Your Very Flesh Shall Be a Poem

So it’s another Saturday night. And predictably, you can find me tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, reading and thinking and writing. (I’m fighting against the nagging feeling of being less valid for being alone on a Saturday evening, but it’s all good.)

Really, it actually really is. Good.

I looked up from the daily grind recently and was caught off guard by the happiness that had been quietly keeping me company. A heaviness, heartache, and a state of “crisis” had been such a constant companion for so long, that it was a shock to notice it had left.

Yes, there are moments of loneliness, self doubt, and messiness, and it’s honestly not where I thought I’d be, but life is good right now. There is much to be grateful for, and in His gracious kindness, God has opened my eyes to the gift of this current, blessed, uncomplicated season I am in right now.

Oddly, I find myself searching for a crisis. I think that I feel more valid when I have an issue that I have to work through- soul searching to occupy my mind and introspection to indulge in. How funny- am I really that stubbornly discontent? Yes.

I’m learning to take myself less seriously. Becoming less shocked at my own depravity and more quick to trust His sovereignty.  And that is not from my own efforts. It is a gift. I am aware that this sweet, uncomplicated season won’t last, and that’s ok. But I don’t want to miss out on the depth and richness in wholehearted living right now in this season because of this bracing myself for some theoretical impending pain. Choosing to become an expert in the the ways that life is beautiful, and dismissing that which insults my own soul.

walt whitman

Art by Sabrina Ward Harrison

salt of the earth

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. I feel caught between trying to apologize and explain/justify why I haven’t written on a weekly basis like I said I was going to do and feeling silly at apologizing to some ambiguous and unknown audience as if you were impatiently waiting for me to post. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’m cozily tucked into a corner of the 2nd floor of Barnes and Noble, sipping my last drops of my Salted Caramel Mocha and feeling ready for a post that has been composing itself in the back of my mind for a couple of days now.

What is it about the words “sea salt” combined with “caramel” that illicit such giddiness in this white, middle class, twenty-something heart of mine? I don’t know, but my tastebuds are unrelenting in their cravings for this irresistible combination. Anyways…

Salt.

One of the most earthy, essential ingredients of our earth.

The most basic and quintessential of spices, it enhances and brings out the true flavor of what it is added to, making things more vibrant, flavorful, and rich.

It is the solution to blandness.

It is a primary form of preserving life and keeping ingredients fresh.

We spread it on our roads, as it melts through ice and provides sure footing on our journey.

Though it stings, it can help clean and heal a wound, it’s rough edges can help clean an impossible stain.

Soaking a weary body in (epsom) salt can relieve aches and pains.

I could go on…

Jesus spoke over his followers that they were the salt of the earth.

Vibrant.

Life preserving.

Cleansing.

Useful.

Melters of icy hearts and protectors of those on treacherous paths.

Essential.

Note that he didn’t command that we need to act more salty. He declared our identity of who we already are. Who he has purposed for us to be. A wise person recently said that “our hope is not in our ability to ‘be salty’ but in the one who has declared that we are salt.”

That leads me to the question: how am I stepping into the identity that Christ has declared for me?

The phrase “salt of the earth” was in a chapter book I was reading to my kids and one of them raised their hand and asked what that meant.  After thinking about it for a second, I responded, “Salt of the earth people are the kind of people you want to be around. They don’t draw attention to themselves, but they are doing cool things, and people are drawn to them. The way they are living their lives inspires the people around them to want to join in.”

Does that describe the people of The Church?

Sometimes. Not always and consistently, but I do see that in the salt-of-the-earth people that I am sharing life with these days. And I am so incredibly thankful for that.

Two thoughts to end with:

  1. Salt is most appreciated and effective when it is dispersed. A large clump of the white substance is often abrasive and unappealing; causing a gag-reflex reaction… Salt must be poured out among the dish that is bland and in need of it’s true flavor being brought out.
  1. Salt makes one thirsty. Thirsty for Water. We are living the lives we were meant to live when we give people a glimpse into the Kingdom of the King and invite others to taste and see that the Lord is Good.