I loved the great hymns we sang in church, but sometimes they confused me. We sang: “round yon virgin mother and child,” and I thought, Who is John Virgin? And why was he so round? A child heard, “Gladly the cross I’d bear,” and wondered why they would name a cross-eyed bear Bradley. Remember the song, “He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood”? One mom realized her little boy was singing, “He socked me and bopped me.” Here are a few more.
Candi says, “My youngest used to sing ‘the King is exhausted’ instead of ‘the King is exalted.’” Bev’s daughter sang, “I got peas in my liver,” instead of “I got peace like a river.” Yvonne loved “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord,” until her toddler sang from his car seat, “Open the eyes of my hot dog,” his hands raised in worship.” Finally, there’s the little girl who asked her mom, “Why does God think we’re salty?” Her mom didn’t know, so the girl sang, “I am salty…” Of course the real words are, “I exalt thee,” but I like that little girl’s version. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says to His followers, “You are the salt of the earth.”
Why salt? In Jesus’ day, long before refrigeration, salt was essential in preserving food. It cleans and disinfects. We all know what a sprinkle of salt can do for a tomato sandwich. Salt brings out flavour, just like we do when we live as authentic Christ-followers. When we use our words and our time to build others up. To season conversations. To bring joy to a room. To add zest. To preserve. To keep the earth from decay. That little girl was right. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you can sing, “I am salty.”
The world has met enough sour-faced Christians. People who have peas in their liver, rather than “peace like a river.” How do we lose our saltiness? It starts when we forget what God has done for us and set our eyes on everything that’s wrong. Have you lost your saltiness today? If so, remember that you are loved immeasurably by the God who made you, and that you are called to be salt to those around you. A valuable preservative that brings flavour and adds zest.
You may even find yourself bursting into song to the one who loves you and knows your name. Sharon loves the song, “I am a friend of God; He calls me friend.” But her daughter thought it was, “I am afraid of God, He calls me Fred.”