Marketta Gregory: Find your salt
In my tiny Baptist church, all the women contributed to potluck dinners and brought baked treats for Vacation Bible School, so I really don’t remember who was responsible for the famous salt cookies.
I was young, probably under 10, and the cookies were set out on the refreshment table with the sugar cookies from other moms. It was just the luck of the draw that I happened to pick up one of the cookies sprinkled with salt and dip it in my red Kool-Aid. It was awful. Even worse than the time my cousin made me eat dirt.
The poor woman who made the cookies just grabbed the wrong canister. Salt and sugar, they look a lot alike but their purpose is very different. I tend to like my iced tea sweet, my strawberries syrupy and my religion nice and polite. Sugar makes things like medicine and injustice and poverty a little less bitter, a little easier to swallow. It hides the bite. Covers the distasteful problem.
And if left alone, sugar invites decay and disease.
I suspect that’s why Scripture says people of faith are to be salt and light. Salt brings out the individual flavor of everything it touches. It preserves and, even though it stings, it heals.
I’ve been dipping out of the sugar canister too often, worrying more about how it looks when my teenager rolls his eyes than about bringing healing to his hurts. I’d never pour sugar on his scraped leg, but I’ve scooped it in his hurting heart. Platitudes and syrupy religion rarely help, only salt. Only loving the unique qualities, strengthening them and preserving them.
I’ve read about human trafficking, child abuse and the need for more wells. Still, I take my sweetener and fill my children’s pool twice a week with more clean water than some Africans see in a month.
I talk about getting my finances more in line with my beliefs, about finding more time to volunteer and more ways to speak up for others. But like a short-lived sugar high, I soon crash. I settle for complacency because it’s more comfortable than being the woman who brings salt cookies when everyone expects sugar.
For more thoughts on faith: Visit my blog at www.SimplyFaithful.com,
see the Simply Faithful page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @markettagregory