Salt and Faith

“You are the salt of the earth… and the light of the world.” Matthew 5:13, 16

Reminder of the warm seas of our primordial wading ashore
in ages beyond words; or
the amniotic fluid that caressed and cushioned us 
   beneath our mother’s beating heart;
or the taste and trace of tears, whether joy or sorrow.
The sun may cause the vapor to rise, but the salt remains–
the water may ascend to heaven,
   but the salt as God’s gift resolutely remains.
Our very blood carries the brackish proof
   of its rootedness in our lives.
Lot’s wife became intimately aware of her salty heritage
when her backwards glance made her a pillar, and a warning.

The poets say Scipio beat his swords into plowshares at Carthage’s collapse
   so that he could sow not seed but salt as a blight and a curse. Rome
later paid her soldiers in salt, the first “salary,” although
some take such tales “with a grain of salt.”

But it is precious.
It was required at each meal,
   and offered on altars as a sign
   of covenant faithfulness and steadfastness
a reminder of tenderness where destruction could just as well rule.
It can be eaten but is never fully consumed.
It preserves;
   it saves;
      it provides savor and delight.
Our faithfulness is designed to be as vital, as blessed to all we encounter.
Without flavor, it is nothing but bitter grit,
just as we are,
without faith.

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