Please Don’t Pray For Peace (A Lament)

Over the past year, since the unrest in Baltimore last April, I’ve been thinking that “pray for peace” is actually not what we want.  It’s possible to have a surface peace, as in “It’s really peaceful tonight, look at the beautiful sunset” without actually having any true wholeness in our relationships or world.

nikphone 051 (600x800)sunset over the water in Canton (Baltimore, spring 2015), peaceful right?

Rather, I want us all to pray for shalom.  As you may know, shalom is a Hebrew word that does mean peace, but also wellness, health, SAFETY, prosperity, and absence of discord (among other things).  These are things that are easily available in abundance to some in our society and in short supply, or not at all, to others.

The past couple weeks, it has yet again been made very clear that although it may be easy for some (like me, as a middle class well-educated white woman) to feel safe and well in my every-day life, this is absolutely not the case for far too many others, particularly African-American men (regardless of education level or class).  Until each person in our country can say that they are living in shalom, then we cannot say that [hashtag] all lives matter.  Until then, we need to say [hashtag] black lives matter.

So please, don’t pray for a surface peace. Pray for shalom, even as we grieve with those who are grieving.

IMG_0903 (600x800)Laura and Marko at our church, April 2015

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