They are two of the most common elements in our universe. One is practical and even a bit mundane, the other grandiose and fantastic. Salt is a basic compound of our physical earth. It improves our appreciation of the food we eat, while aiding its preservation. In the beginning, light split our days in half and gave light and sight to our dark skies and eyes. So dynamic, it’s the very measure of extraordinary distances in our vast universe.
Both are, as we also know, key biblical symbols and metaphors for living and relating to each other in our world.
First, we are the salt of the earth, which is rich in human meaning because salt is either mined from beneath the ground we walk on, or distilled from our sea water. We are so connected to both earth and water. We live dust to dust and our great oceans are collecting basins for our storms - the rain cycle’s great runoff. Salt is both a value-added flavor to our food and a nutritional necessity. It touches our daily lives, like we touch others, with substance and a quality of life.
And we are a light on a hillside, one that should not be hidden. Darkness is the world's default state - a black void, with light being the welcome visitor. In darkness there is misery, loneliness, confusion, and a preoccupation with oneself. To live too much inward is not healthy, but light encourages hope, warmth and empathy as it reminds us that we are all in this together.
In this age of supermarket salt and light bulbs, it’s so very easy to take both for granted. Let’s all remember that both these relational elements are verbs as well as nouns. We are salt, but we need to spread it. We are light, but we need to shine! We are to invest in others and be involved, and are to do so intentionally.
Salting food is not a quick and casual act. It’s trial and error and a labor of love. And flooding a room with sudden light can be jarring and cause strife. Gently leading someone who’s granted us their trust INTO the light shows great care.
I can’t know how you will salt and how you will light. I’m not completely sure how it will look for me either. But I do know it’s always a work in progress, always a labor of love.
Matthew 5:13- 14 (MSG)
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt–seasoning that brings out the God–flavors of this earth... You’re here to be light, bringing out the God–colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept.”
About the Author
Terry is a man in constant motion to explore new horizons. He has a thirst for new places and faces, and a deep love for the natural world - with a weakness for waterfalls and sunsets. All of this venturing out helps to both ground and inspire him, because it opens him up to people, with their vast, collective array of experiences, outlooks and responses.
He finds all of this fascinating and sees that it has encouraged the growth of something crucial in his Christian development: empathy and compassion toward his brothers and sisters on this planet.