Seriously, in this season of baked goodness, there is one cookie that stands supreme in flavor, texture, and just plain down-home comfort food. But it earns no points for looks. Attempts to dress it up mess up the magic of its flavor. No sprinkled powdered sugar, no drizzly glaze, nothing works to make it pretty without also changing its very character.
It is plain. It is brown–not golden or khaki or taupe. Just the most basic paper-sack brown. And it is square–or rectangle if your knife tends to cut in uneven rows (all the knife’s fault!). It has a sprinkle of plain sugar, but just a small amount and it doesn’t help in the looks department. They don’t even have a cool name. Molasses bar. That’s it. No “snap” or “crackle” or “magic” in the name. Plain ol’ molasses in the shape of a bar.
But oh the taste. If you can close your eyes and smell it, warmth and holiday and comfort envelope your olfactory senses. And with first taste, addiction takes hold. If you bring them to a potluck (I did), they will not get eaten (they didn’t–even when people knew I baked them and I don’t bring duds to public). I had them at a gathering at my home and had to beg people to even try them. But once the first taste came, someone walked off with the tray into the other room. No more convincing, no more cajoling. Once the taste has been had, no additional words are needed.
And then there’s Jesus.
“…He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” –Isaiah 53:2b, ESV
Yes, friends, Jesus is the molasses bar of faith. He came to lowly parents, born in a stable, growing up at his carpenter-father’s knee. He did not have the rugged attractiveness of His predecessor David. He had no stately form or comely attire. He was plain. Dusty brown feet, plain ol’ nose on a plain ol’ face in a plain ol’ family. there was nothing that would make Him stand out in a crowd.
And yet once someone gets a taste of the life He has to offer, once someone inhales the scent of forgiveness and joy, there is no stopping them from taking that Jesus with them to the next room, the next county, the next continent. Maybe it has been a while since you have sensed Him like that. Maybe it is time to close your eyes, stop looking for the obvious appeal, and sense His movement, His love, His plan for you without the hinderance of sight.
For He may not be pleasing to look at, but once you truly experience Him, you will never let Him go.