Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth.
Today while I was waiting for my van to get an oil change, a story came up on the news. It was about a father and step-mother being charged in the death of a 10 year old boy. My understanding is that the boy died 2 days after he was beaten and not taken to hospital. Being a human being and having an almost 10 year old boy myself, I find this extremely disturbing.
How does a parent end up beating his child to the point of such severe injuries that the child dies? What darkness must be in a person's heart for this to happen! And what about the boy - what kind of life did he have? Did he know love in the short time that he was upon this earth? Were there people in his life who were compassionate, kind, generous?
While I was driving home thinking about this, that verse about Jesus' disciples being the salt of the earth came to my mind. I understood afresh the fact that we who follow Jesus are called to bring something into this world. Some people think about this mainly in terms of evangelism - sharing with people specifically about Jesus and trying to get them to make a decision to follow him. I'm not sure that this encompasses the whole picture. Jesus stood for things such as love, freedom, justice, compassion, and healing. If we share these with the world, we are sharing Jesus.
I find it so heart wrenching that there wasn't enough love, compassion, and encouragement in this 10 year old's family life to save him. It is not OK that we live in a world where this can and does happen. To all of you out there, Christian or not, who have love, encouragement, compassion, even smiles for others - share it! Share it with those who don't have lives that are regularly filled with such things. Share it so that people may know that they matter, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that there is help where they need it. You never know, you just might help to save a life.