Salty Popcorn

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, I LOVE popcorn, sometimes it’s my dinner. Not the microwave stuff. Get outta here with that! No, sir! As for me and my house, we will make it old school style, like my daddy taught me, like God intended.

Here’s my super technical recipe: Get a big ol’ pot, pour in oil (we use vegetable, my grandma used bacon fat—so just whatever you have on hand), add in a layer of kernels, turn the burner on to medium or just a hair past; leave the lid just slightly off the rim so air can circulate, I think. Then, wait…wait…wait… for the goodness to explode. It takes longer than the microwave. Be patient. That heavenly sound and smell…it’s happening. Yum. Finally, when the kernels are popping two or three seconds apart, remove it from the burner.

Once it’s all popped, add in good old table salt, ¼ teaspoon at a time, tossing the kernels in between each round of salt, until you’ve reached your desired saltiness. My dad used to dump the popcorn in a big paper grocery bag (there were six of us) and toss it that way.

Want to be a hero? Pour some melted butter on those billowy kernels and then just wait for the applause and cheers.  Your children will admire you, your in-laws will respect you, your friends will revere you. Well done, friend.

Last week, the hubster and I picked up a movie and found a comfy spot on the couch. The kids were all tucked in and I had just popped a batch for our movie night. As I tend to do, I was multi-tasking–pouring in salt and telling him something important, putting dishes away, and pouring in more salt. We plopped on the couch, grabbed a handful of popcorn and spit it right back out. BIegh! It was soooo salty. I was not a hero. It was disgusting. We had to throw the batch out and start over.

The second time around I paid closer attention. I poured in the salt carefully, tasting it between each toss to make sure I had it salted perfectly this time. Deliciousness.

Matthew 5:13 Tells us we (as followers of Christ) are the salt of the earth. It says that if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing and must be thrown out for people to walk on.

Salt was used in ancient times for flavoring and preserving, just like it is used today. In those biblical times they would pull the salt from the Dead Sea. It would be full of impurities and this would cause the salt to lose some of its saltiness eventually.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Our impurities can definitely hinder our witness. We judge. We condemn. We advocate our position. We alienate the world that needs Jesus. We divide. We give up on people. We lose heart. We spread our discontent…and on and on and on. When we lose our saltiness the world loses out on seeing the Spirit working in us too.

We must continuously ask the Lord to filter out those impurities, before your whole batch of salt becomes useless.

When else can salt be useless? When there is just way too much of it–just like when we had to throw out that batch of popcorn. It’s too much, it’s overwhelming, it’s over powering, so it gets spit out.

As Christians, our purpose as salt is to make others (Christian and non-Christian alike) thirsty.

We do this by sprinkling love when hatred is being served; we do this by bringing acceptance where rejection occurred, bringing peace in torment, hope in the hopelessness, rest in the weariness, joy in the heartache, understanding in the confusion, peace in the uncertainty, and gratitude in the midst of the discontent and yes, truth but truth wrapped in love and grace.

As our friends and family members, coworkers and strangers see us exemplifying Christ the right way, by honoring each other and loving others despite our differences, there will, hopefully come a time when they will be thirsty.  And when they are, offer them a tall glass of the Living Water from the well that never runs dry.