Keep the Jelly

By Michael Temple

Photo by Dreamstime

“Donuts aren’t worth much when the jelly is gone.” My mother, who is nearing the age of 91 looked at the fragment of her treat that was covered with powdered sugar and handed the plate it was sitting on back in my direction. She loves jelly donuts and I always get her one when I come home for a visit. This time, however, she chose to leave what was left of the treat and refused to eat any part that didn’t contain the jelly in the center. “It’s the best part” she always exclaims, which makes me smile as I watch her savor each gooey bite. 

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness" (Matthew 5:13, The Message)?

My dear mama’s musings about the worthlessness of a donut without the jelly got me thinking about how important it is for the “flavor” of our Christianity to be tasted by everyone that we come in contact with. Those that we meet every day should be able to recognize something different, something special, something out of the ordinary when they have an encounter with us…no matter where we are, who we meet, or what circumstance we find ourselves in.

Sadly, there’s very little “jelly” in the lives of many who claim to have had an experience with the living God.  The tastelessness of a bland relationship with the Almighty shows through in ways that might often cause someone to want to return “the plate” with the remnants of what they didn’t enjoy still on it. How tragic that so often the world might not even recognize that Christianity should be more fulfilling than anything else the world has to offer. Salt, light, jelly…it’s all the same. If we don’t bring flavor into the lives of others, we may need to question our experience with the One who created us for that purpose.