Grace & Salt

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This afternoon was spent in the kitchen, baking cookies and brownies for the youth at church and a pan of from-scratch cornbread for dinner tonight. The house was quiet, the windows thrown wide open to let in the cool autumn air, and the dog kept me company as she curled up in a patch of sunlight coming through the back door. It was good.

Baking and cooking in an empty house gives me time to have a chat with my Father in Heaven – that’s part of the reason why I love it (though I’ll admit, the food is a big part of it too). To be honest, I was feeling entirely inadequate and more than a little hopeless. So I had a lot to talk to Him about.

Almost a month ago, I was called to be the 2nd counsellor in the Young Women’s presidency in my ward. I was heartbroken to be released as the gospel principles teacher (definitely went home and cried over it), but most of my anxiety came from feeling totally inadequate for the calling. I’m 24 years old – at least ten years younger than all the other youth leaders in the ward. I’m still new to the ward, I don’t know the youth or their parents, I’m unfamiliar with the new curriculum for Sunday lessons, and I don’t have my life figured out.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared of a bunch of 12 year old girls.

Most of it comes from not feeling like I’m enough. I have this burning desire to strengthen and love my girls, to help them gain a sure footing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, to help them believe in themselves and in each other. I want them to be fearless, to be brave, and to shout their own worth. I want them to shine.

And part of me felt like I wasn’t the one to help them do that. That I’m not qualified, that I’m not experienced enough, that I’m not the best person for the job.

I’m pouring this all out to Father as I measure out ingredients for bread and cookies simultaneously. A teaspoon of baking soda into this bowl, a cup of corn meal into the other.

One of the recipes noted that the teaspoon of salt was optional, which surprised me. Generally when you’re baking, salt is crucial – it balances the flavours, brightens the taste, and amplifies the other ingredients.

All of a sudden, as I was tossing a pinch of salt into a bowl, I was directed to the verse in Colossians that counsels Saints to

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

(Colossians 4:2-6)

“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt.”

…what?

I was reminded of the scripture in Matthew praises and warns in the same breath – “Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?”

Okay. I get that. Be the kind of disciple who is loyal and steady, lasting. A Saint who improves those around them simply by existing. Don’t be the kind of person who gets turned into a pillar of salt, though. #lotswife

But grace and salt?

Father and I chatted for the rest of the afternoon via His Word in between batches of cookies. I mulled it over even as I helped direct our youth in their dance rehearsal for the cultural celebration next month, as I tried to troubleshoot what really is an attempt to shepherd squirrels, to rally the troops, and to get some semblance of order in place before relying solely on the promise of bribery to get them through their paces.

And then I realized. It’s not about my proverbial salt and the grace that’s in me. It’s about His grace and what He needs my salt for.

Paul boldly declared in his letter to the Corinthians,

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

(1 Corinthians 15:10)

God doesn’t call us because we’re qualified. Next to Him, none of us are. He doesn’t call us because we know everything, because we’re infinitely patient, or because we’ve somehow leveled up in the game of life. He doesn’t call us because we know the answers.

He calls us because He is graceful, and that grace is what makes the difference. He calls us because He can work with salt – with loyalty and with covenants. His grace gives us the strength, gives us the wisdom, gives us the confidence. It’s not us. It’s through us.

And it doesn’t just relate to the callings we receive or the trials we face. It’s about every second of every day. It’s the whole, the definition, the heart of it. It’s about the very heart of who we are.

So many of Satan’s lies revolve around us being inadequate. That we aren’t enough.

But because of the grace of our Father and the grace of our Savior, we are enough. They make us enough. They encompass every part of our existence, every recess of our minds, and every depth of our souls. We give it all we can, and they make all the difference.

American Evangelist Beth Moore put it perfectly.

“Grace is they eye-popping, knee dropping, earth quaking, pride breaking, dark stabbing, heart grabbing, friend mending, mind-bending, lame walking, mute talking, slave freeing, devil fleeing, death tolling, stone rolling, veil tearing, glory flaring, chin lifting, sin sifting, dirt bleaching, world reaching, past covering, spirit hovering, child defending, happy ending, heaven glancing, feet dancing, power of the Cross.”

We are grace and salt because They are grace and salt. They are compassionate and loyal, merciful and strong. Because of the love of God and the condecension of Christ, we are enough.

 

 

We are all enough.

 

 

 

{And remember, like JK Rowling said, “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” And because you’re enough, everything is possible. Even squirrel-wrangling, dance rehearsal centered youth nights that still draw the Spirit.}

 

 

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