Contemporary Chronicles: The Problem With You Salty People


Modern allegory based on the ancient wisdom of the Scriptures.

The kitchen was abuzz that hazy afternoon, because a famous chef was coming to prepare a special meal for the King. Known for his ability to create amazingly sumptuous feasts, Chef Immanuel was renowned as a culinary marvel! He had the rare ability to not only bring out the best flavor and texture of any item that he might use, but he also had the deft capacity to combine ingredients in a way that allowed them to bring out the best in one another. People would often say, “I bet Chef Immanuel could make a banquet with just a stone, some tree bark, and rainwater!” More than likely, that was true.

That’s probably why all of the different foods in the kitchen were so alert and vibrant on that warm early summer day. They knew that they were going to be in the hands of a Master; someone who would elevate the unique aspects of their flavor profile, and turn them into a symphony on the tastebuds of the King.

It was a veritable who’s who roster of garden delights that lay assembled on the countertop, all awaiting the call of Chef Immanuel. The tomatoes sat excitedly, blushing with passion, as the celery looked on, green with envy. The onions were almost ready to weep with joyous anticipation, while the potatoes kept their eyes rooted on the carrots. The herbs began to tell everyone that the thyme was near – even though the peas didn’t seem to know beans about what was going on!

But then, there was the Salt.

The salt… the salt seemed hesitant – reluctant even; and stood a bit off from the rest of the waiting elements.

The salt… the salt seemed hesitant – reluctant even; and stood a bit off from the rest of the waiting elements. In the quiet of their little box, the salt began to hold a conversation amongst itself that differed greatly from the spirit of the rest of the items on the counter.

“This gets old”, said one grain; and another echoed the sentiment, “yeah; I’m starting to get a little tired of this.” At that point a chorus of soft “amens”, and “that’s right’s” rose up in a grainy chorus; then another salty voice intoned…

“All we do is get lost; all we ever do is get lost in the mix! We pour ourselves out, freely, allowing everybody else to shine. But when was the last time somebody took notice of us? They talk about how savory the carrots are, or how tasty the potatoes might be; but when’s the last time somebody said after a meal, ‘that was some really good SALT!’”

The agreement in the salt box was instantaneous and vibrant. Then, having secured a private, but very vocal level of support, the new salt leader continued…

“Well, I say enough is ENOUGH! It’s about time that we stand up for ourselves, and that we be recognized for what WE are. It’s time for us to stop being defined by others; we are SALT, and that’s all we need to be and that’s how we ought to be recognized.”

With that speech a movement was born in that kitchen, as the salt became unified in their mission. No longer would salt be relegated to simply serving the interests of others, no sir; from henceforth salt would be recognized and afforded singular acknowledgement! Heartily, all of the grains of salt decided to form an organization that would advocate on their behalf; and thus was the SCLC – the Sodium Coalition for the Liberation of Condiments – born.

Right after that Chef Immanuel finally arrived, and he was enthusiastically welcomed into a kitchen that brimmed with excitement and anticipation. Every ingredient awaited the moment when the Master’s hand would bring them into fellowship with all of the other individual elements – all of them, except the salt! The salt was determined that it would not mix, mingle, nor meld into any concoction that would cause it to lose its distinctive identity. The SCLC would not yield!

Finally, all was prepared, and the pot of ingredients was set to simmer. Inside the pot every element began to give of itself, slowly allowing the warmth of the stove to coax out the beauty of each individual flavor, creating what appeared to be an intoxicating and savory mélange. Each ingredient was softened and mellowed by the heat; but even as each element lost a bit of itself, the overall result led to the creation of a stew that looked and smelled heaven-sent.

But, unbeknownst to Chef Immanuel, the salt was giving up nothing! Shaken, but unstirred, the salt grains resisted the catalyst of the simmering heat, and found a way to only associate with itself. Hidden deep within the aromatic folds of the inviting-looking stew, the salt had clumped together into a ball of determined sodium; conspiring for that moment when it would finally be recognized for being its true self – SALT, and salt alone!

Hours of simmering pass, and the moment of truth arrives; and Chef Immanuel eagerly spooned up a representative portion of what he believes will be a mouthful of delight. The texture is excellent, and the fragrance, heavenly! He gently blows upon it to cool it, and then moves the stew past his lips to the experienced testing ground of his trained and seasoned tongue.

…every ingredient seemed cooked to perfection, and the mouthfeel was exquisite – but with a raised eyebrow Chef Immanuel is noticing… something. Or more accurately, he is not noticing something.

The flavor was missing!

Well, it wasn’t completely missing; it just wasn’t as present as he knew it should have been. It was almost as though he had failed to season it – even though he knew that he had. He stirred it; tried it again – it tasted as bland as it did the first time.

Even though he knew that he had followed his normal protocols, he decided to take a little test. He took a little pinch of salt out of the box, and tossed it into a dipper of the stew; and then he saw the strangest thing…

The salt didn’t dissolve; instead it just sort of clumped together! Curiously, Chef Immanuel went back and stirred the pot; and that’s when he saw it – there was a big, glistening ball of salt, just floating about in the stew!

Hand lettering You are the salt of the earth. Biblical background. Christian poster. New Testament. Card. Scripture. GraphicsStaring at the ball of salt with a look that married both shock and wonder, Chef Immanuel dipped up the shiny, grainy ball of sodium. Placing it between his thumb and index finger, he then examined it as a jeweler might look upon a precious stone. It was at that moment that all of the salt in the kitchen collectively held its breath, believing that their moment of truth was near. Simultaneously, the good Chef drew the ball of salt to his slightly parted lips, and tasted…

“My goodness… THIS IS SALT!” he exclaimed.

The salt – both between his fingers and in the box – shouted for joy. They had won; finally, they had endured stirring and mixing and heat, and had come through it all without shedding one atom of their collective identity. The Sodium Coalition for the Liberation of Condiments had prevailed, Salt was now being recognized for being salt, and salt alone – without having to lose its identity for the enhancement of others.

With a look of amazement, Chef Immanuel picked up the box of salt with his other hand; and then – as the salt rejoiced over their newfound independent identity – he tossed both the ball and the box in the trash. He then reached in the cupboard, grabbed another box of salt, tossed a liberal pinch into the stew; and tasted it. Gently smacking his tongue and palate together, like a baby savoring sweet pudding, he pronounced that the stew was now splendid, because he “found some salt that knew how to act like salt!”

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out…” (Matt 5:13)

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