Soap is poured into a mold when it is still in a liquid form. Many times the mold is a rectangle shape, similar to a loaf of bread. Once it has hardened a bit, the soap is removed from the mold and cut into bars.
One night I was cutting a loaf of soap into bars and each bar that I cut pleased me. As I cut each bar from the loaf I held it up and admired the beautiful swirls. Once they were all cut, I had them standing in a line trying to determine which was my favorite bar but I could not because each bar was unique and beautiful in its own way. At that point it was like God spoke to my heart that He felt the same way about us. He loves us all and each one of us is unique and pleasing to Him. Perhaps our behaviors do not always please Him but He loves us just the same.
I thought about that for a long time, in fact I still think about it. Then the thought occurred to me that I should write a blog post explaining this impression God put on my heart. I repeat, "I" had it all planned out. "I" was going to make a soap that had a beautiful swirl on the inside. The analogy was going to be how God sees the beauty inside us and that we are pleasing to Him.
So, I had everything prepped to make the soap, the colors were going to be white, with red, gold and purple swirls. I had even selected an outdoorsy scent that seemed to fit the design "plan". I had divided the soap and added the colors (so far so good). Then I added the fragrance. The fragrance was so nice and I was in my soaping happy place the worst thing happened (as it pertains to soap making). The fragrance oil made the soap batter thicken to a point that it couldn't be poured and swirled into a design. I was working frantically to get the soap into the mold before it was too late. I was very disappointed in myself. I just knew that the soap would look horrible. I said a little prayer that if God wanted me to do this blog then He would have to intervene and make the soap beautiful.
A few days went by as the soap was setting up in the mold. I was not in a hurry to cut the soap because if the soap did not turn out as "I" had planned I felt that I had misinterpreted what God wanted me to do. A friend of mine had come to visit and we were catching up and painting mermaid tail soaps in the Soap Shack, which is the name I lovingly call the workshop where the soap is made. I was telling her this story and she encouraged me to cut the soap and there was no better time than the present. I was thinking, "I bet I'll cut the soap and there will be some dramatic display of God's glory, perhaps a beautiful swirl after all, that would in fact be a miracle. I thought, "I can work with that!" Suddenly the hesitation was gone and I made sure my iPad was ready for picture taking. I started cutting the end pieces first and IT WAS HIDEOUS! The batter was so thick when it was poured that it was just splotchy with no design. There were air bubbles in the soap because it did not settle correctly and the fragrance oil was seeping from the soap.
As I was standing there looking in disbelief at the soap, already planning on melting it down and making something else, it occurred to me to cut the ugly top off, maybe the soap would look better if the top was removed. I cut the top off and stood there holding the soap thinking "maybe it is some better".
As I was holding the soap top, another thought occurred to me to mold the soap top into a rock shape. To do this with soap that has already set up, you have to squish it up in your hands and begin to mold it into the shape you want. The areas that were rough were smoothed and weak areas were built up and made stronger. When finished, the soap rocks were gently polished to remove the smudges.