It’s there in the moment.
Sandwiched between the sadness and the joy. Between the love and the difficult relationships. Between the sun and the clouds. Between till death do us part, and lets talk about this another time. Between confidence and fear. Between self-preservation and laying down our lives.
Between risking it all, and guarding our hearts.
Between finding God and losing Him.
I am starting to understand Shalom in this time between times as I listen to the rhetoric of a political figure who incites fear and anger. I wonder what has happened to our country – to respecting those in authority as given by God even when we don’t agree. To respect each other and our different opinions – the fabric of freedom.
It is a higher calling to love others rather than to hate – to have faith instead of fear.
All politics aside – I serve the Son of a Middle Eastern immigrant who also happens to be the Son of God, born of the Holy Ghost, and born to die that others may live.
A Middle Eastern immigrant who had to flee persecution and death on several occasions beginning as a wee child.
We are compelled to give the person who asks us for our shirt – our coat as well.
We are encouraged if asked to walk one mile to willingly go two instead.
We are called to lay down our life for others with a promise that if we hold tightly to our own lives we will lose them, but if we give up our life we will gain – everything.
We will gain Christ.
We are called to love, love, and then love some more. We are not called to Patriotism but to Kingdom life.
We are not called to an American flag but a Banner of Love.
We are called to an expansion of the Kingdom, not an expansion of our government.
We are called to this moment in time.
We are called to the person next to us on the bus who is a different color, a different race, a different ethnicity, a different religion – but of one blood. We as Christ followers have the Spirit whispering to us, “You were called for such a time as this.” The pain, the suffering, the wars, the genocides, the immigrants, the oppressed – we were called for them.
The hurting, the weak, the despised.
We can’t love without Shalom. True Agape love can’t spring forth from the polluted waters of fear, self-preservation or anger.
Shalom is so much more than peace. Shalom is complete wholeness, peace, tranquility – it is our emotions at harmony with everything that is – breathing to the rhythm of God’s love. It is a state of being even when everything around you is in a state of doing.
It’s outwardly weeping the pain of one of our children while we breath in it is well with my soul.
It is crossing thoughts of movie theater terrorism carried away by the laughter of happy grandchildren eating popcorn without a care.
It’s overcoming the fear of flying and seeing the in the Middle Eastern Muslim sitting across from you the face of Jesus instead of the face of the enemy.
Our Triune God is great. Our country is just a group of people fighting to do the best we can with fallen perspectives and selfishness and sin striving against the guiding compass of Love with a small measure of finite greatness.
We as disciples are to live in the moment of Shalom. It is well with our souls when we put others first.
We must recognize that we are afraid, and fear produces cognitive dissonance…
…and cognitive dissonance causes spiritual dissonance…
…and spiritual dissonance is not where Shalom abides.
Shalom resides only in the God who was willing to lay down His rights – His very life that we as immigrant children could be adopted as sons and daughters into a Kingdom without end, without boundaries, without wars, pain, or suffering. A Kingdom party of Imago Dei.
We can’t invite enemies to the party – we won’t get close enough to them to do that. We must invite friends, acquaintances and neighbors.
We are called to inhale a time as this – and bring others into that breath.
(All photography courtesy of my son Samuel – SamShots )