20 June 2009

Thinking out Loud - Salt and Light

I love salt – its curative, flavor-enhancing, change-agent qualities. As a small child, I would salt ice and eat it as a treat. I enjoy salted caramels, salt bagels, even licorice that’s lightly salted. And at home, I use several different salts, depending upon the desired outcome. There is coarse ground kosher salt, used to encrust prime rib in one of my favorite recipes. There’s red sea salt, which has an almost sweet aftertaste and is perfect for seasoning vegetables. There’s fleur de sal, in so many shades and textures, ready to delicately enhance flavors of soups and stews. And there’s rock salt, always at the ready to help with homemade ice cream.

No matter what the flavor, where the origin, one thing remains true: it is salt.

I love light – the dark blue to light blue to white of sunrises, and pinks and reds of sunsets. I love the brilliance of the sun and the reflection of that same sun on the face of the moon. There's the warm incandescent glow that welcomes friends to sit and chat, the seductive nature of candelight served with wine and music, and the breathtaking explosion of fireworks illuminating the night sky. I love the crackling amber of a burning fire and the white, almost translucent light that filters through the window as the day nears its end. I laugh at the thought of even loving the gentle glow of my laptop screen as I type in the dark.

No matter the color, no matter the type, one thing remains true: it is light.

“You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” Jesus said those words, speaking to those who follow Him. Salt and light. Two beautiful word-pictures. Simple and profound. And just what this world needs.

But we complicate things. We argue amongst ourselves about which flavor of salt is best or which origin of light is most powerful. We use words like Baptist and Methodist and Fundamental and Charismatic and Reformed and Emergent and Contemporary and Liturgical. We analyze. We paralyze.

And all the while, the world watches. And waits. For salt and light.

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