Peace. Nothing missing. Nothing broken. Well being. Completeness. Wholeness. Perfect. Fullness. Safety. Soundness. Rest. Harmony. The absence of agitation or discord. Tranquility. Prosperity. Health. Welfare.
These are the components of shalom, which is often used as a synonym for peace. Oh, but it's clearly more than peace. Much more. On the flip side, when I think of peace, I rarely think of shalom, not in this complete sense of the word. It seems that peace is equivalent in my mind, to some degree, as an emotional state that comes and goes. Sometimes I feel peace, and sometimes I don't. Of course, there is peace in the broader sense - as in absence from war - but in my life, this is how oversimplified it becomes. Feeling peaceful.
But reading these words that make up this beefier word, shalom, I find myself hungering to know the word they describe. I yearn for it now, in the present - not only in my life, but in the lives of those I love, in the lives of those I pray for, in the lives of people across the world. Shalom. And yet I also know it is a hope for the future. We hunger for this shalom now, and we must continue, knowing that it is a promise that will completely be fulfilled in the not yet. Only one can fulfill this impossible order. Only one is the embodiment of this word. And He shares Himself freely with us, that we, too, might taste of His shalom and live in the state of being that is His shalom.
How different life could be if we lived and breathed and ate and slept and worked and played and loved and served in this broader, deeper understanding and hope of shalom.