s just a mass of random ingredients, but maybe it’s something more.
In that moment of creation, maybe these women, discarded and abused, told by the world that they are nothing, made to believe that they are nothing, come back to life.
Maybe they feel the same, inexplicable desire – a drive to share beauty with the world.
We are, after all, formed in the likeness of our Great Craftsman.
And He has placed his signature on our hearts.
Perhaps there is nothing to figure out. Nothing to make work. Just something to unlock.
And keep unlocking until all the unspoken and inarticulate truths have been shared.
Cinnamon rolls and restoration – it makes perfect sense to me!