In keeping with January's theme, I dedicate this piece to a member whose words in writing and in person embodied InScribe’s mission. She, like InScribe, continues to inspire me.
Bobbi knew her place in a salt-shaker. While she may have been more comfortable hiding quietly, she surrendered her heart to Jesus, and allowed Him to shake her.
In her upside-down, unsettling moments, she poured herself out in a generous pinch of thirst-creating, truth-preserving, hope-enhancing salt to her world.
Throughout membership and contest coordinating for InScribe, I leaned on Bobbi to answer scads of questions. Emails flew back and forth, mine often heavy with desperation, hers always brief with just a question or a little comment that clarified things. Between the cracks and crevices of numbers, graphs, and spreadsheets, Bobbi sprinkled the salt of encouragement. One of her last comments to me was , “One day at a time, Sweet Jesus.” She practiced that daily dependency on Jesus for everything from balancing the InScribe books to pacing herself through another hard-to-breathe day. With that little phrase, I knew her faith was still real, practical, and a light to me in the midst of deadlines.
Salt is a tricky thing to get right. Too much and it’s revolting. Not enough and it disappoints, leaving flavours hidden.
|Thirst for Living Water|
But Bobbi had a knack for seasoning her words with just the right amount. It made me long for more of her wisdom, her wit, and her grace. Just like salt creates thirst, so our words should be seasoned with faith, hope, and love, moving our readers to yearn for Living Water.
Bobbi’s words challenged the reader. She told stories simply and with an almost uncomfortable honesty. Salt can sting in an open wound, but also heals. If you’ve heard her podcasts based on “The Reluctant Care Giver”, or read her book by the same title, you would recall her unpredictable and somewhat chaotic journey with her mother as she tried to place her into assisted care. The way Bobbi tells it left me laughing and crying at the same time. She listened to God’s voice, at times turning her car around and for reasons unknown to her, driving to her mom's place. As a result of letting God lead the way in the puzzling maze of dementia, she was able to partner with her mom, and her nontraditional "method" resonated with many caregivers, professionals included. Her simple faith still challenges me to be radically obedient, like her.
Salt also kills bacteria by sucking the life-water out of its environment. Before refrigeration, salt in abundance, not just a sprinkle, was required to preserve meats. Jesus called us the salt of the earth, (Matthew 5:13) possibly because it is our duty to preserve goodness in the dirt around us. While our eyes burn from the stench of hatred, greed, and injustice, we are called to prevent moral decay by packing a lavish portion of His life-giving, healing words around the muscles and tendons of those with tender faith. Perhaps He expects us to share such savoury words that they "suck the life out of" society's slimy salmonella-infused lies, and cure carnal rawness with pure Spirit. Bobbi wrote essays for our Fall contest. Her words challenged deceptive norms, and confronted ideas that threaten the value and dignity of human life. She wrapped salty truth around every paragraph of every piece, and injected a briny veracity into her books and presentations. She helped preserve the standards for which InScribe stands.
The humble salt-shaker - in a myriad of shapes and colours - brings us all together at the table as we lean in and seek salt, or some variation of it. We as blood-bought believers are that salt. We are all diverse, viewing life through our own upbringing and culture, and even interpreting current laws differently, but Jesus' forgiveness and His call on our lives pulls us together into the cozy confine of the shaker. Bobbi, with her grace-seasoned spirit, often stepped out of coziness to share tidbits of truth.
Our InScribe family, and no doubt Bobbi’s more intimate circle of her own family, are missing her these days. We are tasting the salt in our tears. May that be a reminder to learn from her, and to be willing to be shaken. Shaken right out of our comfortable shaker.
May we, like Bobbi, sprinkle a little truth into everything we write, to create thirst for the eternal Spring.
Like her, let us flavour our stories with a daring dash of hope. And let us pack a briny brightness into every sentence of every story to nudge our readers as they take one more step - "one more day at a time, Sweet Jesus" - across the gulf of darkness and into the Light.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6 NIV).