Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God’s shalom, invites all people to come and receive divine peace in the midst of the difficult questions and struggles of life. Follow Christ in the way that leads to God’s peace and discover the blessings of all of the dimensions of salvation.
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:2a
Does the scripture passage say after the difficult, or before the difficult? Look again…
We all have various struggles. Usually we think of peace as something that could happen after the “struggle” part is past. But that’s not miraculous—that’s understandable and even visible. The invitation is to hope in the midst of the difficult, where we will receive peace in the midst of the struggle. That is salvation!
“…discover the blessings of all the dimensions of salvation.” As an artist, I work in two dimensions, sometimes three, but there are more dimensions than these—let’s add time. The dimensions of salvation include the now. Salvation is in the midst of the difficult. How am I saved? How can I see hope in the midst of despair?
I am saved by the peace of Jesus Christ through redemptive relationships—saved from despair, loneliness, rage, and fear. What does this look like?
I was saved from melting into a crazy puddle-of-a-mom with three babies far away by a redemptive relationship with Leslie Skoor and JoAnn Fisher. Saved from the depression and despair of a suicidal teenager through the redemptive relationship of Lisa Lowry and our congregation praise band. Saved from oppressive loneliness by the redemptive relationships of my office colleagues and the healing touch of Dana Speigle.
These people were the embodiment of Christ for me. Relationship with them saved me in the midst of my difficulties and brought me peace in the midst of my despair. These were ordinary people who became holy through their acts of kindness, through listening—just being there and spilling a bit of themselves with me, and me with them.
What are we not seeing?
Let’s open our eyes to see the opportunity to be in redemptive relationships. Who needs our listening ear? Who is it that needs to feel the loving acceptance of Christ’s family?
Prayer for Peace
Comforting God, we want to be as Christ, the embodiment of your shalom. We want to be there for one another. We want to be in the midst of sharing Christ’s peace.
Spiritual Practice: Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.
Today, God, I will put on my listening ears and open my embracing arms.