Mike and Todd had booked a table at Steve’s Steak Stable for another “Man Food” night; and as proud, unofficial card-carrying members of “Vegetable Liberation,” their menu choices focused on meat - but only from vegetarian cows, pigs, deer or sheep!
They smiled their thanks as the waiter set down their meals; a couple of sides to share with two gigantic T-bones still fizzing on the iron plates cradled on thick wooden trays to absorb the heat. This was going to be some demolition derby, because for these two best friends, a meal couldn’t just be a meal. It had to be a contest, for the respect in their friendship allowed plenty of room for rivalry; right from their first day at school.
Busy family life and demanding work schedules made these friends value their “Man Food” nights, as they proved the truth of Proverbs 27:17 - “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Food intake replaced conversation, until Todd rested his fork. “How did Saturday’s men’s breakfast go? I’d booked the weekend away with Stacey and the kids before I knew about it.”
“It was a great time, and Pastor Kelvin shared some new ideas about how we can be the salt of the earth, like Jesus said,” Mike replied.
“New ideas?” Todd furrowed his brow. “I’ve only ever heard about salt predating refrigeration as a preservative; before preachers serve up guilt trips about how we need to preserve everyone’s morals.
Mike produced a paper napkin from his pocket. “Well check out what I wrote down!
“Salt enhances taste, just like we put on these steaks. So God’s grace can flow through us to help people see how much better their lives can be.”
“Let’s not try it on desserts,” Todd grinned, “and if you drink salty water you could end up with “brine” damage – Hah! But what else did he say?”
“Funny you should mention salty water,” Mike chuckled, “because salty water is harder to boil or freeze. It’s more thermostatic, so God’s grace helps us to keep people around us less emotional and more objective if there’s tension in the air.”
“But salt is destructive too,” Todd countered. “What about salt for de-icing winter roads? It clears the roads, but it eats our cars up!”
“That’s true,” Mike replied, “but that’s just like God’s grace corrodes the hard attitudes that we discover in some people from time to time.”
Todd leaned forward with a smile. “But even a teaspoon full of salt can kill! “
“You’re right again, Todd,” Mike conceded, “but let’s not let our steaks get cold. These notes can wait.”
Eating resumed, heartily, as the two friends worked their way through their protein and trimmings.
Todd eventually pushed his empty plate away with a satisfied grin. “I always know when I’ve eaten enough; it’s when my chair hasn’t shifted and I feel the table rubbing against my shirt. But I’d like to hear more about that breakfast.”
“Thought you’d never ask,” chuckled Mike. “You mentioned how salt can kill if you ingest too much, but I’ve got here ‘salt kills infection,’ so we can release God’s grace into poisonous attitudes and abusive scenarios to promote healing and harmony.
“Did you realise that salty water is a more powerful conductor for electricity than ordinary water?” Mike asked. “Pastor Kelvin invited us to pray by concentrating less on our problems and more on God’s grace, so we can respond to his working with more confidence and less surprise. How about that?
“But salt’s greatest feature is that it makes people thirsty. Which means that as we allow God to direct his grace through us, we will connect with people’s inner needs or hopes, or even with the hurts they’ve hidden away from everyone else. And as they sense his availability through how we interact with them, they will want to know more about how to plug into his grace for themselves.”
“So Psalm 34 verse 8 is right on the mark,” Todd nodded: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy is the man who takes refuge in him.”
“You betcha,” Mike replied, “because S-A-L-T is just another way to spell L-O-V-E!”
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