Sweat, Tears and the Sea

Isak Dineson famously wrote, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”


As one who grew up on the Jersey shore and who now lives close enough to sea air for occasional excursions to sit before the sea, I think of her quote often.

As a believer in Christ, I also find myself thinking often about another famous quote about salt.  In His sermon on the mount, Christ teaches His disciples the following in the presence of large crowds.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world.  Matthew 5: 13.

While I am amply familiar with this fairly well-known verse, I often  wonder how to actually live it out. I long to be salty, to seen as one so filled with the Father’s foreign love that I add flavor to and help preserve the goodness of life.

Physical life is intended to mirror spiritual life. As such, I find it funny that salt leaves the human body in the form of tears and sweat. Tears and sweat are practical. I can cry. I can work hard until I sweat. My soul found great solace in that thought this week.

The world and its brokenness overwhelm me, but not nearly as much as the brokenness I continually find inside of myself.  How in the world can I be the salt of the earth?

My saltiness is meant to be derived from an outside source of love, the sea of God’s love poured into my heart. As such, I might be more salty were I to sit longer before the ocean of His love, letting its salt stain and scent me.

I wonder if being the salt of the earth looks like crying over the brokenness in my heart, my home and my little corner of the globe? I wonder, too, if being the salt of the earth might look like leaving sweat stains in the places where the Lord has positioned me (my home, my neighborhood, my church body)?

Salt of the Earth

How can inwrought Presence
Be brought to bear in the world?
You poured your life into us, 
So to them it might be unfurled. 

The same preserving Spirit
Who hovered over infant earth
Now dwells in human hearts,
Sealing, signifying deep worth.

The sea of sacrificial love
Swelling in a believer’s soul,
Ought to make them wonder
How we’ve been made whole.

The saltiness stored inside
Moves out in sweat and tears,
Leaving His residual love
In a world marked by fears. 

Salty saints, weep early and often,
Over a world broken and blind.
Then arise and labor in love
With Him the curse to unwind.


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