Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stories From The Salt Shaker

I was really encouraged to read this post this morning. In it, Kathleen Nielson (the author of our upcoming women's Bible study on Nehemiah) shares two brief stories of saltiness. Saltiness? Yes, saltiness.

Matthew 5:13
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
Colossians 4:5-6
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
What does that saltiness look like, sound like, smell like? I hope you read her whole post, but here's an excerpt from one of the two stories:
Recently I had lunch with a new friend, whom I loved getting to know as a sister in the Lord. When you meet someone for the first time, you’re looking to learn all you can—by observing, by listening, by observing how she listens…
Let me tell you what offered the clearest window into this woman’s heart and mind. … It was her interaction with a young man who came to fill our water glasses.
That’s what threw open the window and revealed her heart. He was not a terribly noticeable guy—kind of pale, slightly stocky, with reddish scruffy-thick hair and beard—and with sleeves rolled up enough to reveal tattoos on each forearm. My friend leaned over to read the arm closest to her: a short sentence, something about fighting off foxes. As she tried to decipher it out loud, our waiter haltingly explained it was inspired by a line from an Eudora Welty story—“you know,” he said, “that woman from the South who was a really good writer.” …
In response to my friend’s continuing quizzical look and encouraging smile, our waiter explained those words remind him of the hard things we have to fight, the dark things we all face, the “foxes.” But my friend wasn’t done. Her next quick question was: “Well, on the other side of the hard things, what’s your hope?” This young man stopped, looked her in the eyes, and said, “Nobody ever asked me that before. Lots of people ask why the tattoo. Nobody ever asked that.” This led to his rather frank explanation of how he was “raised Christian,” rejected religion, but now chooses to believe there’s a God out there who made everything—a pretty extensive conversation for a guy who was supposed to be pouring water.
Good follow up to our consideration of 1 Cor 9:19-27 this past Sunday in the Renewing Disciplines series. Would you pray that the Lord would make you salty like that woman? Would you pray that Bethel will be filled with droves of such salty people?

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