Shalom is typically translated to mean “Peace be with you.” What if we felt empowered to take that several steps further? I’ve come to learn that Shalom is more a blessing for peace, prosperity, and positive action.
I saw a news story this week about an organization in Boston called Samaritans. The group, at its core, has a mission to reduce the incidence of suicide. I suppose I was most moved by the group’s public activities that are meant to impact random people with smiles and well wishes.
I am moved by the activities of this group. I am impressed by the faith that believes in the power of a positive touch. It makes me wonder what would/could happen if we all adopted such an attitude. What would happen if we considered more carefully the impact that we have on each other throughout any given day? If, when we walk through the grocery store, we were looking at other people with a smiling face instead of being buried in our iPhones, what positive impact might we have on other people? If we held the door for someone instead of hurrying in to escape from the cold wind, what opportunity might that create to have a positive influence, however small, on another person? If we genuinely asked someone how they are instead of absently asking “How are ya,” what might we learn of how that person really is?
Ask yourself now what you know of the circumstances of people you deal with on a daily basis. Have you asked how they are? You heard in passing that someone’s child was ill. Have you asked about them? You were told directly about how much stress a friend was in. Have you asked them how they are dealing with that stress or what you might do to lessen their stress? You know for a fact that a neighbor has lost his job. Have you checked on him to see how his job search is going? I was told recently that pain shared is pain lessened. What, then, does it cost for us to lessen the pain of another?
To quote the research of my friend and pastor, David Allred, one variation on the word Shalom is “Histhetlem.” The meaning of this variation is “It was worth it.” So, then, it is worth it for us to take actions, big and small, to lessen others’ pain and bring some peace to the world around us. If we all take some measure of responsibility in helping to bring peace to each other, eventually we succeed.
A link to the news story on Samaritans is here. Watch it. You’ll love it!
Tomorrow Begins Today.