Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,
but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
~Matthew 5:13-16

Remember when I said I’d make brownies for my kids this week? Mentally I added it to my try-not-to-be-a-loser-mom-on-spring-break strategy, along with hiking to the top of a local mountain (which we did—score!).

Last night after supper I pulled out Down Home Cooking and found my favorite brownie recipe. Our home filled with the lovely smell of butter and melted chocolate and the sound of children counting down the numbers on the oven timer.

After a painful 15 minutes of cooling in the pan (yes, I held them to it), plates were passed; bites taken; and confused and disappointed faces seen.

Apparently I forgot the salt.

If you’ve never omitted the salt in a loaf of homemade bread or a batch of brownies, congratulations. I’ve done it just enough times to realize my mistake when I take the first bite.

As soon as I sheepishly said, “Oh, I left out the salt” voices throughout the kitchen exclaimed, “That’s the problem!” and “Oh! She forgot the salt!” and “That’s what’s wrong!” and then they put down their plates and didn’t take another bite.

You see, three sticks of butter, three cups of sugar, and seven squares of baking chocolate cannot make up for the absence of that teaspoon and a half of salt.

When Jesus tells us to be the salt of the earth, he’s not talking about a little seasoning sprinkled on the side: he’s talking about a living, breathing faith that permeates everything we say and do, a light that cannot be hid, a tangible hope.

Three sticks of butter and seven squares of baking chocolate will not go to waste in my kitchen, and so I continue to nibble those brownies and grimace and mentally kick myself in the rear. Because maybe it’s harder to stick the five pounds I’ll gain from all that butter on a rear that’s in motion.

But I’ll take this clear lesson to heart, glad that Jesus can use even my failings in the kitchen to help me see him more.

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