Salt and Light

Version 2

Driving across Senegal on our way to Burkina Faso we always pass several salt lakes.  This time however was amazingly different. There were actually ladies out there harvesting the salt…carrying heavy basins back and forth on their heads.  The reflection of the sun bouncing off the white crystals contrasting with the vibrant colors on the women’s skirts was astounding.  Women of all ages, girls following in their mother’s footsteps, and even men making sure no profit was lost.

My initial response was, “Stop the car!”  I wanted to run toward them for a closer look.  Then as I started taking pictures from the car, my reaction changed.  I didn’t want to see them through tourist eyes.  I wanted to go work alongside them.  I wondered if their bare feet were being cut by the sharp, unrefined salt.  I could almost feel the sting of salt in their dry, cracked heels.  Then it was as if my eyes shifted inward.  I didn’t just want to help carry their salty, physical load. My heart longed to help carry their spiritual load; to understand their burdens and fears; to bring comfort and peace to their weary souls that were more fatigued than their bodies under a load of guilt and shame.

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Those beautiful ladies had no idea of the significance of the merchandise they were handling.  To them salt is simply a way of making food taste a little better; a way of preserving food a little longer.  At the end of the day, it’s a way of pleasing her husband’s palate and pockets.

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But to Jesus…it’s a light in the darkness.  A glimpse of how things should be.  A taste of what’s to come.

“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 underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5: 13-16

oil lamp in village

I’m so thankful for this visual reminder of why we’re here.  I feel as if God used this to recharge my spiritual batteries 🙂  Would you pray for us to be the salt and light to those around us?