The other day I was at work, having lunch with the photo shoot team, minding my own business when someone asked for salt… the team had ordered lunch in and the restaurant forgot to put salt packets in the bag (so rude). Given the fact that I LOVE salt and feel for salt the way my friend Kara feels for Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, I had a small shaker of Pink Himalayan sea salt ‘on me’… or at least I had it in my lunch bag. There was a girl eating with us who could not believe I carried salt with me… she couldn’t believe it because she HATES salt! Which is insane right? Who HATES salt? I have a theory that she only thinks she hates it because she is eating mostly processed foods loaded with sodium (msg) which is not the same as eating real food with salt on it. She is eating processed foods which only semi resemble where they originally came from. This must be right… it sounds right, right? Regardless, lets run with it…
This morning at breakfast Drew and I had a really casual conversation around identity and belonging… who and what we were created to be (if you didn’t gather my sarcasm around the ‘casual’ nature of this conversation, please know I was being the MOST sarcastic… it was a super serious situation. OH, and yes, we DO have a lot of our ‘chats’ at breakfast… best way to start the day).
As many of you know or you may have just assumed, my (our) faith has had a resurgence over the course of the last year. It was the last thing either of expected and yet it has been the most transformative event to take place in our adult lives- bold statement I am aware. ANYWAYS. Full transparency- coming back to the world of faith has been beautiful and really hard at times. Drew and I both have a lot of wounds from that world. We have more than one chip on our shoulders when it comes to ‘religious’ culture and the way a lot of people from our past lived their lives. One of the key offenses being, ya know, letting Jesus take the wheel and then taking zero responsibility for your life. There is something about that way of being that makes me want to hit something and vomit all at once… and yet… the deeper I get in my faith, the more I understand the sentiment, though I disagree whole heartedly with the action… or lack there of. And this is what Drew and I were discussing before 8 am on a casual Tuesday.
Here is the thing- in no way shape or form do I believe that your faith should act as a hall pass or a ‘get out of jail free card’- we are not in High School and this is not a game of Monopoly, it is your LIFE (again, not like the board game. There will be no spinning of a wheel to determine your fate). However, just because your faith looks different than mine and you live different then me, doesn’t mean I have permission to judge you and assault you with suggestions on how to ‘improve’ your life… maybe you really are content… maybe you like the way your life is… maybe you really are a person of faith who is trying to be obedient and listen to God in your life. But my differentiating question is, are you salty or have you lost your flavor?
Matthew 5:13 in the Message translation says this-
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
While Drew and I were talking I looked down and saw the Maldon Sea Salt box on the table. Reading the logo for the very first time, it struck me- ‘Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity’…
Do you know what I told the girl who doesn’t like salt? I told her that, at that very moment I had 6 or 7 KINDS of salt in my house (not including the epsom salts I have for baths…) I have since acquired 3 MORE salts from Hawaii because Drew was obsessed with them when we stayed with our friends in Michigan (thank you Katy and Patrick, Drew has never been happier or more well preserved). Are you tracking? There are DIFFERENT kinds of salt, with different purposes, different flavors… different saltiness! The moment I read that label I realized- Drew and I weren’t called or created to be iodized salt, kosher salt, or any other basic, generic form of salt… we are called to be ‘Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity’… super salty flakes of Maldon Sea Salt. This doesn’t mean the other forms of salt are ‘lesser than’ it means they serve a different purpose. Romans 12 (which I am currently obsessed with) talks a lot about who we are to be, how we are to live and interact. Verse 4 says, “In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body.” In my analogy there are many kinds of salt and each one is necessary to bring about a different flavor or server a different purpose in this world.
If you want to take this one step further, and I do, you could say that the world itself is like processed food… it tastes amazing, is packed great, and full of ‘salt flavor’ which is a synthetic manipulation of the ‘real thing’…it is pure sodium (like msg) which, over time, can (in real life) stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or heart failure. Spiritual MSG does the same things to our soul… it stiffens and closes off the pathways to our hearts leading to, eventual, heart failure. It is an imitation of what we are really craving. It tastes salty but doesn’t contain salt, it ‘feeds’ us but isn’t nourishing or satisfying our hunger.
Are you salty? Do you want to be? Do you know what real salt tastes like? Or have you only ever known the imitation?
More and more these days I find myself craving salt… I crave the nutrients it provides, the richness and flavor it adds to everything it touches… I want to be salty, to be a ‘curious crystal of unusual purity’ in the world around me and that takes action… it takes living into and living out my faith. It takes trust and courage, love and acceptance. It takes me swallowing my pride and ego and acting out of a place of identity and belonging. It requires me to be authentic and show up. If I really believe in what I say I do, than I am chosen, I am worthy, I belong… I am salt (and light). I want to sprinkle a little salt into your life each time we interact. I want to leave more God-flavor in the world. And on the days I myself feel a little ‘bland’, I will look over at the box(es) of Maldon sitting on my counter and remember the identity I have in Christ… the call to be a curious crystal of unusual purity.’.
In love, in light, in salt. xx