For The Love Of Sponge Cake
Many years ago, as a trainee chaplain in a hospital, a powerful story about broken eggs was shared with my colleagues and I.
As we continue and in fact wind down the Summer Word Challenge, I would like to return the favour and share the story with you. This is a republishing of my original post on “What To Do With Broken Eggs” from 10 years ago. I hope you will find interesting as you live these words today.
Broken Eggs: The Story
Before we headed to our assigned areas, the chaplains and us student-chaplains gathered to hear a report of the previous day’s on-call shift, share a reflection and pray for the day ahead. This particular morning’s reflection was about sponge cake. It was such a powerful story that I could not resist sharing it with you, not because of my love of food rather as it was such a ‘sweet’ (pun intended) inspiration.
Sharing from the book “My Grandfather’s Blessings” by Rachel Naomi Remen, the chaplain leading our reflection read the chapter in which the author told a story about her grandmother.
Remen’s grandmother grew up in Russia (I believe) at a time when they were facing one of the most difficult periods. Many, including Rachel’s grandmother, went hungry. People would share whatever they had with each other. This lesson remained with Rachel’s grandmother for the rest of her life. She passed it on to her daughters and grandchildren.
Years later, the family migrated to the United States and along with the memories of sharing another thing was passed on – a recipe for sponge cake.
Rachel tells the story of her grandmother saying to a child who was terrified that he/she had accidentally broken an egg in a house that had very limited food, “Great, today we will have sponge cake!”
Maybe I do not have the details right but I know I am bang on with the moral of the story. You must understand that this story is coming from someone who was diagnosed with a chronic, life-limiting disease at the age of 16. Yet, she continued to lead a full and successful life as a medical doctor and educator.
The impact of the recipe was so vivid in Rachel’s life, particularly when the doctor gave her and her mother the news about the disease. Hearing the news, Rachel’s mother said to her, “We will make sponge cake!”
Many Broken Eggs? More Sponge Cake To Bake!
In your life and mine there are many broken eggs. Truth be told, I think there are days when it seems that my greatest achievement is breaking some eggs.
Eggs are every dream and hope held. It is the potentials and the possibilities we see in life, including: hopes for a happy, meaningful and long marriage or relationship; a new job or promotion at the one you now have; debt-free living, a life-enhancing relationship with your parents; your children’s success in school or living an addiction-free life.
When these dreams can go awry or your eggs get broken, the temptation is to sprawl on the floor right next to them, wailing and cursing the Universe for what it is doing to you.
“What the f… am I to do now?” has often been my cry, “That was the last f…ing egg I had!”
Grandma Remen’s advice to her daughters, and now to you and me, is do not be sidetracked by broken eggs. She invited us to instead make it the main ingredient for this evening’s supper and invite the neighbours!
I felt so blessed by this story when I heard it for the first time. I was so grateful to the chaplain who shared it. Today, as the Lead Blogger and Practical Spiritual Coach here, I still keep breaking eggs. Opened my proverbial fridge recently to find a few more. So coming across this post again, as we do the Summer Word Challenge, was a blessing. Baking was not my forte in cooking classes but who cares! I am making a sponge cake today!
If you have broken eggs and would like the full recipe, subscribe and join the community and receive not one but all my recipes! Who says you cannot eat your cake and bake more?