Shalom in a World Gone Crazy
So many times this year (right from the outset) I have felt like our world has gone crazy... We saw in the year with fires to an extent that our generation hasn’t experienced. Even the smoke felt crazy. One day we were driving home from Canberra to a fire that was 1km from our house (fully expecting to pack the car and leave again), and the next I was back in Canberra driving in the thick of a hail storm that saw 37,000 insurance claims (and yet, our car remained undamaged – God gave me a tunnel to shelter in). Then the rain came, bringing with it flood to some… and then we really started to hear more about corona virus… (and no, I haven’t forgotten that we were already in drought before all that)…
And here we are today, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that has brought out crazy behaviour in people – empty supermarket shelves, stockpiling food & fighting in the aisles over toilet paper. Now most people haven’t been that crazy, and I haven’t been to the supermarket this week, so I don’t really know if the shelves are re-stocked and everyone has calmed down, but now we have police patrolling our parks & streets, making sure people don’t congregate. And while I can perhaps understand, I have to admit, it still leaves me shaking my head.
For us lockdown doesn’t feel so strange. We live in the bush on 100 acres. When I go for a walk around my property, I rarely see anyone else even in normal times; I work from home normally, and we already home educate. But when I go into town, or watch the news, or even consider the changes I have had to make for my business and what is going on outside the borders of my property, or what the months & years ahead will hold; I feel like the world has been turned upside down overnight. Surreal is the word that probably best describes it.
I know that for many, all that I have described above are causes of stress & triggers for increased anxiety. And yet, I have peace & I have hope and that is what I want to share today because I believe the need for these is perhaps greater than anything else right now.
What is Shalom? It is often interpreted as meaning peace, and it does; but it means SO MUCH MORE than peace. Now the truth is I am no Hebrew scholar & probably don’t do the word enough justice but this is what I say on my website:
Shalom is a Hebrew word rich in meaning and one that we don’t have an equivalent for in the English language. It communicates well being and harmony both within and without - peace, harmony, wholeness in body, soul & spirit, completeness, victory, prosperity, welfare, tranquility, quietness of soul. It encompasses healing and restoration of every broken relationship. It is nicely summed up, “Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken.” It is also used as both “hello” and “goodbye”, but spoken in this way as much more than a casual or social greeting – it is a blessing, a deep desire, a prayer, encompassing all that is mentioned above.
'Shalom' expresses all that I desire for my clients. I long to see my clients well, whole, free and living life to the full.
As a naturopath I use many tools available to me to work with clients toward complete physical, psychological, social and spiritual health and well being. As a Christian I believe that those tools ultimately come from the God who created us & the world we live in – who created food intricately to provide all the nutrients that we need & herbs with medicinal properties; who made us to live in a clean untarnished environment, to move, to laugh, to play, to be thankful. He is the one who wired our brains & created the symphony of hormones in our bodies & then when we messed it all up, He gave us knowledge to start discovering & understanding what we need & the tools we can use. For me natural health makes sense through the lense of my faith in the God who created me & everything around me.
Normally on this site I speak purely from a naturopathic perspective, but today I’m going to get a bit more personal than normal & speak of my source of shalom. Although I don’t usually post here about my personal faith, I would not be being true to myself, my faith or the fact that I am a holistic practitioner (who considers body, mind & spirit completely integrated), if I didn’t share my source of peace & hope. I don’t usually share my faith here because I don’t limit my services to those who share my beliefs and I have no intention of beginning to “shove my faith” at clients or potential clients, or followers of my blog or FB page. However, if you aren’t a Christian, I encourage you to keep reading anyway, because in the midst of the crazy that has been this year we all need Shalom.
Shalom is multidimensional, complete well-being – physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. It flows from all of one’s relationships being put right – relationships with God, with oneself & with others.
Perhaps most fundamentally, shalom means reconciliation with God, because His ultimate plan for us is reconciliation to Himself. When we come to that place, then we can truly be reconciled to others & within ourselves. From that place we can truly find peace, wholeness, harmony, completeness & prosperity.
My source of shalom is my relationship with God, and my absolute confidence that He cares about me & truly has my future & eternity in His hands. I have experienced this time & again and can say with all honesty, that even when things have been toughest, He has never let me down.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) These are words of hope - which are of great relevance and significance in this time. I have experienced this peace and am so thankful for it, because I have also experienced anxiety and it is not something I wish for anyone.
We are coming up to Easter and while for many it is a cause of disappointment this year - not being able to spend it with family as is their tradition; it is a perfect time to reflect on the price of shalom. You see, the price for our shalom – our reconciliation with God, our peace, our healing, health, wholeness… was Jesus. He, the Son of God (and God Himself – a difficult mystery to comprehend), who could have stayed in His comfortable heaven, CHOSE to come here – to our messed up broken, ugly, selfish, crazy earth – to live amongst us for 33 years & to die a horrific death to pay the price of our shalom; to make it possible for us to be reconciled to God, to find peace now & hope for an eternity in peace with God. He said He came to bring good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners (I believe He also means those in a mental prison), recovery of sight for the blind & freedom for the oppressed. The Bible says that His death brings us healing. I can’t leave it at His death though, because – and although this is perhaps one of the more difficult parts to believe* - He didn’t stay dead, and that is so important, because THAT is what really won the victory.
So I will leave this here. If you want to partner with me as a naturopath to walk your health journey with you from a holistic & natural perspective, then contact me here to make a booking. If you aren’t sure if I’m the right fit for you, then don’t forget I offer a free “Meet Me” appointment to discuss how I work, your expectations (& mine) & any questions you have.
If you want to know more though about my source of shalom & my relationship with God then I would love to chat with you & would never charge for that time. For this also, contact me here.
(* There is actually plenty of historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus which I am happy to share if you want to know more, but this post isn’t the place for it.)