The deep, the drink, Davy Jones’ locker, the bounding main, the briny deep. All names for the oceans of the earth, encompassing their mighty features and mysteries: waves, legends of pirates and secret treasures, depths beyond imagination and, of course, the salt that fills their waters.
Waves, waves, in unending succession, pulsate through the oceans, each propelling the next one forward until eventually they reach the shore, carrying with them a seemingly limitless amount of salt. Beyond counting, grains of salt churning through boundless waves of water.
Jesus said: Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.
Salt – we can’t live without it. It balances our biochemistry so that our nervous and muscular systems function as they should. Salt was essential in Jesus’ time also to season and preserve food and to cleanse wounds. And, of course, we still use saline fluids in many medical situations.
Here Jesus is telling us that salt is essential to our spiritual selves as well.
We know what Jesus wants us to have within our hearts. We know that he wants us to have compassion, love for God and each other, mercy, understanding and kindness alive within our beings and always ready to spill out to the people in our lives. All contributing to peace with each other.
So how do we go about doing that? How do we go about having salt within ourselves?
We know how not to go about it. As a friend has said to me, “We can never get enough of what we don’t need.” We know that when we try to fill voids within ourselves with any addiction – alcohol, other drugs, work, relationships, anything other than God, we will continue to be empty. We won’t fill the void; we won’t have salt within ourselves.
I recently went to a retreat exploring the divine feminine. I was hoping to delve more deeply into the feminine aspects of the Godhead, especially as experienced in our relationship with the Holy Spirit; the feminine in Christ – “there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus;” and learn about other ways to connect with the feminine in my spirituality.
The retreat leaders spent some time on the Christian faith, emphasizing most frequently their experience with the Virgin Mary as the gateway to being more fully in touch with the divine feminine. They also spent much time educating us about the divine feminine force in other major world religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
I found that, as a friend described it, I couldn’t find anything to grab hold of – what the leaders were talking about didn’t resonate with me. I was surprised at my reaction because I believe that in many crucial ways, the different faiths of the world are searching for much of the same, people looking to salt themselves with compassion, mercy, understanding. Different paths, yes, but together searching for truth.
I talked to my older son about it, and he helped me to understand that because we are part of, as he put it, a resurrection faith, we need that living presence of Christ within and around us to grab onto. That is what distinguishes us as Christians.
It was a blessed, unexpected, reminder that I have to have Jesus in my life. I have to have his help in salting myself. I have to have him guide me, be my companion and, ultimately, season me with true salt. He is my source.
I know, as I go forward, that I can always turn to Christ for salt and for whatever else I need. As can you and all of us. And with that assurance, we can be at peace, knowing that as salty wave after salty wave moves through the waters to the shore, if we allow it, they will catch us up in themselves and we will be within them and they will be within us.
*Who or what is the source of salt for you?
*What does salt represent in your spiritual life and self?
*Do you believe salt is essential to our inner selves as well as our physical health?