What I Learned From A Plateful of Whipped Cream

I came home late last evening, tired from the day. I’d gone to a worship conference designed to refuel and renew the participants.

Yet, I found myself worn out, the lungs of my heart suffocating as they longed for a breath of Asian air.

It’s been almost six months since I’ve returned. Three and a half years in South Korea and last year in China have left the continent of Asia imprinted on deep folds of my heart and soul. The longing to return and my desire to walk the streets as the sole white person jolts my heart at what seems random moments.

Like this past weekend. It was a beautiful time of worship with fellow believers, with other worship team leaders. But as I looked around at the auditorium, the myriad of mostly white faces, the lights decorating the air of the window-less auditorium, the spotless floors and crisp air, the clean bathrooms and the endless photos taken for Instagram, found me feeling like a foreigner amongst my own people.

I am white. I am a member of “white Western Christianity.” Yet I cannot see it the same as I once did. Within the talk of popular songs, how to utilize lighting to enhance the worship experience, my mind flashes back to the apartment rooms where brothers and sisters would meet for fellowship in China. To the church where us foreigners were allowed to lead a service for the community. It was hot in the summer because the air conditioner couldn’t pump out cool air fast enough to wipe away the sweat from our brows. Or I feel my fingers tugging on the blinds so we could see the Sunday afternoon light peek in at my home church in Korea. I even see the small stage and room of my home church in Italy, the first country I lived in, though it was for a mere three months.

After the first session of spotlights on the stage and a speaker (who actually hailed from the country of Ireland), my feet led me down to the basement floor. I peeked inside what appeared to be the choir room, where my eyes beheld a grand piano.

Yes, this is what my soul needs, Father.

For the next hour, I just played. And the tears dripped. Because the pain is fresh, the wound not yet healed. The grief is still being born.

But my Father did not berate me. He didn’t scold. Not even when I came home late that evening and turned on the iPad to re-watch episodes of Downton Abbey.

I heard Him call, “Daughter, come sit. Listen to My Word.”

But Lord, I can’t. When it’s quiet I feel as though I can’t bear all of it.

And so I let the noise of the rich Earl’s family let me escape from the beatings of my own heart.

But you know, in the morning, His song was the same.

“Come, daughter. Sit. Open My book. Let Me speak to you.”

I must admit, I was a bit shocked. I’d ignored Him last night, chosen a tv show over His voice. Why had He not changed His tune?

At church that morning, our pastor taught from Ephesians chapter 1.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” Ephesians 1:7-8

To illustrate, he called a little girl to the front.

“Do you like whipped cream on your pie?” he asked her.

“Why yes!” she replied, giggling.

He handed her a paper plate, and withdrew a bottle of whipped cream from behind his pulpit.

“How much? Is this enough?” he asked, as he squirted out a quarter-sized amount.

“No!” she said, giggles coloring her voice.

“How about this?” he said, as he squirted some more, about the size of a fist.

“Yes, that’s enough!” she said, her eyebrows lifted high.

“But no, I think you need more…here you go…” he said, as he proceeded to squirt out the rest of the bottle on her plate. “Wait, no, even that’s not enough. Let me get another bottle…”

The congregation chuckled as he withdrew a second bottle from behind his pulpit.

“Here you go…” he said, as he squirted even more, creating a small Mount Everest of white whipped cream upon her plate.

Laughter continued to ripple throughout the small sanctuary as he kept squirting.

Then he spoke to us.

“Do you get the picture?”

Yes, my heart whispered, deep inside my chest.

“God lavishly, richly, abundantly, gives you grace. Even more than you think you need. And it’s out of His wisdom and insight that He does this. He knows what He’s doing when He supplies His grace to you richly, lavishly, in great abundance.”

A tear fell.

He gives more grace — more grace to me — in the middle of this mess I’m in called re-entry and transition. Grace to me when my heart resorts to noise because the quiet feels too vast to feel the cavern of emotions I don’t know how to express. Grace to me when I am a mess.

He doesn’t berate, He doesn’t oppress.

He offers more grace.

And I find my aching soul remembering the words of the hymnist:

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace

How is the Father tuning your heart to sing His grace? How is He revealing more of His gracious character to you in the middle of re-entry or another transition in your life?

Photo by Tj Holowaychuk on Unsplash

Early bird registration for the Velvet Ashes Online Retreat ends soon! Come save your spot for an extra good price.

Sustain Retreat


  1. Hannah March 7, 2018

    Beauitful. Thanks so much for sharing this grace with me!!

    1. Kirstin Durfey March 7, 2018

      You are so welcome! I’m thankful you were blessed!

  2. Kimberli Tundevold March 8, 2018

    What a lovely picture. I wanted to be the girl the pastor was talking to because I love whipped cream!!! But even more so I love that picture of our Father. And the word lavish! Lavish grace.

    1. Kirstin Durfey March 8, 2018

      Aw that is so sweet! I’m glad it spoke to you as well. And yes: lavish is such a rich, meaningful word! I miss our Saturday conversations about words and our Father.

  3. Sarah Crickenberger March 8, 2018

    Great post, Kirstin! You write a good story as I felt I was with you as you played piano and let the illustration of that whipped cream sink in. I’m the midst of an unexpected season of feeling like there aren’t enough hours in a day, I appreciated the reminder of his lavish grace that is extended to me regardless of how many things don’t get crossed off my to do list. I think it presents itself in the calm invitation to just enjoy where I am and what is going on instead of mentally rushing ahead through all I think needs to be done.

    1. Kirstin Durfey March 8, 2018

      Thank you, Sarah! What a great reminder for me too: His grace and love doesn’t change, regardless of what I don’t accomplish. I’m glad He spoke to your heart and reminded you of that truth during this busy season!

  4. Karen March 8, 2018

    Thanks for writing. This is really what I’ve been learning lately, that God loves us so lavishly, even when I feel I should be punished for ignoring Him the night before, or scolded because I haven’t yet come to a conclusion about whether He’s leading me to do something or because I haven’t followed through on a good intention … He is so good and kind … do we dare to believe that?

    1. Kirstin Durfey March 8, 2018

      Amen to that. Do we dare? How would it change our thought processes and perceptions if we allowed it to truly sink in?

  5. Casual Friday Resources | Paracletos March 9, 2018

    […] does whipped cream have to do with re-entry? Kirstin Durfey explains. She will help you understand the gut-wrenching dynamics of returning to one’s sending […]

    1. Kirstin Durfey March 12, 2018

      Thank you for sharing the post!

  6. Janessa March 9, 2018

    I literally tried making fluffy whip cream for the first time this morning. It was from the tiniest box of whipping cream I’ve been saving for a few weeks now. It’s pretty expensive here in Uganda. I’m laughing because I portioned out the cream so that I could save some for another time. And you better believe that I didn’t let any go to waste. Reading about the pastor grabbing another bottle to add to the huge pile already… definitely seems better than having to portion it out. To just be overwhelmed by Gods love and not feel like he’s holding back. After reading this… I may just have to make some more! Thanks for sharing. Everytime I hear Ephesians 1:7-8, I’ll now think of a mountain of whip cream and how sweet it is to be loved by God!

    1. Kirstin Durfey March 12, 2018

      That is so funny that you tried to make it this morning! God is so funny. It’s so good to know that He has an unending supply for us! I’m thankful you were blessed! I have a friend who lives in Uganda and I can imagine from her stories how rare whipped cream is!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.