I grew up outside of city limits, and then in the country, and one thing we always had was trees.  And with trees, birds.  And with birds, baby birds that had fallen out of the nest.

I grew up in the generation that was told baby birds couldn’t be put back in their nest, because their mama wouldn’t feed them.  So we would always be locked between two unpleasant options: taking the baby bird into our garage to spend the night and die in the morning, or leave it outside in hopes the baby bird would somehow make it back into its nest.   Either way, the baby bird always ended up dead.

The first time we found a baby bird and put it in our garage, I was very optimistic. I was sure we could feed it and love on it and that would be enough.  One day, we could release it back into the wild.  But when I woke up the next morning to excitedly greet my baby bird, my parents told me it had died in the night.

I didn’t understand.  Hadn’t we given it a warm habitat?  Wasn’t our water and food good enough for it?  Why had it died?

I was disillusioned enough that one day, when I found a baby bird out on an autumn day, and my mom said we couldn’t do anything to help it, I left it alone in the hopes it would get back into its next, feet and feet above it—which might as well have been miles and miles–somehow.  I came back outside later and found it dead on the cold earth.

It seems to me like what Romans tells us is we’re all like these baby birds.  We’ve all fallen out of the nest.  We’re all in despair, utterly helpless, doomed to die.

People all around the world are trying to invent cures for the human condition.  Whether through medication or psychology or entertainment or “good works” or career opportunities or romance or social networking or starting a family or anything else, we’re failing miserably.  It’s like we’re placing human souls in our own garage of philosophy, using what we reckon will surely help them, but they are as spiritually starved and abandoned under our care as they were before.

Other people have given up on trying to fix other people.  They walk past people who are in the last stages of spiritual death.   They see them floundering, maybe even pleading for help, but they rationalize these people just can’t be helped if they won’t get themselves to the help they need.

Now this is how the world treats people who are unnested, but what about Christians?  How do we treat people who are unnested?  Surely differently, right?  After all, the key to our Christianity is that we are now nested and we see the whole world unnested.  We hurt for those people.  So what do we do to help?

Sadly, sometimes we’re not much more help than the world.  We, having grown up in the world, believe their false tales about how to nest people back to where they belong, and we try to use their methods.

Sometimes we pick up nonChristians, if you will, and try to fix them ourselves.  We try to love on them enough, care for them enough, that they will be fed and well.  But, it just doesn’t work that way.  No matter how hard we try, we wind up with lost people who were hungrier and closer to death than before.

Sometimes we try “tough love” on nonChristians.  We advise them how they can fix their lives to be right with God.  If they would only quit this, do this, try this, they’d find themselves back up in that nest in no time.  But this is no more good than asking a baby bird with no feathers on its wings to fly back up to its nest.

Sometimes we feel justified in leaving lost people alone because, it seems so far as we can tell, God has abandoned them.  After all, why are they on the ground in the first place?  Maybe they got kicked out of the nest.  Maybe even if we could put them back, God wouldn’t take care of them anyway.

. . About the time I was twelve or thirteen, the idea about unnested baby birds was changing.  There was a new, radical idea experts were offering: put the baby bird back in the nest.  The mother might take care of the bird again, and it was the best chance the little bird had.

I remember the first time I knew of my family placing a baby bird back in the nest.  My grandfather climbed up a ladder and put the bird back in the nest.  To my wonder and joy, the mother accepted the baby bird back and began to care for him again.

The one thing, the only thing, I can do as a Christian that will actually help my lost friends, is bring them back to the nest of God.  I can’t climb a ladder, though, and tuck them back into Heaven.  Then again, I didn’t become saved by a Christian carrying back to God.

No Christian picked me up off the ground and put me back into God’s nest.  There’s no way.  Just like I was struggling for survival because I was a little bird, all of us, Christians and nonChristians, are little birds, too.  One little bird can’t carry another little bird to a tree.

What did happen for me is that I found out through the Word of God and Christians in my life that God is not a helpless parent bird, or a parent bird who would reject us even if we did somehow make it back into His nest.  God is actually eager, eager, to receive us back into His kingdom.  But we can’t get there by letting someone carry us away and put us in a cardboard box in a garage.  And we can’t get there by trying to will ourselves to fly back up to Heaven.  What we have to do, and all we have to do, is tweet Him.


God tells us, from Genesis to Revelation–irrevocably, irrefutably recorded in His Word–that when we call on Him, repenting that we fell out of the nest, and ready to live in His Kingdom according to His Authority, He will cup His hands over us and carry us back to His nest.

We tweet, “Lord, help!”

And He is there.  Faster than the fastest internet connection, He is there.

God promises us three times:

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved (Joel 2:32a, NIV)

“‘And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Peter, quoting Joel, Acts 2:21, NIV)

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Paul, quoting Joel, from Romans 10:13, NIV)

We can’t get back in the nest on our own or by anybody else rescuing us.  We can only get back in the nest by the rescue of God.  This is the message of salvation.  Not Christians saving nonChristians, but Christians testifying that anyone who sincerely tweets God will be placed back in His nest.

Have you tweeted God?  There is nothing mysterious to the tweeting.  The mystery is that God wants to place us back in His nest.

But He does.

And that’s why my Twitter account is with God.

All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out. (Jesus, quoted in John 6:37, WEB)

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (Jesus, quoted in John 10:28, ESV)


First photograph, baby bird out of nest, by Ben Husmann, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/benhusmann/

Second photograph, baby birds in nest, by Kyle MacKenzie, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/kylemackenzie/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Gingy: The Diary of a Gingerbead Cookie


I awake inside a kitchen oven.

I am not sure that I can say I was born in this oven, as it may have been long before that when I began.  I can’t remember back to when I was water, flour, eggs, milk, baking soda, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, molasses, cloves and, of course, ginger.  I’m uncertain whether I was alive or not when I wasn’t a complete being.  I don’t remember those days when I was “many”.

Maybe the truth is that I wasn’t born until these ordinary ingredients were stirred together and forced to fuse.  Or perhaps it was when I was given a shape–of a gingerbread being– that I had my first breath.  Or it could have been the oven’s heat the brought me to life.

Whatever got me here, I know only that I am alive now and I want to get out.  The timer is set, I hope, for just the right time, as I am paralyzed, my melted self stuck to this pan, utterly helpless to save myself in any way.  I don’t want you to think this is painful; it isn’t.  The heat makes me feel as though I have swallowed the sun, but it is not blistering or unkind.  I do in fact treasure the warmth that bubbles in me, because I know it is this very heat that will eventually harden me, make me into who I will be for the entire course of my life.

I wonder what is outside this oven.  I wonder why I was made, what purpose I will have, what meaning there is to my life.   I hope my life is something spectacular.  I hope, even, it is everlasting.  I wonder if I might be the most important thing in this world and if perhaps everyone is waiting for me to come out fully formed and beautiful so they can serve me.


I have found out that I am nothing more than a cookie.

I am edible.

I came out of this oven minutes ago with my eight brothers and sisters–to learn we have no job at all.  We are to lie on this pan until we cool, and then we are to be eaten.  Imagine!  I was born to die.  How can I believe this when I know there is something . . special . . about me.

There has to be.

I can’t move much yet, but I am trying very hard.  I have to struggle with every spice in my body to peel the tip of my toe or the tip of my head off the pan.  I am working and working to be free.  My dream is to get myself unstuck from this pan, so that I can run away and find something somewhere that is a better life purpose that being eaten alive.


I never thought I would get myself unstuck from that pan.  If it weren’t for the cooking grease rubbed like sunscreen under my back, I have been gotten loose.

But now that I am unstuck, I am hardly sure what to do.  I am quite cool and I feel strangely stiff.  I want to go back to the oven.

I don’t want to think about what is so very wrong with me.

I look from myself to my brothers and sisters.  None of them talk or move.  None of them answer me.   But their brown skin is smooth and flawless, as a cookie’s should be.  I have a horrible scar of pinched, ugly lines on my chest.  I cannot for all my reasoning imagine what could have happened.  The only thing I can figure is that someone didn’t pay close enough attention when they pressed the cookie cutter down on top of me, and dragged something right through my chest.  At least it is only one spot.

I hear the hustle and bustle of happiness from somewhere outside the kitchen, but I know this happiness is an anticipation of my demise.

I mean to say that there are beings who will actually be happy to eat me.

I need a plan.


I don’t know how I feel about being dressed to be eaten.

The beings who now dress me don’t know that I have already unstuck myself from the pan, or that I am alive at all, as I froze when they walked in and pretended to be as unknowing as my brothers and sisters.

I have seen myself in the silver reflection of the alluminum foil, and I am very beautiful.  My icing is lovely.  I have a red shirt with white lace.  I have a green skirt with white trim.  I have candy buttons that are nothing short of wonderful.

I already had indentations for my eyes, nose, and mouth from the cookie cutter, but my eyes have now been filled in with black frosting and my mouth outlined in red.  I had a candy nose and my red licorice hair is jeweled in sprinkles.  I have little green shoes with tiny licorice shoe laces and white frosting socks lined with red trim.

The best news of all is that the ugly swirling lines on my chest were covered with extra icing in the form of a gaudy shirt pocket.  I am proud no one can see my scar now.

I must admit, I do look like something that is meant to be chewed up and digested.  Maybe I should not fear my fate, but embrace it instead.  After all, this is a very popular way to go: bedecked and at the height of youth and beauty, vanishing in a few moments time.  I will be loved, I think, through my destruction.  And I know I will never go in the trash.  I won’t be left out, stale, until I am an old cookie.  No, I am sure I will be crumbled between teeth in no time.

I only wonder if this is really what I want.


While I was laying here, thinking of what to do, a humongous being came in the room and use a spatula to scrape my nearest brother off the pan.  I watched as the being shoveled that brother, along with three of my other siblings, onto a plate.  The horrible creature then picked up my brother and bit his head off.   There was an awful crunching sound.  I can’t describe the way it reverberated through my being.

I am convinced that this world I have been brought into is no good at all.  I wish I had never left the oven.  I wish I had been burned to a crisp there.  What good is there in my life?  I am to be eaten, and that is all.  There is no adventure of me.  There is no hope for me.  There is not even any love for me.  The only purpose I serve is to disappear, and then another batch of my species will be created.

On top of all this, the loneliness of the situation is overbearing.  None of my brothers or sisters will talk to me.  None of them seem to be alive as I am.  None of them act as though they feel excitement or terror or pain.  It is me and me only who seems to have been given emotions, thoughts, dreams.  I wonder why it should be me who has this curse.  I only live to die.  What possible reason could there be for me to wake out of nonexistence into this existence, only to disappear back into nonexistence?

I am doomed.


It has occurred to me I might run.

I don’t know if this would be a good thing or a bad thing.  If I fall off the countertop, I might break into crumbs.  If I am caught, these villains who baked me might break me into pieces for punishment.

If I leave this kitchen, I might find out the rest of the world is worse.  I might end up wishing I would have died here.  At least I know what is going to happen to me if I stay here.  It is not the worst fate in the world to have your head bitten off.  But it isn’t the best, either.  And that keeps me wondering.  If I shouldn’t try to run.


I did not know that if I began to run, I would never be able to stop.

The instant I stood on my feet, the pan made the softest plinking nois.

That was enough.  From all over the house I heard screams of rage, and that began the run for my life.

Before this, I was just lie in a pan all day, thinking over my choices—and over.  But now that I have chosen to run, I am an enemy against my lot in life.

I am defying destiny, I think.

I am running and running and running and the very ones who made me, who gave me all the beauty and love I have ever known, are chasing and chasing and chasing.

I have two choices: give up or keep running.

There is no in between.

I have to use my gingerbread legs to run as fast as I can.  I cannot think about anything besides running, or I will not be able to run anymore.

Running is very hard.

A gingerbread cookie is not made for running.  It is made for eating.

I am afraid my legs will break off at any second.  This has become a marathon of the will—my will.  No one helps me.  Everyone is against me.

I wonder how long this can possibly go on.


Nothing is made for gingerbread.

Mixing bowls, pans, stoves, spatulas—these are made for those who want to eat us, not to love us into being.  And everything else in the world is impossible for a gingerbread to understand or be helped by.

I never should have started running.

I have come to learn about all that is not made for gingerbread.

The first thing was the most frightening: the kitchen window.

The light from the outside world blinded me the closer I got, and then when I got close I saw me in its reflection: a batch of crumbs slathered with icing that look very ugly to me now.

The window was only open a crack.  I fell on my back and slid under, afraid the terrible foxes chasing me would slap the window down on me halfway through.  That has to be worse than getting your head bitten off, and if I could have gone back and laid back down on that pan to have my head bitten off, I would have.

I don’t know what made me go through that window.  Maybe the stress of the chase.  Maybe the hope I think I still have that there is a reason to live and not die.

I threw myself in a slide, and the biggest baker slammed the window closed as hard as he could.

I saw it all coming.  The slam.  The snap of my body in two uneven pieces, one side flying out the window, the other stuck on the sill.  And the end.  The end of me, and everything I knew about myself, and whatever I hoped I was going to find outside.

But that’s not what happened.

I don’t know what did happen.  It all happened so fast.  But even as I saw the baker looming over me, eyes shining in anger, yanking the window down as fast and as hard as possible . . . I felt like something had my foot.

My right foot.

I was doomed.  There was no way I could slide under the window before even my arms were through.  My head didn’t have a chance.  I saw the sill coming down, and I felt it, even, touch my wrists and waist.  I knew it was all over.  It was all over.

But it wasn’t.

Something had my foot.  I knew there couldn’t have been something that had my foot, but I know something that my foot.  I flew through that window like toast out of a toaster, only faster.  Faster than if I had been thrown by springs.  I slid through faster than the baker could slap down, and before I could understand how, I found myself sliding away from a closed window.

The baker had meant to break me, but instead had shut himself off from me!  The window now closed, I was sure all my problems had been left behind.

And then came the fall.

I was too stunned to feel any pain from my foot or even any terror in the plunge to the flower box.  I thought the landing would break me into crumbs, but it was me who did the breaking.  I snapped a perfect red rose in two.

I rolled myself off the flower box, because the window was open agai.  An arm lunged out to grab me.  I fell to the grass.

I thought I had escaped everything.  I thought I had made it through.  And then I felt the wet on the grass and I knew I had done everything for nothing.

I will turn to mush.

I will turn to mush, and I am ruined.

My icing so smeared I had to wipe it away from my eyes.  I can see better, but who cares about that?  I am no longer beautiful.  I am soggy.

This is not how I imagined the world.

I hear the door slam to the house and I know they’re coming after me.

The whole world will wake up and start chasing me, I’m sure.

And I wish I had never started running.

I am soggy.


No one cares about me.  No one cares that as I run through the grass, blobs of my icing, blobs of who I am, the very thing about myself I am proudest—stick to green blades.

Already rats are with me.  I think they mean to nibble me down to nothing, but for now they are happy to follow behind me and lick the icing off the grass.

And behind them, close, close behind them, are the bakers.

I am done for.

This is worse, worse than I could ever have imagined.  I wish I’d stabbed my own heart with a knife back when I was on the counter top.  I wish I’d burnt black and senseless in the oven.  I wish I could have had my head bitten off, and not my brother.

I envy my brother, my brother I felt sorry for.  He was lucky enough to be gobbled in bliss before he got to know this world.

Everything here is just as awful as the last thing or even worse.  There is no end to the bakers.  They keep pouring out of their houses, taking up the chase.  There is no end to the rats.  It’s like they just double as they’re running.

And the grass is wet.

And everything wants to catch me, from the tiny cricket I stumble on to the oak trees that force me to run around their greedy trunks.

I have to be lost, but it is a worse lost than just not knowing where you are.

I don’t know where I want to go.

I don’t even know where a gingerbread can go.

I don’t know if there is anything out here that will prove to be anything better than the miserable experiences I have already had.  I don’t know if I should keep going or give myself up and hope someone bites off my head.


The beings who chase me have begun yelling rhymes at me.  They mock me and they tease me.

I don’t know why.

Maybe I do.

It makes me very tired.

They know they can catch me.

I know they can catch me.

I try to tell myself to just give up.

But I don’t.

I won’t.

I don’t know why.

All around me everyone is out to get me.  Everyone is trying to trap me in one way or another.   With all the gingerbread cookies that have been made, I wonder why they are so bent on catching me.  Why don’t they just bake another batch of lifeless cookies to eat?

Or is it that, every second I stay alive, I prove that we gingerbread can have life?  Are they afraid other gingerbread will unpeel themselves from the pan if they learn of me?

If I run, am I maybe running for more than myself?


I have run and run for so long that I am afraid I will end up back where I started.

I still have found no reason to run.

There is bad news and there is worse news.  The bad news is that I fell today on a tin can and a big chunk of my left foot came off.  The worse news is nearly all my icing is gone and everyone can see the ugly scar on my chest.

I doubt very much anyone would like to eat me now.  I think they want only to crush me under their feet, to smear me into the bits I probably deserve for letting myself think this up.

I fantasize now about going back to that pan.  About being young, beautiful, and whole again.  On my runs, I have come across a great many gingerbread billboards, the gingerbread in their rightful places: on display on trays.

I realize now that the only loveliness I ever had was in my edibility.  I was only meant to satisfy an appetite.

I have ruined the one purpose I had.

I run now because I despair, not because I hope.  There is nothing left for me anywhere.  I am crumbling from the inside out and from the outside in.

It won’t be long now.


The beings who chase me talk to me all the time now, and, when they’re not insulting me, they go on and on about how beautiful I was before I slid out the window.  About what a good dessert I would have made.

All my brothers and sisters are long gone.  There is only me left.

I can’t help but think how ashamed of me they would be if they could see me now.  But then, they weren’t alive.  Or were they?  How would I know, anyway?  I pretended to be dead.  Maybe they did, too.  Did my brother really know what was happening when the baker bit his head off?  Was he so loyal to his “place” in life as a cookie that he didn’t for one second let on that he was very much alive?

I wonder if there is anything after being swallowed up.  Do the crumbs come back together in the stomach and make life again?  I doubt it.  I think that once you are used up there is no going back.

I wonder why I had to be born as a cookie.

I don’t even get the honor of being a whole batch.  There’s just one of me.  I am just me.  I am sure that my life began when I was separated from the rest of the dough, shaped by a cookie cutter into who I am today. . . or who I was before I destroyed myself with all this running.

I have thoughts I cannot get out of my head about how much I hate myself.

I have no right to be in this world outside of the kitchen.  I don’t belong here.  I have outlived my time.  All my glory is gone.

I will never make it on a gingerbread cookie billboard.  I will never win a blue ribbon for my taste.

I have failed as a cookie, and now I see I can be nothing else.

But now I cannot be immortalized on display; I cannot even disappear down someone’s throat.  The only thing that I have is me, what little there is left.  The only thing I have left is the time to dissolve slowly and painfully on a long run to nowhere.

I wish I had never been baked.  I wish my batter had spoiled.  I wish there was no such thing as a gingerbread cookie.

But really, I don’t.

I wish I could stop running.


I am quite sure this is the last chapter of my life.  I have come to the edge of everything I know.  I stand at the edge of a river, and there is no longer anywhere to run.

I am stuck.

Behind me, a mob of angry, ravenous bakers chase me with knives and forks and spoons, and I can only imagine what they are going to do to me when they catch me.

In front of me, a river rages that, should I step into it, will tortuously dissolve me into a bloated, dead cookie.

I wonder if I will stay conscious through that.

Will I even die at all.  I wonder if I will be fated to live all eternity as soggy crumbs in a raging river.

Will I even die at all.  Even if this mob would eat me, I wonder if I would really die.  Or would I simply lie as waste among waste forever and ever?

What I do know is I am alive now.

I know what is alive is.

What I don’t know is what is dead.

As if this is not bad enough for me, the holes around this river are the dens of countless foxe.  They twitch their ears and lick their chops at me.  They have begun to encircle me with crazy promises of ferry across the river.  They know I don’t believe them.  T

They know I know what they really offer: my instant vanishing from this world I don’t belong in.  They are tempting me with death.

But what is death?

Should I jump on the back of the nearest fox, so he can convince me to walk up his back as he wades into deeper and deeper water, only to find myself cornered on his nose in the middle of the river?

I can’t see any better choice, but if this is really what I want, why didn’t I just let the window sill slam on me before I went through all this?

But then, I don’t think I really got myself out of that window.   That was . . . something else.  Luck or something.  I don’t know.  I know it wasn’t me.

I need something like that to happen again.

But is it really wise to wait on luck?

This fox snapping up would be the easiest death I could have now.  Why am I even thinking about life?  That’s not open to me anymore.  I’ve gone past my time, now it’s time to give up and pick the ending that’s best for me.  A fox—that’s the way to go.  Not slow or scary like the river.  Not slow or scary like the angry bakers.  The fox wouldn’t hurt me.  One snap and it would all be over.  It wouldn’t even hurt, I bet.

Like a mousetrap snapping down on a mouse, all my pain and longing and all my loneliness would be over in an instant, right?    Right?

But how do I know?

How can I know what is going to happen to me past the point I’ve never been?  And if I do go past the point, even though I’ll know, I’ll never be able to come back.

Is there nothingness?

Or is there something I need to know about before I cross over?

The river is before me.

The choice has to be made.


The red fox knows that I know what he is up to, as he talks of all the great things we will see and do together on the other side of the river.

He promises friendship, as if that’s possible between a real, live creature and a plain old cookie.  I know just exactly what his motives are.  But I find myself almost believing that he would be my best friend forever, just so I don’t have to think about the abyss of separation between myself and real life.

I have talked to him at length and he has convinced me that gingerbread cookies are not made to be alive, and never should be.

He has convinced me that he will give me sleep like no other, that I can find peace in his bristly fur and live in that peace for all my days.  I know “all my days” would be mere minutes if I should ferry on him; but I can’t help thinking that Red Fox might love me most even in this betrayal of me.  After all, he would give me such a quick passing from this world, something non one else now offers.  He is very fond of me, and I think he even means this trip for my best.

There is something quiet in death.  Something that calls me from this wildly disappointing existence into total anonymity, obscurity.  A union with randomness; a bond with nothing.  I can almost not wait to go.


How do I start this out?

What would you think if you were me, and just as you are about to be rocked to sleep in the cradle of death, you hear the voice of a gingerbread cookie calling from the middle of a candy cane bridge?

What in all the world makes sense of that?

I know it is nonsense.  I know it is make-believe.  I know it can’t be real.  But in front of the bakers, in front of the foxes, in front of the river, just as I had agreed to take a ride on the fox’s back, and just as my last gumdrop button fell off, a gingerbread cookie yells to me from the middle of a candy cane bridge.

I don’t have the itty, bittiest clue what this is about, but I am very sure I have never heard of a candy cane bridge before.

Does that mean it can’t exist, or does it mean I have been so busy staring at foxes and bakers and the river and my poor shabby self that I’ve missed out on the one thing I should have seen all along?

I would like to know what this is all about.  The gingerbread cookie looks a lot like me—and none the prettier—and keeps calling over and over again, “Over here!”

I don’t get it, but this is wrecking my death plans.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I have gotten myself into the suicidal mood and I’m not sure I want to hear about a candy cane bridge.  That doesn’t make sense, anyway.

No one builds a candy cane bridge in the real world.  That’s like something out of a fairy tale, and I’m not in a fairy tale.  I’m in a world where cookies don’t jump off of pans and run away.  I’m in a world where the only important thing about me is how I look on a plate and how I fill the stomach.  I’m in a world where I’m just a plain old stupid cookie.

But here is this . . this gingerbread cookie who, like myself, is fully conscious and, like myself, very gross looking.  Her right arm is in the same shape as my left leg.  The cookie even has the same ugly scar on her chest!  But this weirdo cookie doesn’t share my fatalistic thinking.

She thinks she’s found something she needs to tell me . . . and I kinda want to hear it.  And I kinda don’t.

Now I know, though.  There are other cookies like me.

Should I really go across a candy cane bridge, or should I realize there’s no way there’s any such thing?  I could be beautifully tragic and let the bakers who made me eat me, or the river take me, or the fox snap me up?

They’re all close enough to catch me; they’ve just been stunned for a second, as I am, by this crazy candy cane bridge and ludicrous cookie hopping up and down on it and yelling, “Over here.”

What is over there, anyway?


I don’t know what made me run to this candy cane bridge, but I am sure it is a big mistake.  The river roars at me, the bakers curse me, the rats squeak at me, the foxes scowl at me, and even Red Fox has deserted me, tail down, and not looking just too awfully happy with me.

I don’t know about this candy cane bridge.  I don’t know if it can hold my weight.  I’m more scared of landing in the river than I am of any other kind of death . . except . . .

I want to live.

And I’m afraid if I’m swallowed up I will somehow miss being here.

“Over here!” the gingerbread cookie shouts, and now I see it’s not just her on the bridge.  There is a line of cookies behind her, all cheering for me.

I don’t know who in the world they are.  They are not my brothers and sisters.  I don’t have the slightest idea why they are harassing me with encouragement.

I suppose I could go a few more toddles down this bridge, but I am not going to run anymore.  I am way too tired.

I can always go back if I want.  I know, because I took a few steps backwards to make sure.  It’s much easier, actually, to walk backwards than forwards, and I have given it a great deal of thought.


I don’t know what happened, but when I got about halfway across the bridge, I realized something.

This is real.

I am really on a candy cane bridge.  I am really rooted for by batches and batches of gingerbread cookies who shout and grin and cheer and wave.  And this is by far not the strangest thing of all.

The further I go across this bridge, the more wild everything becomes in my brain, the more opposite to how I knew it before.  I can see the shore of the land across the river now, and it is unreal in every way.  I have told this to the gingerbread cookies who are all around me now, but they say I only think this because I don’t know what real is.

But . . . they are the first beings I have ever known who don’t want to eat me.

And so I kinda want to hear what they have to say.


I see the shore.

The sand is sugar crystals.

I’m afraid, I’m really afraid to write this.  I think you’ll think I’ve really lost it, and you’ll give up reading.  But I’m telling you—I mean it—it’s true: this land I think—I mean, I really think, I mean, I’m almost sure—is a gingerbread land!

But that’s not the really crazy thing.  That’s crazy, all right, but that’s just the beginning of the crazy.

The gingerbread cookies tell me I am Gingy.

They tell me this is my name!

Could that really be true?  I don’t know.

But even that’s just a gumdrop in a cookie jar compared to what I’m going to tell you next.

I’m afraid this will unravel into an empty dream.  I’m so afraid, I almost don’t want to go on.

Almost.  Ok, not really.

These cookies tell me—they insist to me—that I was not made to be eaten and that, I wasn’t even made by those horrible bakers who tried to eat me at all!

They tell me I was placed in that oven by someone known at the Baker, and that he has always wanted me to come to this land!  That he doesn’t care about my lost decorations because that was all chemical dye and high fructose corn syrup anyway.  That he baked this gingerbread land out of only the real.

But that’s not all.  The craziest of all the things these cookies have told me so far is that the Baker made me to be eternal!  That he doesn’t want me to be the soggy, crumbling thing I am.  That he doesn’t want me as only a display piece or dessert.

Do you know what they tell me?  They tell me he likes to watch his cookies play in the gingerbread land he made for them!  Can you believe this?  Really?

            But craziest of all, the cookies tell me that I got up from that pan because he opened the oven door while I was still baking and worked a tiny candy heart into my dough.  They tell me that he closed the dough back over my new heart with his thumb and that is why I have the strange lines that I do on the right side of my chest!  Those lines are not an ugly scar at all.  They are his thumbprint on me!

Can I really believe this?  Or do I go back to foxes and forks?


The Baker made this bridge for me to cross.

And on the other side is the most wonderful place I have ever known, and I can see it with my own unfrosted eyes.

And in the middle is a gingerbread house.

I don’t feel worthless anymore.

Do you know the Baker made this house for me?  For us?

I no longer want to be stuck on a tray or digested inside a stomach with my picture slathered up on a billboard to show off an ugly icing job

I just want to be here.

With the real Baker.


I have never been able to smile my whole life.  It was impossible because my mouth was frosted in a straight line.

I thought that was the way mouths were meant to be, even though it covered up my original one, the one the Baker made.  That was a curve.

Today the Baker used red icing and he made a mouth that curves up.

But this icing isn’t like the icing I had.  The icing I had before was like, well, it was like icing all over my face.  But this icing becomes a part of me.  I can actually smile with my smile.

I don’t have my left foot back or new decorations, because I’m not supposed to go inside the gingerbread house yet.  I have more than just a name.  I have a job.  I get to stand on the bridge to be on the lookout for other gingerbread cookies who don’t know about the candy cane bridge or the gingerbread house or even the Baker.


 My name is Gingy.

And you may see me on the candy cane bridge, calling,

“Over here!”

Photograph by Zechariah Judy, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/9918311@N02/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

Heart & Soul

Yesterday, something got me thinking of the song Heart & Soul.  I don’t know what it was; maybe I heard it somewhere.  But once I thought about it, I remembered more than the melody that enchanted and haunted me for some of the most difficult years I’ve had in my life . . . I remember now the longing and loneliness that song so deeply wove within me.

I was a broken melody.

I don’t know how many times I played Heart.  It was the easiest part for me to learn.  I learned it when I still thought I could find Soul.

But when I couldn’t . . . I learned how to play that part myself.

It took a long time for me to figure out how to play both parts.  Of course, it didn’t sound as good.  But still, I managed.

. . . And I sat at that piano and I played Heart & Soul for hours and hours.  I played it to combat my depression, but it only fed it.  I played it as though the music would come right out of the piano and become my friend.  But, of course, it didn’t.  And so I kept playing.  I kept waiting.

I kept waiting for someone to sit down beside me.  I kept waiting to hear a melody my own fingers weren’t playing.

I was afraid to play the melody that brought me so much grief.

I was afraid to stop.  I was afraid of the silence.  I was afraid I would find out I had no heart or soul left.

When I moved out of the house, I was relieved not to have the piano with me.  I was afraid I would keep playing that song over and over, and not be able to stop.  I was afraid nothing in my life would ever change.  I was afraid I would never hear another song for my heart and soul.

Years ago, I shoveled the dust of memories on Heart & Soul, and the song was buried . . . forgotten . . . an abandoned melody . . . a sharp expression of loneliness in endless cycle . . .

And then all of the sudden, I started hearing Grace.

It is a supernatural thing to hear Grace.  It’s crazy to try to understand.  But when you hear it, you know

there is another melody.

A melody that has the power to overtake Heart and Soul.

A Person who sits down at the piano with you.

You’re alive

You’re in control

I will live for you heart and soul . . .

Heart and soul.

–from Heart and Soul, The Wave Church

Those who are without friends, God puts in families; he makes free those who are in chains; but those who are turned away from him are given a dry land. (Psalm 68:6, BBE)

“My Father’s house has many rooms.” (Jesus, quoted in John 14:2a, GW)

Photograph by Gog Llundain (Gareth Jones), profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/gogllundain/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Published in: on November 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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