“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?” Luke 14:34
I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up to go on retreat with the women of our Spanish Ministry. My language skills are more like spanglish than Spanish. But the tug of my heart was undeniable. I had to go. I needed to go.
For the first time in 32 years I went on a church retreat without any expectations. This was the Calvary Chapel Spanish Women’s Retreat, attended by over 500 women from several churches. They came to worship, learn, renew friendships, and draw near to God. They were Cuban, Mexican, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Bolivian, Argentinian and represented all walks of life.
Hearing my first language spoken almost exclusively astonished me. My sisters graciously translated for me when I didn’t understand.
From the first moment of worship, the love and passion expressed by these humble women amazed me. Voices raised in song, hands lifted in adoration and the beauty of their love written on every face was breathtaking. When the teacher—an older woman who needed assistance on and off the stage—began to speak, rapt attention was on every face. As she spoke, this little lady who had traveled from Rosarito, Mexico, became ageless, speaking in a voice as young as a teenager. The theme: “Somos la sal de la Tierra” Mateo 5:13 (We are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13)
That night in my room I asked the Lord,
Why am I here? What are you trying to teach me? Spanish is my first language but I don’t remember being immersed in the culture, the textures or the people. I’ve never owned my heritage. Instead, I’ve run from it, ashamed and embarrassed. At 65 years of age you have me here, trying to re-learn all this. Why is it so important to You that I learn it now?
I fell asleep with questions on my mind and no answers from God.
The second day was the same, passionate worship and down-to-earth teaching. I took notes in English and noticed my translations improved. I noticed other things, too. God was opening my eyes to see—truly see—what I’d been running away from all my life was actually quite inviting. These beautiful women shone with the love of Christ.
“Snapshots” of the weekend pass through my mind. The two women who traveled from Seattle to attend the retreat. The woman whose son was pronounced dead in her womb, but—after crying out to the Lord—his heart started to beat and now years later she gives glory to God alone for her son. The new friends I made who encouraged my faith in a language I’m learning to understand. The offers to help me correctly translate what I write in English so I can encourage women in two languages.
Why now God?
Because God will use anything to help me listen to His voice better. Because I was wearing blinders and He wanted me to take them off. Because this is another way to serve Him
Why? Because I had not been using salt to season my life, nor was I allowing it to heal my broken spirit. Salt burns and heals as well as seasons. My life has been missing the seasoning that makes things better.
“Salt is good but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.” Mark 9:50
by Eve Montano