Can I Be a Peacemaker? {Book Club}

Can I Be a Peacemaker? {Book Club}

We love talking about shalom in the Velvet Ashes community.

In fact, one of our past retreats centered completely around this theme and concept, digging deep into what Scripture has to say. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite retreats and I would encourage you to go back to it and spend time sitting with shalom (check out that retreat HERE).

Perhaps that’s part of why the title of this month’s book—Shalom Sistas by Osheta Moore—jumped out to me. Those of us who love more than one part of the world, who have committed to serving and caring for our neighbors, know how broken and desperately in need of shalom the world really is. The things we see weigh heavy on our own hearts and feel too hard to even put in a newsletter or an Instagram post for our friends back home.

As the author Osheta Moore tells us her story and her journey to understand shalom, she offers the freedom to approach being a peacemaker from right where we are. “Can I be a peacemaker right here in my safe little life?” Her answer is yes. Pursuing shalom does not require a peaceful disposition or certain occupation.

I would actually go a bit further and say that shalom is also for us who are not living a safe life, those who are taking risks for the Kingdom. It is for those who are fiery and defiant when it comes to justice but also for those who are, in fact, peaceful in personality.

“Shalom is what happens when the love of God meets our most tender places. Therefore, we can all be peacemakers, because we can all seek and access the love of God to heal our broken places.” (Chapter 2)

At the end of her time learning about shalom from Scripture, Osheta put together her Shalom Sistas manifesto. It covers four areas: peace with God, peace with myself, peace with others, peace with the world.

I appreciate that the focus isn’t just on one of these areas. I can strive to be a peacemaker in a broken world, but if I neglect seeking a sense of wholeness in my relationships with others and even with myself then I’m missing out.

I’m interested in the section we’ll discuss next week which focuses on peace in our relationship with God. My upbringing and faith tell me that Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), making it possible for me to be in relationship with God. Do I have a role in peace with God? What does shalom look like in that context? That’s just a little invitation into my processing as we get ready for the next section.

What did you think of Osheta Moore’s story and journey that we read about in this section? What comes to your mind when you think about the concept of shalom? Is there one of the four areas (peace with God, myself, others, a broken world) that you are curious about?

Join me in the comments to talk about Shalom Sistas!

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the book:

March 9: Part 2 (Chapters 4-6)

March 16: Part 3 (Chapters 7-9)

March 23: Part 4 (Chapters 10-12)

March 30: Part 5 (Chapters 13-15)

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

8 Comments

  1. Michelle March 6, 2021

    I enjoy her approach in sharing her own personal journey as she dives into such a complex subject. This week our ladies Bible study spent some time talking about peace as we went through many passages addressing peace in the New Testament. One theme that we kept repeatedly seeing was the fact that peace is not dependent on our circumstances. It’s something that goes beyond the physical. We can be in the middle of a storm and yet still experience peace. Serving in a medical ministry we often encounter people when they are in the darkest and scariest hours of their lives. And yet some of the deepest, and most profound, ministry can take place in those moments.

    I appreciated Osheta’s sharing about her transition of perceptions of what it means to “bring peace to the city”. And for that matter what the city is. We can be in any location and any circumstance and still experience, or even be a carrier of, shalom.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of Osheta’s thoughts on being a peacemaker versus a peacekeeper. How often it can be easy to get the two mixed up in the heat of emotional crises.

    1. Sarah Hilkemann March 6, 2021

      Michelle, thank you for sharing! It’s so true that peace is not dependent on our circumstances- and yet how I so quickly make it so! 🙂

  2. Kim March 6, 2021

    I have enjoyed reading this book so far. I appreciate her sharing her story. I am looking forward to seeing how being a peace maker applies to the different areas in our lives.

  3. Rachel Kahindi March 7, 2021

    I am loving this book. I related to the part where Osheta was wondering how to bring peace to the city when all her time was spent on her kids. “I worried that I had no purpose other than to bundle up the kids…and wash dishes. I wasn’t an urban M or a peacemaker for my city anymore. I was simply me, and I wasn’t sure that was enough.”

    Shalom within ourselves is what I’m most looking forward to reading. I tend to suppress anything non-peaceful in me rather than make peace.

    1. Sarah Hilkemann March 9, 2021

      Rachel, I do think too often we say, “I’m only…” and feel like what we are doing isn’t important! I’m interested to see how she keeps fleshing that out in the book. 🙂

  4. Phyllis March 16, 2021

    I’m a bit behind, because I had to wait for the ebook from the library, but now I have it. I found the author’s story to be so similar to my own. Where she had a hurricane, I had deportation, and the thoughts and feelings and displacement that went with that were the same.

    I’m looking forward to reading more and catching up.

    1. Sarah Hilkemann March 16, 2021

      Phyllis, I’m so glad you were able to get ahold of the book! 🙂

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