Salt Life and Light Daily

As a photographer over the years, it finally registered with me that when capturing an image — what I’m really doing, is harnessing light. Without light, there is no image. Everything goes dark - nothing registers on the lens.

Harness the Light

So, I trained myself to follow the light, study the light, understand where the light source is located, and how to harness it in the most attractive way for the image outcome I want to create. It’s been my goal to refrain from flash — and maximize natural light. 

When you are focusing on light, and how it affects the image, you definitely notice how the lack of light, or the wrong angle, negatively affects the result. 

In the same manner, it seems as if the light we once were (as Jesus followers) was brighter, more attractive to others, because of the love, grace, giving, kindness, gentleness, patience and respect that exuded from our lives. In days gone by, I’ve been told by family members — who have long since passed on — that their world (due to world wars and real struggles) was more focused on others, rather than one’s self.

Yet today, this quote sums up how we (as a society) live, as well as those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.

“People aren’t against you; they are for themselves."

Somehow, we are going dark — not by choice, but by indifference.

Being for, and all about ourselves, appears to get us riled up faster than anything — about anything. 

We have no taste, anymore.

Because we are just looking out for ourselves, and our families and friends. We are in our comfort zone. There are exceptions, indeed. And I pray we will be crusaders who follow the example of those exceptions.

We Americans, who love the Lord and believe His word, the Holy Bible, to be truth — yesterday, today, and forever — we are (seemingly) losing our salt, and hiding our light, here in our own country. And it’s largely due to the fact that we are caught up, and consumed by… us — ourselves. Our own little world has us occupied and distracted. The outside (and sinister) world seems to have little bearing on our “day-to-day”. For me, it’s almost like it’s another planet — that’s how far away it is, in my mind.  

For now, for today, it’s far away.
Sound familiar?

Gentle Breeze - Leslie Brown

Can we somehow think more about the world our children will be raising their children in?

Let’s stop kidding ourselves.
And yes, as I write, I’m speaking as much to myself as to you, when you read this.

Wake up, smell the coffee and open the curtains.

Yes, humans are naturally attracted to light, generally speaking. We are also naturally attracted to what tastes good, rather than bland food. It’s the way we are wired, by our Creator.

I love popcorn, chips, fries, meat, veggies, and most all nuts. But take away the salt from any of them — and you can take it all, because without the salt, there is no desire (for me) to eat it. Of course, if it’s all I had, then yes - I would certainly consume. However, given a choice, to enjoy the taste of the food — it’s gotta' have salt.

In old-world cultures, salt held much more value than just taste and seasoning. 

"People in the ancient world needed salt in order to survive, because salt not only seasons food, it cures meats and keeps them from spoiling. Salt purifies, cleanses, and heals — that is, as long as it remains salt.”
(Article here: http://biltrix.com/2014/02/09/how-can-salt-lose-its-flavor/)

Yet, literally, spiritually and culturally, we are less dependent on salt than centuries past. Salt being a metaphor for Jesus Christ in our lives — the one who purifies, cleanses and heals. As Christians, we don’t depend (as much) upon His power and grace in our lives, simply because we are caught up in frivolous daily “busy” living which has de-sensitized and kept us unaware, regarding what’s really happening in the world around us. I suppose we just compartmentalize the toxic and dark events happening in our country, and in the world — or we just don’t pay attention to it, which is an even greater danger. Because our children and their children are (by in large) clueless about what’s really happening. They are living in a bubble, and the darkness of this world is encroaching upon this bubble, without notice, and without particular concern. 

We apparently just think that if we close our eyes to all of this, maybe… just maybe, it will just go away, one day. 

And that is not going to happen.

It’s all going to hit the fan (seemingly out of nowhere), sooner or later, and disrupt this incredible life we are accustomed to — just as it did the families of the marines in Chattanooga, a few weeks ago in Charleston, and the list goes on. Mindlessly and unwittingly, we are losing our marbles. Unraveling, due to lack of caring - except for our own daily agenda.

Here is the reality that we will face, regardless of our current method of tuning out or ignoring what is happening. 

Out of nowhere, it’s going to get "closer to home” — and will impact us with grave danger and consequences, or take away the freedoms we, undoubtedly, take for granted.

So what to do?

Be light. Be salt.

Matthew 5:15 (ESV)
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Mark 9:50 (ESV)
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Show, and tell others — through action and conversation — that we are interested in them, in their well-being. Reach out to neighbors, co-workers, friends. Get together. Talk with each other about how we can demonstrate to our community that we do care - and that others matter. We are not here to judge or condemn. Nor are we to acquiesce to the attack on our biblical values. 

We are here to share and show love, grace, and how God’s love impacts our fear, struggles, hurts, anxiety and stress - with others. 

Tell stories of God’s faithfulness, redemption, forgiveness and healing.

Show love through acts of compassion and giving — to those who are not like us — and haven’t found His love.

We have to get out of our bubble — and into our world, beyond church, work, sports and entertainment. 

I know Jesus loved community. He listened, hugged, encouraged, washed feet — and prayed without ceasing.

Once upon a time - this was what we called, "the neighborhood". And there are still a few around today that are like this. But it’s the exception for the neighborhood to get outside of it’s comfort zone, and into the world that is uncomfortable, and unlike us.

I know this, because it’s me, inside my own cozy cocoon. Somehow, we have allowed the comforts of our life to also conceal us.

cover our light — make us bland.

So bland, that an alarming amount of Christians and non-Christians, alike, have no affinity or interest in the church, anymore. It’s a service — but it’s not really faith in action. Just another bubble where we can come together, do the things we love, together — yet the outreach to those who are grossly different from us, on the fringe of life, (think Jesus’ friends, Mary Magdelene and Zacheus) - it's hard to find. And our world continues to go dark.

I want to be His ambassador — not merely a believer. And there are opportunities abound for this — if I seek it, and want it, more than I want to be hidden, cozy and comfortable.

On the coast, there is a new brand of gear and clothing, and it was branded as a movement, called “Salt Life”.

Our movement to share God’s abounding grace, and love should be branded as well… on our hearts, and in our actions.

Salt and Light.

I want to be that. I want US to be that.

And like the song says… “and they will know we are Christians, by our love."

Until next time...

 
Leslie Brown2 Comments