Thursday, March 24, 2016

Salt (03/24/16)

Breaking News. There has been a recent chemical spill on Main Street in Cincinnati, Ohio. The dangerous chemical, which is called "sodium chloride" by the scientists who produced it, is easily dissolved in water and may threaten the nearby water supply. It can cause injury if it enters the eye and it causes pain in open wounds. Police are now clearing the area and authorities recommend everyone in a 100 mile radius to evacuate immediately.

Disclaimer: Sodium chloride, abbreviated as NaCl or "salt" isn't as dangerous as it seems in the above news article (which is again satirical and has no connection to actual events), but instead has been very helpful to humans for generations.

Christians, you've probably heard and maybe even memorized the verse in Matthew about being the salt of the earth. ("You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men." Matthew 5:13 NI©1984) Chances are, you've probably heard sermons about discipleship that include this verse as well. There are several posters, wristbands, and other kinds of merchandise out there that encourage people to be the salt of the earth.

It's interesting to see the different ways you can use salt and apply them to this verse. The most common application is that salt is used as a flavoring enhancer to find what is already there and bring it out more. Salt is also used for preservation of foods, especially meats, if enough is used. Nowadays, we also use salt to lower the melting  point of water along roadways so we don't have to drive on snow and ice. Rubbing salt in an open wound causes pain, and it also comes with a cliche expression about making a painful experience worse, sometimes unnecessarily or for revenge.

There are a few other interesting verses including salt. In Colossians 4:6, Paul writes, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (NIV ©2011). In Genesis, God destroyed the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah but told Lot and his family to escape beforehand. They were told not to look back at the city as it was being destroyed. According to Genesis 19:26, "But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." (NIV ©2011). Sacrifices were to be salted, and a handful of salt was used in 2 Kings chapter 2 to heal some water that had been unclean. After some cities were destroyed, salt was spread onto their remains.

I don't know why, but salt seems to intrigue me. I'm not sure if any of this means anything to you, but there's some connection for me and I feel like I'm either really close to finding it or I have already found it and I just haven't realized it yet.

The good news is, salt still makes food more delicious, no matter how you interpret it.

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