Monday, August 1, 2011

If We Would Be Salt

Home again. Read the mail (mostly junk), watered the flowers, and fed the neighbor’s dog some Milkbones. I won’t hazard to guess the name of the flowers pictured here; my friend Gary notes that I can’t tell a lily from a dandelion (but I think these annual beauties are cala lilies).

I have no idea what type of dog she is, but she barks a lot.

The weekend conference speakers triggered many thoughts in my mind. (I ordered some CDs of the talks because I missed portions, as I wandered in my own la-la land of musings.) These thoughts were inspired by Kimberly Hahn.

We are called to be salt, but what does salt do? Salt makes people thirsty, and it brings a tang to the tongue, a sharp noticed, pleasant taste --- for most people. If we are called to be salt, I guess it means that people should notice us, and our faith. They should see us and feel a tang --- something is different about us. Young people dye their hair green or purple to be noticed; that is not how we, as Christians, are called to be noticed. We are called to be noticed as salt is. It gives a person a tang in his mouth, a tang which makes him think not about us (and our green hair) but about what we have made them feel, a tang.

And if you are a witness to Christ, you not only create this noticeable tang in other people’s mouths, but you will have created a longing in them to experience that tang again, in an even stronger way. They will thirst for more, and they will search to get this tang even if you are not around.

You will have created a searcher for Christ, for happiness not of this world but of everlasting length. No drug could ever create such an addiction, such a high, as a person who falls in love with Christ. Unlike drugs, where the first high is often described as the best ever, never to be repeated again, the discoverer of Jesus gets a high, a tang, which can not only be repeated, but one which can and does grow in intensity --- beyond what we could ever imagine.

Kimberly gave some little, but memorable, examples of how she has been salt to her family. She described having a bad day, behind on many projects and yet constantly being interrupted by her children for their minor needs, until finally she verbally jumped at one of them. Instead of sassing back, the 12-year old asked her: “Mom, would you like me to pray over you?”

She did, and he did, and both found peace. Her salt had found tang in his mouth, and he lived it and wanted more, and even shared it back with her. What type of salt had she spread to her family? She gave another example of the daily prayer said in her family, which ends with: “until we’re in heaven, together, forever.” Her family KNOWS they are family, and that they are loved, forever --- what greater tang than this could one leave in another’s mouth?

The Parable of the Sower describes the call to be salt in another way. A seed can start a whole field of growth, like the tang in the tongue which turns into a whole-body high, a tang which can be mixed with all the other ingredients of the world, and Scripture and the Church to create new, unique recipes no one has ever experienced before: our relationship with Christ. Unique, fulfilling, totally satisfying highs, that can forever change the lives of others, can be started from a very little thing: us.

If we would be salt.

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