Friday, February 9, 2007

What is Salvation?

The word salvation comes up in spiritual dialog quite often. What is interesting is we often convert that to saved, as in lifting someone out of the clutches of danger like a superhero would do. The root word in salvation is actually salve, which refers to a healing balm or lotion. In one image we have superman flying down and saving someone from harm, in the other we have someone offering or applying a healing balm to someone else in the pain of disease.

I remember finding Batman far more interesting than Superman. Batman did his "good" deeds in secret and anonymously, where as superman was very public, even though he had his humble side as Clark Kent. Batman had wealth and non superhuman athletic abilities that his passion for justice honed and he had his, not so humble, public persona millionaire Bruce Wayne. Superman was born both super strong and super good. He was Jesus like, except he was indestructible in a physical sense, but was vulnerable often because of his own "goodness." For example, he would come to save someone even though he knew he might die from exposure to kryptonite.

Each of the hero saviors had their own motivations for saving others. Batman came from loneliness and anger. Superman came from loneliness and empathy. Each isolated by their own "greatness" and by their own pain.

If we look to a salve or healing lotion, there is no hero. If there is a hero, its the salve itself. It takes no super human ability to give someone the healing lotion or to apply it. An individual can't apply salve to hundreds of people at the same time. (After I wrote that last sentence I had this vision of some guy with a fire hose filled with lotion. Somehow I think something would be lost in fire hose balm application.) It is most likely a person to person experience, or its something a person can apply to themselves after being given it. It is not an isolating experience, its a process that requires at least two people to be involved. In fact the healing might not be in the balm alone, but may require someone to touch.

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