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)