This is a busted up world filled with partial people, including me. It’s telling that the words heal, health, and whole all derive from the same root. To be truly healthy humans, we need to be healed, to be put back together, to become whole.
In a world of subtraction and division, we need to move from fractious fractions to integers of integrity.
The Hebrew word shalom has the sense of wholeness, of put-togetheredness, of soundness, of completeness, of unstriving restfulness, of peace.
This isn’t just inner peace. This is whole-life wholeness. This is the parts of our world coming back together. Explosion in reverse.
I can’t achieve this by myself or by turning inward on myself. Meditation has its place. But the chaos that threatens me internally is the same chaos that threatens the world outside of me. Solitude and stillness and reflection on the good Word, the wholly holy and whole-making Voice, is the first piece in coming to peace with ourselves, with God, with the world.
But, again, this isn’t enough. It’s may be central to the puzzle of our lives, but it isn’t the whole picture. Perhaps it’s the puzzle’s border which contains and gives shape to everything else. But who stops with just the edge pieces?
At the same time, who expects a puzzle to all come together at once. No. It comes together one piece at a time. Each finding its place as the busted apart picture regains its integrity — its peace — with each piece restored to the whole.
This is the biblical vision for the world and for our lives: Unity. Wholeness. Peace.
We don’t stop with our own inner peace. And we don’t give up when we see the pile of unconnected pieces which look like a riot of chaos and not the as-yet-unassembled parts of a unified whole. No. We look for and find the right piece and slowly but surely work to put back together God’s exploded world, knowing this is what he, too, is working at.
To put it in another way:
With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment — to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. (Eph. 1:8-10)
Piece by piece, Christ is making peace. It’s good work. Let’s not be discouraged by the pile we see the world heaped in, but let’s join him in that good work.