Cake & Kindness

We begin tonight with Breaking News out of Michigan: A woman was nice.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s where we’re heading.

This week, a story about cake went viral. Okay, it’s about more than cake; it’s about kindness. Lisa Aldrich asked the person behind the bakery counter at Meijer to write “Happy Birthday Mandy” on the cake she picked out for her sister. After waiting longer than expected, she was a little surprised how it turned out. The writing looked child-like. For many, it would have been unacceptable. Lisa shrugged it off, smiled, thanked the employee and proceeded to the checkout lane. It was there, other employees noticed the cake. A manager came over and someone even snapped a photo. They apologized and offered to have it re-done. “The girl in the bakery is autistic and isn’t supposed to write on cakes. You probably made her day!” said one cashier.

Lisa declined offers to have the cake redone. It was perfect. “I’m not always nice,” Lisa told me. “I am definitely not perfect. I shared what happened with my small circle of friends to encourage everyone to be nice. But not just nice – nice without details. Nice first. Nice because it is the right thing. Nice because God desires us to be like him – full of love.”

Nice without details.

Why do we love this story so much? Why did the media take such an interest? Why is Lisa’s inbox filled with thousands of notes from across the country? A few minutes after I contacted Lisa, I was reminded why. In San Bernardino, California, terrorists went on a shooting rampage at a social services center, killing fourteen people and injuring twenty-one others. This is why the “cake lady” is so appealing. We’re not what we’re supposed to be – what we were designed to be. We’re lost in the darkness and we’re desperate for light. Lisa’s kindness is a glimmer of that light. She did what she was designed to do – what you and I were designed to do. “Jesus said love God, love people,” Lisa said. “That’s why I shared my small story.”

In this self-imposed season of stress, I am grateful for this simple story – this cake and kindness.

Nice without details.

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