13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16 Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
Many people in this world see nothing but darkness and hopelessness in their lives, especially in impoverished communities where there is depression, sadness, despair, drugs, alcohol, violence, and poverty. Even their physical surroundings seem dark and foreboding, often littered with trash, disease, stray animals, unsanitary conditions, dirty water, and mud. This is what I encounter in the Roma communities we work in everyday. If I'm honest with myself, even I get depressed and feel hopeless at times when I am in these communities. Perhaps you have seen and experienced this in poorer communities in your own country or abroad.
But, it’s not only in these impoverished communities we see this. It occurs everywhere around us in middle class neighborhoods and within the upper echelons of society where depression, despair, loneliness, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness often exist. People popping prescription pills, drinking away their lives, overeating with comfort foods, looking for that someone else online, cutting themselves, or God forbid… thoughts of suicide. In other words, these things, to various degrees exist in every facet of our society no matter where we may live and work.
It’s no wonder Jesus tells us as His followers to be the salt and light of this world, because darkness and despair can be found everywhere and all around us.
But, God can also be found all around us if we just look.
It is up to us to point out where God is already in our midst. We are not bringing God to people. God is not absent from them. He is already here among us. It is up to us to simply point Him out.
Point Him out in the intricate designs of the butterfly’s wings. In the way the stray dog nurses and cares for her pups. The swaying of a nearby tree and blossoming of even the smallest of wildflower. The cooing of a baby and the smile of a tot. The warmth of the hot sun and the provision of water in the rain. The diversity of colors, shapes, and sizes of people. Any expressions of joy and laughter and sadness and tears are of God. The God flavors.
Go ahead. Look for these things and point them out among others.
Where there is darkness there is also light. Where there is despair there is also joy. Where there is weeping there is also rejoicing. Where there is negativity there is also positivity. Where there is poverty there is also the profound beauty of God’s creation surrounding them. The God colors.
Point Him out. He’s here.
So, remember these two things: Be the salt. Salt preserves and enhances what is already good. It can bring out the God-flavors that is already present. And, be a light. Light exposes darkness and allows others to see hope. It can bring out the beauty of the God-colors already surrounding us. Let us be both and do both in a world that desperately needs the love, peace, grace, and beauty of God.