BY RUBEN PEREZ
I once heard about this thing called shalom, and it created immense beauty in my soul. I learned that in Hebrew, shalom means to make amends, peace, wholeness. It reminds me that we reflect the One who created us: a God who creates peace and restoration, and redeems our world to be as it ought to be.
How profound this is in our modern day when it is hard to believe that shalom is tangible. The world that ought to be is not existent.
Art is a gift for us to use to create shalom in our modern world. Instead we identify art as a commodity. We use art as a way of self-glorification rather than self-expression even in the middle of a culture that is desperately in need of identity, value, and worth.
We are called to be peace-makers in a world that desperately needs peace. We are called to create this world that ought be by creating community with the people around us and by bringing shalom even to those we never meet through every word, thought, and deed.
Ordinary things like a water-hose and soil can create such joy in a kid’s heart. I used to love to moisten the dirt into mud to play with in front of my house. As a child, it brought me joy to see and to feel all the different textures that would come as the water springs of the hose collided with the soil. There was deep contrast between the softness of the mud and the abrupt rigid edges of the big rock that I would play on; it had great big caves that I could fill with water and pretend were pools.
We are called to create shalom. Everything that is formed by our hands, hearts, or minds has the potential of the hose and the soil to create joy and peace. Business strategies, kind words, and paintbrushes on canvas have the power not only to bring joy but also to bring shalom into the lives of the people around us.