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VINSON: Cooking up white lies eventually burns everyone

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Based on my experience, a white lie refers to an untruth that, for the most part, is benign and not intended to actually hurt anyone, versus an outright lie purposely told with malice, with the potential to hurt the innocent.

Have you ever told a little white lie? That’s what I thought.

The following is a story that was revealed to me, and no, I can’t authenticate it as being the gospel truth. However, it does serve as a good illustration regarding how one should conduct himself in life.

Hypothetically speaking, pretend a woman was supposed to bake a cake for her church group, which went by the title Ladies of Faith. The reason she was baking the cake was that it, along with other cakes, pies and pastries, was to be part of a church-sponsored, bakesale fundraiser.

Married to a prominent banker and a bit of a socialite in this small southern town, the woman, however, forgot about baking the cake until the very morning of the fundraiser.

Frantic, she rummaged through her cabinets and, luckily, found a box of angel food cake mix. Hurrying around, she mixed the contents, and stuck it inside the oven to bake. Removing the cake from the oven, she discovered that the center of the cake had dropped flat.

The cake looked horrible.

Realizing there wasn’t enough time to bake another cake, the woman, fueled by a mixture of anxiety and ingenuity, commenced looking around the house for something to build up the flattened cake — she had a plan.

So, the woman went into her bathroom and grabbed a roll of toilet paper. She inserted the roll inside the cake, then proceeded to cover it with layers of decorative icing. When she had finished, the cake looked perfect, good enough to win a contest.

She raced over to the church and placed her cake alongside the others to be sold at the fundraiser, which was to begin at 8 a.m.

Next, the woman called her older daughter who lived nearby and gave her these instructions: Before going to work, the daughter was to swing by the church, buy the cake she had delivered, and bring the cake straight back to the house. The daughter agreed.

About 8:30 p.m., the daughter called and informed her mother that someone else had bought the cake before the daughter could make it to the church and purchase it.

The woman was petrified: She would be the subject of much gossip. She would be socially ostracized. Her banker husband would ridicule her. However, she had no choice other than to let it play out.

It was about a week later, and she and her husband had  reservations to attend a dinner presented by the governor and his wife at their antebellum mansion. It was an upper crust, Southern event, to say the least. The governor’s wife was a snooty, self-serving type, always talking about herself. Actually, the woman despised the governor’s wife, but she always managed to put on a smiley face.

After an elegant dinner, the governor’s wife disappeared into the kitchen, returning to the dining table with a beautiful cake for dessert – the very cake the woman had baked for the fundraiser.

Her face flushed red, the woman was about to stand up and come clean about the cake. By now, she had no other choice.

Before she could stand, though, a senator’s wife, sitting next to the woman, commented, “Why, what a beautiful cake. I must know where you bought it so I can get one.”

“Oh, I baked it, myself,” the governor’s wife said, smiling and making eye contact with all those sitting at the table.

Immediately, the woman’s blood pressure returned to normal, and she, with tongue in cheek, eyes twinkling,

said, “I agree, what a gorgeous cake. Your baking skills

speak volumes of you. I certainly hope there’s enough for

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Mike Vinson, Voices
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