November 19, 2008
A Pinch of Salt
by Katherine Britton, Crosswalk.com News & Culture Editor
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6
I think it’s a rite of passage or something. Every new wife has to royally flub her attempt at making dinner at least once, and last night was my night. I don’t mean the usual “oh, fooey, it doesn’t look like the recipe.” I mean the dreaded “oh, no, is this even edible anymore?!” It was that night. Sigh.
For those interested, it was supposed to be a nice meal of seasoned chicken topped with sautéed mushroom-and-wine sauce. It was supposed to be a thank-you for the fire crackling in the woodstove when I got home. What better way to say “I love you” than with food, right?
I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say I added way too much cooking wine and didn’t realize it until the mushrooms had absorbed the taste. My taste test had me grimacing. So while my not-quite-thawed-chicken was frying (yes, problem #2), I desperately Googled quick fixes for when one adds too much wine to a recipe. I found absolutely nothing helpful.
In the end, my mushrooms were boiled rather than sautéed and were positively walloping my taste buds. If I hadn’t paid for the groceries, I would’ve chucked the whole thing and gotten out the frozen pizza.
David still insisted on eating my Frankenfood despite my warnings and apologies.
“Hmmm. I think it just needs a little salt,” he said.
A little salt? I already tried to fix this! “Well, maybe that will help a little. Maybe.” I figured that nothing could salvage this disaster of a meal. Still, I let him sprinkle my plate with salt.
I don’t know how, as I have yet to figure out the chemistry of cooking, but my next bite tasted distinctly different. A better different, one that actually tasted pretty good. I just sat there for a minute in disbelief. Could it be that the bigger problem was what I had forgotten, not what I had added? Apparently so. And just like that, a bit of seasoning salvaged my pitiful attempts at connoisseur cooking.
Last night, I discovered the practical application Paul gave the church at Colossae. Our best conversations, adventures, and interactions with others will never quite taste right unless we add grace to the mix. I learned that lesson a long time ago, but saw it more clearly thanks to my cooking misadventure.
The Matthew Henry Commentary has this to say about seasoning our lives with salt:
“Though it [our conversation] be not always of grace, it must be always with grace; and, though the matter of our discourse be that which is common, yet there must be an air of piety upon it and it must be in a Christian manner seasoned with salt. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, makes it savoury, and keeps it from corrupting.”
A little salt can add balance to a whole meal. The presence of grace infuses holiness into our whole lives. One ingredient makes all the difference.
Intersecting Faith & Life: As Matthew Henry says, seasoning our conversation with grace means attitude as much as topic. Are you constantly aware of grace as you speak with others? How should that change your tone? Your attitude and suggestions?