I recall one year I was making a butter cookie but inadvertently left out the salt. Wow! Who would think less than a teaspoon of something would make such a difference? Despite the sugar, the cookies just weren’t as flavorful as I knew they should be.
It reminded me of how important salt is, and not just to my cookies! Jesus told us to be the salt of the earth, and the metaphor worked then just as well as it does today. We’re to bring flavor to the world around us, preserve the faith—in general, make our world better, just as the salt does in my cookie recipe.
Did you know our word “salary” comes from the word salt? And the phrase “not worth his salt” comes from the ancient Greek slave trade, when human beings were sold for salt. The Latin “sal” for salt brought words like “sauce” and “sausage.” On a more dramatic level, the salt tax actually played a part in the French Revolution, and here in America war strategies involved salt when British General Howe jubilantly captured General Washington’s salt supply. During Napoleon’s rampage, it’s recorded that many of his soldiers died in the retreat from Moscow when they didn’t have access to salt to help heal the wounded. The Erie Canal was once referred to as “the ditch that salt built” because that was the primary product to be shipped along its route. And believe it or not, there is an entire hotel made of salt on the salt flat of Bolivia!
I’ll never look at my little salt shaker in quite the same way!