I love this picture, not only because of the people in it, but also for what happened just before the picture was taken. As the students and leaders were taking in the view-a wave crashed over the breaker and splashed them with salty water. Yes, salt sprinkled their faces, hair, clothes, or shoes. And perhaps their principal was more like soaked.
I also love the next picture. It is of an active lighthouse, this light shines brightly to lead fishing boats safely back home during storms and dark nights. It was so cool because while we were there a small group of people gathered around the light house for a service, we sensed the presence of Christ and even figured out John 3:16 being recited, without even knowing Afrikaans.
What is significant about salt water and a lighthouse? It all just tied in so beautifully as during one of the evenings at Oceans Retreat Centre, a guest speaker challenged the middle school students to be “salt and light” while in South Africa AND when they returned back home.
The speaker stated:
“Most of the time you don’t really notice salt in food-but you really notice when it is gone. Same with light, you notice it most when it is missing.”
The world may not be able to articulate or fully understand what they need -but what it is missing is “salt and light.” Just look at all the anger, violence, hate, greed, addictions, divisions, slander, and all forms of malice, on and on the list could go.
Jesus gave His followers the strategy to bring in His kingdom in the midst of the darkest times of hate and persecution by being “salt and light,”
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to every one in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven,” (see Matthew 5:1-14, Jesus directives on how to be “salt and light”)
Right after the picture was taken the team gathered in prayer led by a few of the students asking for the Holy Spirit to come and do a work in South Africa in the midst of all our pain, darkness, and brokenness. As they were praying my heart was leaping as the Spirit was saying this is the “salt and light” the world needs at this moment in time.
During their time in South Africa, these students joyfully served the neediest in our community, sometimes by giving loving hugs to lonely children and other times by offering a prayer, a hand written card, or prophetic words of encouragement to teachers and leaders. Their light and salt truly shined a big spot light on the Father in heaven and the glory of Jesus His Son.
May our prayer be that the Holy Spirit splashes us with waves of grace to make us salty and fill us with a Holy Fire to be a light in darkness. Take a moment to look around and find someone who needs to encounter Jesus through you. Maybe it is giving a hug, a word of encouragement, a smile, an authentic thank you, or perhaps speaking forgiveness to someone who hurt you, blessing an unkind individual with an act of kindness, writing a note to a lonely person, preparing a meal for someone sick or homeless, or taking time to be a being a listening ear to a broken soul.
I sincerely believe the Father is raising up a glorious salty church of believers filled with the Holy Spirit and on fire with the light of His glory. The world is desperately longing for HOPE through “salt and light.”