In a recent paper, one of my students stated that Paul, the apostle, was a “salve of Christ.” She clearly meant “slave of Christ,” but as I went to correct her mistake, I was struck by the theological profundity of this spelling error.

According to the dictionary, salve is “a medical ointment for healing or relieving wounds and sores”* or “something that is soothing or consoling for wounded feelings.”**

When Christ heals both our physical and emotional ailments, he very much acts like a salve. He enters into our wounds, soothes our pain, and brings healing.

We too participate in this therapeutic role when we seek to emulate and embody Christ’s example.

As salves of Christ, we become healing agents when we enter into another’s pain, sit with them in their grief, provide a listening ear, or offer hope in times of uncertainty.

Christ extends his mending presence to, and through, us, that we may experience wholeness, and share it with others.