Salt residue marred the smooth, shiny concrete flooring. Fine powder formed semi-transparent, circular eddies and ripples that lined and colored the straight gray aisles. The store manager was not happy. Accustomed to a shiny and unremarkable surface resembling a lengthy gray walkway of polished stone, the chalk-colored, swirling designs were an unwelcome distraction.
The earlier heavy snow had resulted in ample ice melt being sprinkled on the sidewalks, and as salt clumps clung to the incoming shoe soles, the salt was generously re-distributed throughout the inside of the store. Add to this a need for the surfaces to be hand-mopped, and a clue to the discolorations was discovered: an increased but undetected salt-water concentration had built up in the mop water, resulting in the visible pale etchings as the floor completely dried.
Even as I observed the swirled edgings, I felt like the Lord used that image to impress me with the importance of leaving rings of spiritually salty residue wherever our interactions took us.
In Matthew 5, Jesus moved from calling those who were gentle, merciful, pure in heart, and persecuted for His sake as “blessed” into stating, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matt. 5:13, NASB) The Passion Translation reads, “Your lives are like salt among the people. But if you, like salt, become bland, how can your ‘saltiness’ be restored? Flavorless salt is good for nothing and will be thrown out…”
Becoming bland. Not recommended. Becoming flavorless. Even worse.
A short but interesting bit of Scripture from 2 Kings came to my mind as I thought about the admonition not to lose one’s saltiness. In 2 Kings 2, Elisha has succeeded Elijah, but the “sons of prophets who were at Jericho” are skeptical of his power and/or anointing. Continue reading “The Residue of Salt”