My brother Bobby salted his ketchup. A friend recently reminded me of this and I thought, “Yep. That’s Bobby—excessively seasoning.” He poured salt on everything. He’d use three salt packets on already-super-salty McDonald’s fries. He’d take dares to pour salt directly into his mouth. Once, I saw someone dare him to do it for twenty seconds straight. He didn’t hesitate (and I think he made five bucks).
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about salt and about why Jesus describes His followers as “salt of the earth,” how one goes about being salt. And after thinking about it, I’m pretty sure we’ve got the “salt of the earth” type all wrong. When journalists describe someone that way, they mean working class, religious, and boring. People who’re good citizens, quiet, low-profile. And that’s not bad. It’s just not salty.
Salt is a spice. It makes bland things exciting. Salt of the earth people aren’t bland people. They make life taste good.
My brother Bobby was absolutely salt of the earth.
Everything he touched came to life. He couldn’t watch a basketball game, climb a set of stairs, walk through the mall, or drive to school normally. Every mundane task could be transformed into an opportunity for fun. And Bobby never kept the fun to himself. He generously poured salt all over other people.
My mom heard recently from a guy who thinks of Bobby this way, a guy whose life wasn’t that great before Bobby, a guy whose life transformed when Bobby prank-called his way in. Bobby repeatedly pulled this guy into the fun, refusing to accept a “no, thanks,” and in the process he helped him make friends and live a more fun life.
When people found out Bobby was a Christian, they thought more of Christ. They thought, “Well maybe being a Christian isn’t such a lame thing to be.” You and I both know it’s not lame at all, but Bobby helped people taste that.
Every year my family sponsors a benefit lunch during Makin’ Music weekend (April 10) to raise money for student scholarships at FHU. This year the theme is “B Salt” (B for Bobby, of course). We’re asking attendees to be salt just as Bobby was, to make a difference in the lives of others. You can visit the facebook event page here to find out more and buy tickets.
We’re also selling B Salt t-shirts. And they’re beautiful. If you’re reading this blog, you need a B Salt shirt. It’ll remind you every time you put it on to make life taste good, to season the lives of the people around you, to be like my salty brother Bobby. Buy one here.
P.S. Here’s Timberlake in a Bert shirt. Yeah, they’re that cool.