I was quite refreshed this a.m. as I reflected on a conversation with a dear friend just yesterday morning. Other than an occasional comment on Facebook, we seldom see each other more than once or twice a year. Yet, he is the kind of friend that absence or silence matters little to the quality of our relationship. In fact, it is true in this case that absence makes the heart grow fonder. He described our conversation yesterday as poetry!
The take away for me, other than the delightful moments of dry humor and deep wisdom, was the awareness that neither of us had lost our savor. Both having served for decades in the Christian community are quite candid when we meet, expressing our thoughts in an ultra-transparent way. There is always accountability at the table, as well as a felt loyalty; if either were too far off the heavenly path to be of any earthly good, the other would call his hand.
Jesus is quoted by Matthew in chapter 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, how shall it be salted? It is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (King James 2000 Bible).
Our annual meetings are much more than some subconscious need to check our spiritual saltiness, for they are always prefaced with a longing to be together once more. We both have had a lifetime of experience with people and he, quite “lettered” academically. We know the rules of religion and the expectations of leadership. To say it another way, we have the molecular composition required for salt, as well as the sharp crystalline edge. The question is do we still possess our savor, are we effective in our calling, do we bring light to the conversations we so often have with others?
Both of us are somewhat hyper self-critical, though always underlying our deep conversation is a wry sense of humor. Then, mid-thought, he gently wipes a tear with his Starbuck napkin, while I burst into the mixed laughter and tear laden emotion that I am growing comfortable with as I age.
We instinctively know we have accomplished our mission; we stand and caress just before departure. We had not lost our savor!
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” 2 Cor. 4:16 (NLT).